|Graphic: CNN Money|
The common refrain among those who oppose the application of such a safety net is a familiar one: Having a minimum wage kills jobs. Job-killer. Jobs, jobs, jobs.
So I was intrigued by this Bloomberg article, which talks about the situation here in Washington state, where the minimum wage is the highest in the country (albeit still not high enough). Back in 1998, voters approved a minimum wage increase that would subsequently be tied to the state's cost of living. Hotels, restaurants, and other businesses in the service industry opposed the measure at the time, saying that it would — you guessed it — kill jobs.
However, according to the article: "In the 15 years [since the initiative passed]…job growth continued at an average 0.8 percent annual pace, 0.3 percentage point above the national rate. Payrolls at Washington's restaurants and bars, portrayed as particularly vulnerable to higher wage costs, expanded by 21 percent. Poverty has trailed the U.S. level for at least seven years."