A Variable Minimum Wage?

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Over at the newly-opened TPMCafe, Senator John Edwards is talking about raising the minimum wage. As he should be. We’ve done posts before on why the minimum wage should be raised (here, here) and why it needs to be done in conjunction with the Earned Income Tax Credit (here), but one of Edward’s commenters brings up another very good point: An effective minimum wage would vary from community to community, based on area food and rent costs. That certainly makes sense—a decent living wage in Manhattan, KS, wouldn’t get you very far here in San Francisco—and it doesn’t seem like the implementation should be all that difficult. The danger, of course, is that businesses would start shifting around to avoid high wages, but I’m not sure how big of an effect that would be, since there are certainly other reasons to sit a business in, say, San Francisco besides the minimum wage levels. (Besides, if enough businesses left a given area, rents would go down, so wages would go down and then businesses would move back in…) Something to consider.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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