Isn't the best explanation just that Republicans have a distribution about how high the minimum wage should be, that is clustered around $9-10 an hour? Almost all of them favor small increases, and a majority even favor an increase to $11 over the status quo of $7, but when given a choice between $7, $11, and $15, more of them prefer $7 than either of the other two (though nearly as many prefer $11, and even one in six prefer $15).

Democrats also have a distribution of opinions about the minimum wage (about a third prefer $11 to $15, and some even prefer $7), but their distribution seems to be centered somewhere just above $15.

I suspect that if we break down the polling on the basis of party and local cost of living, that for each party, people living in high cost of living areas will be on the higher end for members of their party for what they think the federal minimum wage should be, while people living in low cost of living areas will be on the lower end of the distribution within their party. Given that Republicans tend to live in low cost of living areas, and Democrats tend to live in high cost of living areas, this shrinks the gaps between the parties even more.

The data you have presented here make me think, quite surprisingly, that there is actually very *little* remaining difference of opinion on the basis of party membership, once we factor in where a person lives. Somehow this issue has become much *less* partisan, rather than Republicans turning against it.

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Agreed, most of the people I talk to who are Republicans are just against “raising” the minimum wage. For them to be turning “against” I think we’d need to see polls on the abolition of the minimum wage.

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Right. In many ways, I think the median GOP voter is in favor of raising the minimum wage to a level that doesn't matter (much).

I favor eliminating it, but it honestly does little harm at $7.25 or even $9. I was in Madisonville, KY last week, and the local McDonalds was advertising starting pay at $10/hr. If even Madisonville doesnt have actual minimum wage jobs, then very few places in America do.

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Aug 17, 2022·edited Aug 18, 2022

"What’s going on? Rising polarization is the obvious story. Mutual animosity is so strong that Republicans will oppose archetypal feel-good legislation like the minimum wage because they know that Democrats support it."

Polarization sure plays a part, but I don't think it is the main reason. What I think happens is that the "feel good" effect depends heavily on the amount of the minimum wage. At $11 workers "deserve it" (even in the Republicans mind) so a) sounds fair and b) is still far away from the amount these voters are earning themselves. $15 on the other hand sounds anti-business and is closer to what this same voters' earn. Afterall, the limit to supporting "feeling good" legislation is that the benefits to the constituency at play allows these underserved, God forbid, to catch-up with the "feeling good" voters.

One of the mysteries of minimum wage legislation is that if people believe the government can set the minimum wage with limited economic consequences, why not setting it at $1,000?

Following from this, I think it would be interesting to see the differences in polling answers if the question is framed in a different light. Something along the lines of: do you think that for teenagers, illegal immigrants and x, y ... workers, the minimum wage should be $11? or do you think that for teenagers, illegal immigrants and x, y ... workers in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi (states with a higher percent of minimum wage workers) the minimum wage should be $11? (When polling voters from out of this States)

I am curious about the effect of the "reframing".

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Virtually everyone supports a very low minimum wage. It's only when the minimum wage has an impact that people may object to it. Many shrewd politicians will argue passionately for a minimum that will have no effect. As long as the minimum is well below the actual average being paid, it can be passed, have little effect, but let everyone feel good about supporting the idea.

Similarly, economists at the Federal Reserve would do little harm by adjusting interest rates to follow the actual rate being set by market forces. The problem comes when they try to force or lead the market rate. Then they cause booms and busts.

Of course they could just do nothing about these two statistics and that way they would do little harm!

However, if they did nothing, and things worked OK, it would blow their cover--Everyone would realize they're not needed!

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Opponents should start calling them "minimum skills laws" since they're just as accurately described as a ban on low-skilled employment.

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Here's a thought. Does the minimum wage apply to corporations? To LLCs?

If I want to work for less than the minimum wage, can I form an LLC, and allow my LLC to be hired for whatever wage I want?

If yes, can I help others do the same?

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I have owned an S-corp and an LLC. For both, there were time frames where I was making less than the minimum.

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Yep. There appear to be more loopholes in the law than most people suspect.

Want to invest in an unlisted company but don't qualify as an Accredited Investor? Form a LLC, have the LLC invest.

Want to work for less than the minimum wage? Form an LLC, let the LLC get hired as a service provider.

Some of the laws libertarians rail against as infringements on liberty have loopholes like these, which those sufficiently motivated can use (and at low cost; forming an LLC can cost less than $200).

The effort and competence required to use the loopholes prevents most people from using them - perhaps exactly as the legislature intended. Those who care enough can opt out. Those unable to figure out how perhaps ought not to do the things prohibited by rules intended to protect ordinary people anyway.

Maybe not such as a bad system as it seems at first.

Altho I do sympathize with low-skill or inexperienced people who aren't allowed to take the low-paying jobs they're actually capable of getting. Surely low-paid work is better, economically and emotionally, than unemployment.

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Just don't charge by the hour--have your business quote a fixed price. If after a while that price needs adjusting, do so

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"Regular Republicans quickly became very libertarian on Covid. The same is largely true for school choice and wokeness issues as well."

What you mean by "libertarian" in wokeness issues? I think that, in most "woke" issue, is not much clear what is supposed to be the "libertarian" position.

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Can you describe a "woke" issue on which libertarians would be aligned?

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My idea is exactly that most "woke" issues are largely orthogonal to the libertarianism-statism axis.

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