Unexpectedly Intriguing!
February 25, 2016

In the United States, there are more than 30 minimum wages. The chart below shows the evolution of state level minimum wages that have risen above the level set by the U.S. federal government in the years from 1994 through 2016.

Minimum Wage of States That Currently and Chronically Maintain Higher Minimum Wage than the U.S. Federal Government, 1994-2016

By and large, the minimum wage is higher in states where it costs more to live, which is why the minimum wage should only ever be adjusted at the state level. Otherwise, if there were only one statutory minimum wage greater than zero that applied everywhere, you would risk creating too much real inequality between people earning the minimum wage in different states, where minimum wage earners in low cost of living states would be much richer and wealthier than minimum wage earners in high cost of living states.

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