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A Weak Argument for Raising the Minimum Wage

Regional disparities in minimum wages lead, in turn, to unhealthy imbalances in the collection and distribution of taxes. The federal government tends to collect more tax revenue from states with higher minimum wages and send more in federal aid to states with low minimum wages, a transfer that becomes increasingly lopsided without a single, robust federal minimum wage.

Legislators in states with no or low minimum wages often say businesses cannot afford to pay more. The evidence says otherwise. Owners and executives of profitable companies in retail, fast food, poultry processing and other low-wage industries have grown richer while the workers have languished. Jobs in such fields pay poorly not for any intrinsic reason but because employers don’t have to pay more in the absence of a higher federal minimum.

The failure to raise the federal minimum wage has made broad prosperity impossible.

- What Donald Trump Doesn’t Get About the Minimum Wage, NYT Editorial Board, Jan. 2, 2017


American Samoa, one of the smallest territories, lost one of the biggest engines of its economy in December when a big tuna cannery closed after being required to pay the federal minimum wage.
- MARY WILLIAMS WALSH, After Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis, Worries Shift to Virgin Islands, NYT, JUNE 25, 2017


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