Increasing the Minimum Wage

Over at The Nation, they are framing a minimum wage increase as a moral issue instead of an economic one.

Business leaders still trot out economists to claim that raising the minimum wage will destroy jobs and hurt small businesses. But the evidence, based on studies of the effects of past increases in both the federal and state minimum-wage levels (twelve states have minimum wages higher than the federal level), shows otherwise. Because the working poor spend everything they earn, every penny of a minimum-wage increase goes back into the economy, increasing consumer demand and adding at least as many jobs as are lost. Most employers actually gain, absorbing the increase through decreased absenteeism, lower recruiting and training costs, higher productivity and increased worker morale.

I've never understood why it wasn't indexed to inflation from the beginning. Price floors for labor are bad for the economy, but at this point, even teenagers are easily finding jobs for $7/hr. Normally I'm not a big fan of minimum wage increases, but in this case I don't see any problem with raising it if it makes some people feel better. I think the market has already set the minimum wage higher than the federal standard in most areas of the country.