It is important to understand that no state is bound by federal minimum wage laws. Each state has the right to determine their own minimum wage laws, taking into account local economic conditions.
There is no federal legislation that forces employers to pay minimum wage- in fact, almost 90% of all hourly workers are paid above either state or federal minimum wage.
Why then, is federal minimum wage legislation such a priority for the democrats?
The answer is simple: Union support and union votes.
Many union collective bargaining wage agreements are based on the federal minimum wage. In many industries, union wages are calculated as multiples of the federal minimum wage.
Clearly it is perfectly ok for the Democrats to suck up to Big Unions. Especially if they think they can trick people into thinking they really really care about the 'little guy.'
They don't, of course.
Fausta has more thoughts on the subject.