And we are talking about minimum wage increases...
The kind of jobs that pay minimum wage don't require such specialized labor that people in one 'job market' can't migrate to another one.
If you can flip burgers, you can work a checkout counter.
As an aside, i understand the advantage of inferior goods in a bad market etc., but unless you are at the very lowest level (if at all), you're getting paid more than minimum wage to work a production line.
$8/hr isn't a ton of money, but I don't see why that should be the minimum. I've worked for $8/hr before. I busted my ass moving things out of people's houses. But in California, I can get a job holding a sign at a construction site and get paid the same. That's nice and all for those guys, but it just makes it more difficult to get that extra dollar raise for everyone "a step up" and working for $13-20 an hour (at the same company), because now the sign guy is getting that cash.
Have you ever worked these jobs? The minimum wage crowd is a bunch of losers, or they are students, (or they work part-time) they shouldn't be rewarded for it.*
*Edit: Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2008
"Although workers under age 25 represented only about one-fifth of hourly-paid workers, they made up half of those paid the Federal minimum wage or less. Among employed teenagers paid by the hour, about 11 percent earned the minimum wage or less, compared with about 2 percent of workers age 25 and over."
"Part-time workers (persons who usually work less than 35 hours per week) were more likely than their full-time counterparts to be paid the Federal minimum wage or less (about 7 percent versus about 2 percent)."
Also, I can't find the data, but most people who work these jobs are only there for less than a year.