Speed Reads


Why cities and states should decide minimum wage

Why cities and states should decide minimum wage

Earlier this year, we engaged in the perennial fight over whether or not to raise the minimum wage (tell me again why we don't index it to inflation?).

Liberals generally insisted this was an important and humane imperative, while others, like yours truly, argued it would have the unintended consequence of actually raising the unemployment rate — a fear that was later confirmed by the CBO.

While the efficacy of raising the rate was often challenged, few conservatives disputed the notion that setting a national minimum wage is the proper role of the federal government. And interestingly, the federalism argument might have been the most compelling (and least vulnerable to demagoguery) for conservatives to make.

The American Enterprise Institute is out with a report demonstrating why minimum-wage laws might be best left to the cities and states. I think the chart says it all. --Matt K. Lewis