You can read more about the issues in this explainer from Vox, but what really matters is that this will move the DC economy one step closer toward abolishing cheap labor, and thereby drying up the demand for immigration. Whether they realize it or not -- mostly they do not -- the progressive Democrats are helping to send immigrants back to their home countries, once they can no longer get jobs here. And they will not be getting hired as commonly if the minimum wage shoots up.
The whole purpose of immigrants being here is to serve as a vast pool of cheap labor for greedy and lazy employers who want to enjoy higher profit margins without actually having to improve their business model or product -- just by firing their well-paid American employees and replacing them with cheap foreigners instead. Wow, what a brilliant insight, what a singular innovation! The employers' greed, laziness, sociopathy, and treason ought to be punished, not rewarded.
All the Democrats need to do now is to play up the fact that those workers who will get fired when the minimum wage goes up will be illegal immigrants, and that primarily African-American citizens will be taking those jobs instead. By framing immigration in class terms, and by attacking employers rather than the immigrant workers themselves, the Democrats can steal the immigration issue from the GOP. And, solve the problem more efficiently -- punishing one small business owner vs. tracking down the dozen immigrants he employs.
And since the Democrats are not controlled by the material sectors, like those relating to food, they can credibly threaten to keep raising the minimum wage, which will not affect the sectors that do control their party -- informational sectors like finance, tech, and the media, which are not dependent on armies of cheap foreigners, either here or abroad.
With Initiative 77 passed, some businesses will stay open, only with fewer immigrants and more (African-)Americans on their payroll. Other businesses will have to close down, because their business model is so pathetically defective that it fails just from having to pay their workers the minimum wage. That is all for the better -- we want good businesses to stay open, not shitty ones that can only be propped up by the government looking the other way while the employers pay their workers $4 an hour and stiff them for the rest that they owe to meet the full minimum wage.
As that happens more broadly, it will affect entire sectors, driving out the bad and replacing them with the good. When a crappy restaurant or hair salon closes down because they can't turn a profit if forced to pay their workers the minimum wage, the source of their financing will have to find another destination.
Remember, nobody puts up their own money to operate any business -- they're all getting loans from banks, selling equity through a stock market, issuing bonds, or whatever else. Once those funds can no longer go to the crappy businesses, they will necessarily be routed to those that are profitable under the higher minimum wage -- such as a manufacturing plant instead of a third-tier restaurant. Food-related jobs will dwindle, while manufacturing jobs will rise, shifting workers from low-paid jobs into high-paid jobs, not just improving their lives but narrowing inequality between them and the rich.
A higher minimum wage will be a crucial component of the new Bernie-era industrial policy to revolutionize our economy out of the dead-end shitty service model that our elites have driven us into during the Reagan era, and back to one with robust manufacturing and industry.
Which group of voters deserves credit for this big first step? The blacks of DC, not the yuppie whites (he means high-end neighborhoods in the NW):
Washington DC passed a referendum mandating that tipped employees receive the full minimum wage (rather than relying on tips). The measure passed easily in African-American precincts while failed in the more high-end suburbs in the east. #DCision18 #DCprimary #Initiative77 pic.twitter.com/bk8XemEfND— Matthew Isbell (@mcimaps) June 20, 2018
Black people in DC are not looking ahead to the effects of a higher minimum wage on the employment prospects for immigrants -- but even if you pointed it out to them, they would not give an utter shit about a bunch of poor weepy Mexicans who won't get hired at all if they can no longer serve as dirt-cheap replacements for (African-)American workers. "I got mine, BITCH -- now go on and get yours, BACK IN MEXICO."
Obviously none of those blacks will ever vote for Trump or the GOP, and that's perfectly fine. We aren't trying to drive them to the GOP -- who would instantly lower the minimum wage and bring back the cheap-labor foreigners anyway. The goal is to have both major parties acting to restrict immigration -- by fomenting a loud and angry pro-American worker movement within the re-aligning Democrat base itself, albeit on class terms and attacking greedy employers rather than the immigrant workers. But if blacks use the occasion to air some of their grievances against immigrants, so much the better.
Immigrants don't vote, especially if they're illegal, and they lower the material standard of living for everyone, except their corporate bosses who enjoy higher profits from cheaper labor, which widens inequality at both ends of the spectrum. They are the last thing the Democrats need to win elections. The path toward recovery for the Dems is to amp up their African-American base -- and they don't care about pointless identity politics anymore, except for a few dead-end Boomers. They want more cash in their pocket, simple as that. Jack up the minimum wage to $20 an hour, and there go all the illegal immigrants back to wherever they came from, with black people giving zero fucks when that happens.
That will also help to drive a wedge between the black base and the neoliberal elites within the party, who not only want to keep the minimum wage down (see the NW section of the map), but who want to transform their base to include all non-whites -- even if most of those other non-whites don't vote, and lower the standard of living for blacks. African-Americans are the only reliable non-white bloc of voters for the Democrats, they can't stand the other unreliable non-white groups, and unlike the other non-white groups who live in either deep red or deep blue states, blacks live in swingy states where they could actually make a difference, especially in the Rust Belt.
Neoliberal yuppie whites will never understand that, but they don't need to -- they just need to be shouted down by their angry black base who demand a $20 minimum wage, regardless if that means Mexicans returning to Mexico when they can no longer work for pennies on the American dollar. Hopefully that winds up purging the neoliberals from the party leadership, and leading to their replacement by blacks and whites who are just looking out for the American worker, and not the cheap labor legions of literally the entire world.
Let this be a lesson to any remaining populists and nationalists on the GOP side -- there's nothing worth voting for on the Republican side's primaries. It's more effective to channel your votes, donations, and efforts into making the Democrat party an alternative to corporate-globalist Republicanism.