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

Lessons from Seattle's Minimum Wage Proposal: Editorial

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Seattle appears well on its way to a $15 minimum wage, a move that could have political and economic implications far beyond the Puget Sound. Time will tell whether putting the minimum wage on steroids is the right way to increase economic opportunity and reduce income inequality. At the least, side effects require careful monitoring.

But regardless of how those questions are answered, Seattle and Mayor Ed Murray already have provided the rest of the nation with an example of how to reach agreement on a difficult issue: Clearly define your position, demonstrate public support and bring together representatives of as many stakeholders as a room will hold to hammer out the details.

It also helps to have an outside catalyst. Seattle started down this path last fall during city elections. Socialist City Council candidate Kshama Sawant made a $15 minimum wage the foundation of her campaign. Labor-led rallies for a minimum-wage increase helped draw attention to her candidacy. She won. So did Murray, a Democratic state senator who beat incumbent Mike McGinn to become mayor.

• Category: National, Notable