The Sound Reasoning Behind a $15 Minimum Wage

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The New York Times Editorial Board recently endorsed a $15 federal minimum wage.  A proposal at the federal level would phase in $15 an hour in small increments over a period of several years and would still, as the Times mentions, set a wage floor in 2020 below what most low-wage workers need to provide for their families.  Yet Slate’s Jordan Weissman believes that “the argument in favor of a $15 federal minimum is…extremely weak,” and that the endorsement is “emblematic of a progressive movement that has fixated on a much higher minimum as the answer to the problem of low-wage work while refusing to grapple with the potential downsides.”

Weissman supports a federal minimum wage above $10 an hour and possibly in the $12 an hour range; like Alan Krueger, one of the economists who authored some of the landmark research on the minimum wage, his argument…

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