- Posted February 16, 2013 by
Analyzing the Historical Minimum Wage
A number of states have minimum wages higher than the national mandatory requirement. I compared the unemployment rate of the states of those states and 11 have higher unemployment rates while 7 have lower rates than the national median (Delaware at 6.9% unemployment). Most of the states with the higher rates are the industrial states, so I'm not sure that there is much correlation with the higher minimum wage and regional issues are more likely the dominating factor.
I don't see anything in my quick analysis that backs up the concerns by Republicans that a higher minimum wage will equate to a higher unemployment rate. The greater problem is whether people, earning the minimum wage, can live in this country. When a person, working forty hours a week, cannot earn a decent living, that person goes on welfare. If welfare provides the same, or better, standard of living, there is little incentive to get off welfare. When working a lousy minimum wage job doesn't provide any better standard of living than living off of welfare, it doesn't take a genius to realize that there is a big problem with the minimum wage. Working for a living has to be a better alternative than living off welfare and that isn't going to happen until the minimum wage is high enough to offer a reasonable alternative.
There is a bit of irony with Republicans fighting Obama's initiative to raise the minimum wage to $9 when it was under Richard Nixon's administration that the minimum wage was raised to an even higher rate.