By Bernie Becker - 11/26/13 09:11 AM EST
A new drive to raise the minimum wage in California has a twist – it's being led by a conservative.
Ron Unz, who once successfully pushed to essentially end bilingual education in the state, says that a higher minimum wage would mean less government spending on social services and more attractive jobs for U.S. workers, The New York Times reports.
Unz wants to get the minimum wage in California to $12 an hour by 2016, which would make it by far the highest in the country.
“There are so many very low-wage workers, and we pay for huge social welfare programs for them,” Unz told the Times. “This would save something on the order of tens of billions of dollars. Doesn’t it make more sense for employers to pay their workers than the government?”