Published On: Fri, Aug 19th, 2016

Taylor Swift, Kanye West ‘star’ in new billboards attacking $15 minimum wage

The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) put up a new billboard on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles that uses images of Taylor Swift and Kanye West. The billboard highlights how high state and city minimum wages in California are reducing job opportunities for their young fans. Numerous small businesses in the state have had to lay off employees, reduce hours, or even close entirely because of the costs associated with dramatic starter wage increases in the state. EPI has documented these stories at Facesof15.com.

The billboard features images of a perturbed Taylor Swift and a scowling Kanye West and asks: “Why are Kanye & TSwift so upset?” The answer: “Maybe it’s because their young fans won’t have a job thanks to California’s $15 starter wage.”

Kanye West Taylor Swift2 fifteen dollar hour minimum wage billboardView the billboard here. View an image of the billboard taken from the street here. View EPI’s new app created to help small business owners fight back against minimum wage increases here.

The billboard draws attention to the recent spate of reduced job opportunities caused by higher starter wages in the Golden State. In Oakland, which raised its minimum wage to $12.25 last year, at least 10 grocery stores and restaurants closed in its Chinatown neighborhood partially because of the wage hike. In nearby Berkeley, whose minimum wage is currently $12.53, the coffee shop Mokka decided it will close this summer primarily because of the minimum wage increase. Black Oak Books, a large independent bookstore in the city, closed its doors after 33 years partially because of the wage hike.

Further north in Sacramento, the higher state minimum wage recently forced the closure of another bookstore. And across the Bay in San Francisco, whose minimum wage is currently $13, numerous restaurants, including Abbot’s Cellar, Source, Luna Park, and Roosevelt Tamale Parlor, have closed citing the minimum wage increase as a determining factor. This job loss will only be compounded when the minimum wage reaches $15.

A recent paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco summarized the research on minimum wages increases, and confirmed that past hikes have measurably reduced job opportunities.

“While the feud between Taylor Swift and Kanye West heats up, the job market for their young fans cools down because of misguided minimum wage increases,” said Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute. “Cites and states elsewhere that are considering a dramatic wage hike should learn from California’s mistake.”

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  1. Taylor Swift, Kanye West ‘star’ in new billboards attacking $15 minimum wage | Taylor Swift Super Fans says:

    […] The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) put up a new billboard on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles t… […]

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