Reagan: $10 a slice pizza, really?

Published 3:19 pm Friday, October 29, 2021

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The phonies who write the laws in Sacramento have no idea how hard it is to run a small business successfully. And they don’t care.

When they pay you not to work, you take a vacation.

That’s what’s going on here in what’s left of California.

The governor of this one-party state, Gavin Newsom, and his fellow Democrats controlling the legislature have tortured us for two years with severe lockdowns and mask mandates.

Now they’re working over-time to put our already crippled restaurant industry completely out of business by making it virtually impossible for them to hire the workers they need.

The state government is still paying people who were put out of work by the pandemic upwards of $450 a week in unemployment benefits, plus it’s picking up 100 percent of their rent and electric bills.

It’s no surprise that my friends in the restaurant business are so desperate for workers that some are offering signing bonuses of $1,500 to dishwashers and then paying them $20 an hour.

Where are their old dishwashers?

They’re vacationing in Mexico and they’re telling restaurant owners they’ll return in January when the state stops paying them unemployment money (which probably won’t happen because it’s an election year).

But wait, there’s even more stupidity coming from the lawmakers in Sacramento.

Remember AB5, the state law that Democrats passed a couple years ago at the behest of their union pals to basically outlaw gig workers in California?

The law was designed to kill off Uber and Lyft by forcing them and other companies to treat 1099 part-time contract workers as full-time employees with full benefits.

But AB5 was so crudely “crafted” that now it is preventing businesses from hiring the part-timers they need, whether it’s at the docks in Long Beach or the neighborhood pizza joint.

To make it even worse for smaller restaurants, starting next spring the state says any business with five or more employees that doesn’t already have a 401(k) or similar retirement plan for its employees will have to provide one through a state program called CalSavers.

I’ll spare you the legal details. But that means every restaurant larger than a Louie’s Pizza Parlor will be affected and if they don’t comply they’ll be fined as much as $500 per employee.

So it’s pretty clear that $50 pizzas aren’t just in our future, they’re almost here.

The cost of a pizza in one place I go has already jumped from $16 to $41, because of what the owner now has to pay to hire and keep his workers.

What’s he going to do next year when he has to start contributing to his dishwasher’s retirement plan?

He’ll have to raise his prices, cut his staff or close. (Soon there’s going to be a lot of four-person pizza joints and hamburger stands in the ex-Golden State).

The situation is so outrageous you want to cry for the owners of these mom-and-pop restaurants and family businesses.

They’re the ones who are mad now, but pretty soon it’ll be their patrons who hit the roof when they see what their meals cost.

And then what’s going to happen? Nothing, probably.

People here don’t get it. They’ll reelect the same Democrat politicians who have been ruining life in California.

Gov. Newsom and his government cronies must think every restaurant is a posh French Laundry, the $250-a-plate place in Napa Valley where they like to dine and drink.

But there’s only one French Laundry in California and there are thousands of little Italian restaurants and pizza joints.

Already about 200,000 people and many businesses have decided they’ve suffered enough and have left the state.

I guarantee many thousands more will follow them east, but not the struggling owners of your corner pizza parlor.

Unlike rich guys like Elon Musk of Tesla, they’re stuck here trying to make their livings while the clueless — and soulless — politicians in Sacramento continue to write bad laws that make it impossible.

Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, is an author, speaker and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation. Send comments to and follow @reaganworld on Twitter.