[Marxism] Forwarded from Anthony (minimum wage)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jul 23 13:42:52 MDT 2004

Why do some states have higher minimum wages than the
nationally mandated one in the USA?

The basic answer is that all of the states in question
are states where there has - in the recent past - been
a higher local market rate for unskilled labor than
the national minimum wage. Local politicians get cheap
points by raising the state minimum wages, when in
fact real minimumn wages are higher - determined by
market forces.

This is different than at other times in history, when
working class political, economic, and social
struggles raised minimum wages above market levels.

San Francisco's astonichingly high city minimum wage
of $8.50 is a case in point. Last Christmas (when I
was there) McDonald's franchises were offering over
over $8.00/hour and not filling part time positions.

All the best, Anthony


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