In most localities only a small percentage of the workforce make the minimum wage. Typically it is paid to entry level , non-unionized, relatively unskilled workers for non-demanding work. A year later most of the people making the minimum wage at one point in time get raises or move on to other higher-paid jobs and no longer make the minimum. A very small percentage of those making the minimum are actually living on it. What is the value of the labor of an inexperienced entry-level teenager ? If the minimum is raised too high, it denies young people entry level opportunities. Worse it makes automation economically more attractive and thus increases unemployment. The value of having a minimum wage is to prevent gross exploitation of naive workers. But it is illusion to believe decreed wage levels can override fundamental economics.

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