Over the weekend, emotion overruled seriousness as the “minimum wage” increased in 26 states.

The failed state of California naturally offers the highest statewide minimum wage at $15 per hour. Some large locations, such as New York City, also have a $15 minimum wage.

Portland’s minimum wage increased to nearly $20 per hour during the COVID pandemic, resulting in increased food prices.

Nearby in similarly left-wing Seattle, businesses with over 500 employees are mandated to pay nearly $17 per hour. Employers with fewer than 500 employees must pay $15.75.

This very high minimum wage hurts everyone, as employers reduce hours or lay off employees. Learning nothing, Democrats just forced Washington state’s overall minimum wage to $14.49.

Several states are increasing their minimum wage by $1 or more this year. All but one has a Democrat governor.

Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, and Rhode Island have all scheduled gradual increases to bring their minimum wage to $15 within the next few years.

Across the country, five states wisely do not require a minimum wage: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin have a minimum wage of $7.25.

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009, but fewer than 2% of Americans earn that, and most reside in low cost-of-living places.

Some chains, of course, already pay minimum wages well over $15, including virtue-signaling corporations like Amazon, Costco, Google, and Target, but also conservative-leaning Hobby Lobby, which recently raised their rate to $18.50 per hour.

Some of this only offsets the brutal inflation caused by the policies of Democrats and President Joe Biden last year.

In reality, minimum wage doesn’t need to rise in most places because real America is affordable. Our low living costs allow a married couple each making just $12 an hour to still live a middle-class lifestyle and afford their own home and car. Indeed many of the poorer states in America have median hourly incomes below $15 an hour, yet unlike in Europe, plenty of residents own their own home.

Related: Business is Booming at “Let’s Go Brandon” Stores

“The best way to aid low-skilled workers enter the economic mainstream is to help them — through trade schools and unique educational opportunities — gain higher-demand skills to command a bigger paycheck,” I concluded in a newspaper column last year. “Arguments for a minimum wage raise are deceivingly simple if you don’t internalize the details, yet in the end, it’s a flawed concept, detrimental to those it aims to help.”

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