Minimum wage rates do not determine wage differentials.

Aug 2010
Cliffside Park, NJ
Your first sentence sums it up. You cannot prove it. It is your conclusion. Here's the problem, data, shows that your conclusion is incorrect. Why do you think that the purchasing power of minimum wage isn't greater in states with higher minimum wage? Could it be because the cost of everything increases to pay those higher wages? The data, and I've provided it, already shows that increasing the minimum wage does not decrease spending on public assistance. When you increase the costs of labor, that cost gets passed on to the consumer through increased prices. Increase a gallon of milk by a dime, the price of a Whopper by fifteen cents, the price of a watermelon by... Then at the register, you understand where that additional money came from. Obviously, the dime, and fifteen cents are just example, and not exactly what the increase would be.

Few employers are paying minimum wage. At minimum wage, they cannot attract and keep employees. Without any laws being passed, market forces have caused employers to increase the starting wage that they pay.
Southern Dad, we've both understood U.S. dollar's purchasing power in higher minimum rate states are less than those of lower rate states. Minimum rate increases are only of direct benefit to workers and their dependents, and those benefits are greatly shifted to be of the the greatest benefits to lower wage rate employees; (i.e. those benefits are inversely related to the employees' wage's wage rate).

The minimum wage rate is not among the primary causes of the dollar's inflation rate. The dollar loses purchasing power without regard for modifications of the minimum wage rate.

Regardless of U.S. dollar's lesser purchasing power, lower wage employees gain a net benefit due to any increase of effective minimum wage rate in their state. The purchasing power of the U.S. dollar doesn't explain why we have not statistically proven the minimum rate's greater benefits to lower wage and wage rate employees of higher, rather than lower wage state's are not greater.

Although it's not yet been statistically proven, I have no good reason not to believe actually increasing the minimum wage rate's purchasing power of all lower wage and wage rate employees does not reduce the poverty among the working poor more than otherwise.

The data you provided indicates lower minimum rate states spend lesser dollars of greater purchasing power for public assistance. Even if it should be shown that Georgia or other of those states spend a lesser portion of their states' budgets for public assistance, that's no more or less likely to indicate those states have lesser regard for their working poor.

What portion of state's population of employees earn lower wage rates are, and the portion of them earning their state's precise effective minimum rate are not germane to this discussion.

Respectfully, Supposn
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Southern Dad

Forum Staff
Aug 2018
Shady Dale, Georgia
It’s simple. There is no evidence that raising the federal minimum wage will decrease spending on public assistance. None.

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Aug 2010
Cliffside Park, NJ
Lesser need for public assistance. But here's the problem, the data does not bear that out. The states that have the highest wage, still have higher Per Capita welfare spending than the states that use the federal minimum wage. When wages go up, they will be paid for by the consumers. Owners of businesses are not going to take the hit to profit. They'll either outsource, offshore, automate, or pass it on to consumers.

I can find nothing showing that Seattle's higher minimum wage has resulted in any better standard of living, the same with the state of California.
Southern Dad,
you contend data shows my conclusions are incorrect. Your provided data does not prove or disprove your contention. As we both agree, U.S. dollar’s purchasing power is variable among states.

States’ spending for social programs needs such as Medicaid, Unemployment insurance, and public assistance, are dependent upon states conclusions as to their needs, priorities, financial and administrative abilities, (and their willingness) to meet those needs. How much or what proportion of their state’s budget they spend for such social programs is somewhat relative, but not definite indications of a state’s extents of poverty among their working poor.

Labor’s portion of product’s costs, they are not the product’s entire price. The minimum wage rate’s proportional effect upon jobs’ rates, are more for lower, and less for higher rate jobs. To the extent of the minimum rate’s purchasing power, lower rate employees most and middle rate employees lesser to proportion of their rates, net benefit from the minimum rate. Because of the minimum rate’s net benefit to our nation’s entire economy and the very highest wage earners are also more likely to have invested into that economy, even they benefit from the minimum rate.

The minimum rates effect upon U.S. employees lowest 40 percentiles of wage rate earners range from critical to substantial. Respectfully, Supposn