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The stupidity of a national min. wage

by Greg Krehbiel on 23 April 2014

The map on this page — What you’d need to make in every county in America to afford a decent one-bedroom — illustrates why a national minimum wage makes no sense. The cost of living varies dramatically from place to place.

The premise of the graph seems to be that the minimum wage should be set so that a person earning the minimum wage could at least afford a one-bedroom apartment. I don’t see any reason to accept that premise.

-- 2014-04-23  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 2

  1. pentamom pentamom
    23 April 2014 @ 5:04 pm

    On a purely selfish level, I’d love it if there were a national minimum wage tied to the cost of living in, say, Marin County California.

    Of course, I don’t really want that, because it would be bad in lots of ways and I probably couldn’t get a job earning that because there wouldn’t be any.

    And yes, the premise is bad. There was an article here in our paper a couple of weeks ago about the percentage of people in our county not earning the wage deemed necessary to afford a two-bedroom apartment. (I suspect the two-bedroom metric is used because of the high rate of single motherhood., which requires two bedrooms even for a “single” person.) I thought to myself, whatever happened to the concept of roommates or other alternatives to everybody having their own place?

  2. rr
    23 April 2014 @ 11:28 pm

    The map also illustrates that there is a strong correlation between a high cost of living and liberalism. It is much easier to afford a home (and raise a family) in more conservative areas.

    By the way, sometimes people who come from high cost of living areas live in a bubble about how the prices in their area don’t apply to the rest of the nation. Several years ago, we had a guy from San Francisco interview at my place of work for an entry level position. He asked for what he thought was a starting salary, around $90,000, which is a fair amount more than the boss makes and a pretty big salary in my small southern town where decent three bedroom family homes aren’t much more than 100k. Predictably, he didn’t get the job. I wonder if many who want a high minimum wage nationally are as clueless as this guy was about the rest of the nation. Many liberals are pretty parochial.