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Monday, March 28, 2005

Minimum wage blues

It is often said that the only people who live on minimum wage jobs are teenagers working part time. This is not always the case, as a story today in the Star Tribune shows. Many adults with children have to get by on $5.15 an hour with no benefits.

The minimum wage has not been increased in some time. I generally don't like these kinds of laws, as they interfere with the market, but I also think that we should continue to allow immigrants into this country, which will expand our labor pool. Since I'd rather see more immigrants get the chance to live free in this country than not, I think a minimum wage is necessary to provide a salary floor that will keep businesses from racing to the bottom, especially in service industries. Raising the minimum wage also helps generate wealth as people have more money to spend. It's time for an increase to pass.

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