For all that, the minimum wage is popular, very popular, as voters in four red states proved once again Tuesday. Nebraskans approved a ballot measure to raise that state’s minimum wage to $8 an hour next year and $9 in 2016; South Dakotans voted to raise it to $8.50 next year. Arkansas voters approved a gradual increase to $8.50 by 2017. And Alaskans agreed to raise it to $9.75 by 2016.
In Illinois, the one blue state to consider the issue, voters opted for $10 an hour starting next year, albeit in a nonbinding referendum.
Consequently, a majority of states, containing more than half of the working-age population, have or soon will have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum.
via Dean Baker
Anyhow, Lane wants politicians to stop raising the minimum wage so he proposes indexing it to the rate of inflation. The idea of indexation is good, but Lane has the wrong target. Back in the good old days, when we had 4.0 percent growth and 3.0 percent unemployment, the minimum wage rose in step with productivity. If it had continued to rise in step with productivity since its peak level in 1968 it would be more than $17 an hour today.