Ok, well, rebutting my own argument, I guess. Rushing a bit because I have to get to work (for the ever-necessary OT).>>8762>higher labor cost.>inflation proportional to the minimum wage increase
This seems to make the assumption all wage is payed at the minimum wage. A quick Google search gives me 1.5% of workers in 2020 made minimum wage, and their proportion of labor cost must be much lower. Roughly speaking, it's a drop in the bucket, which explains why inflation has been increasing in excess of minimum wage for decades.>encourages automation and process efficiency measures
Maybe, but why can't we create economic systems where that's a win? Or in short, why is it better to exploit low wage workers than to automate?
Yes, you may have a point, J. Griffon, some businesses that rely heavily on low wage work, and can't automate, might struggle. On the other hand, as the wage increase occurs across America, if the product or service is really necessary, people will be willing to pay more. That's the basic idea of paying what something costs.
Minimum wage is a basic protection for workers. The government regulates food safety, you could argue by not allowing the sale of questionable food for a lower price, some are left hungry -- but by and large people consider the trade-off worth it to prevent someone being made ill. A job a person can't live on is the same kind of problematic half-measure.