But the minimum wage should be the same everywhere: $0. Labor is a commodity; governments make messes when they decree commodities' prices. Washington, which has its hands full delivering the mail and defending the shores, should let the market do well what Washington does poorly. But that is a good idea whose time will never come again.
Why not allow the minimum wage be negative? Workers could pay the employers. There is nothing magical about the number zero, once one starts walking down the path Will has chosen.
And an odd path it is. Take this, for example: Will gives us a lot of data about how unimportant the minimum wage is in general, and one of these data is the number of people earning it:
Most of the working poor earn more than the minimum wage, and most of the 0.6 percent (479,000 in 2005) of America's wage workers earning the minimum wage are not poor.
Ok. And where might he have gotten these numbers?
Could it be from the government sources? Like this one:
Of those paid by the hour, 479,000 were reported as earning exactly $5.15, the prevailing Federal minimum wage. Another 1.4 million were reported as earning wages below the minimum.
Bolds are mine. Note how conveniently George forgot to include the information I bolded in his column.