As this article on cnn.com states, 4 states are set to approve ballot measures to raise the minimum wage on November 4. Foes of minimum wage laws frequently say that raising the minimum that many employers have to pay will drive up inflation. They are partially right. University of Kansas research assistant Arnobio Morelix has said that doubling everyone’s wages at McDonalds would raise the price of a Big Mac by 68 cents. But inflation comes from many sources. Hawaii is an expensive state to live in, but its minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which is lower than California’s $9.
Hawaii will be gradually raising the minimum to $10.10 over the next 3 years, but in the mean time, the Living Wage Calculator estimates that someone in Honolulu has to work full-time at $12.91 an hour in order to meet all their expenses. In San Francisco, that number is $12.83. In Sacramento County, CA, a living wage would be $9.95 an hour. Clearly, the minimum wages paid to workers is only loosely tied to the cost of living. Raising the minimum wage to compensate for the other factors driving inflation is a reasonable response. Wish the best of luck to the 4 states considering raising the minimum wage. Cool to see this type of progress being made, and I’ll be watching with great interest on my FreedomPop phone.