Raising the Minimum Wage for Working Men and Women in California and the Rest of America

Conservatives Ought to Know Better Than to Support a Minimum-Wage Hike

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Conservatives traditionally have regarded minimum-wage laws with skepticism — and for good reason. Attempts by government to interfere with market forces in setting wages rarely work out as intended. But a group of conservative pundits and activists recently joined President Obama and others on the left in calling for hefty increases for low-wage workers.

Have they all gone mad? Not exactly — though the motives and tactics of some of the new minimum-wage proponents may surprise their allies on the Left.

Some conservatives, including activist Phyllis Schlafly, actually have endorsed increasing the federal minimum wage. Ron Unz, a onetime GOP gubernatorial candidate and former publisher of The American Conservative, favors a state hike. He tried to put an initiative on the California ballot this fall that would raise the California minimum wage to $12 an hour but backed off this week when he failed to entice others to help fund the campaign. Still others, such as columnists Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham, want federal intervention of a different sort, which they claim would raise pay for millions of low-wage workers.

• Category: Campaign, National • Tags: Linda Chavez