President Obama has renewed talk of a higher minimum wage - he proposes $9 per hour instead of the current $7.25 federal minimum. Is it a good idea? These sites delve into the debate.
States can set their own minimum wages, and most do, although if the state rate differs from the federal rate, the higher rate is the one that usually applies. The U.S. Department of Labor hosts an interactive map that shows the minimum wage in each state. New Jersey and Pennsylvania, for example, hold to the federal $7.25-per-hour rate. In Washington state, it's $9.19.
You can weigh in on a debate over whether there should be a minimum wage at all. At Debate.org, comments were running strongly in favor of minimum-wage standards, by 3-1. The site lays out basic arguments for and against a minimum wage, some based on ideas of fairness, others on whether a minimum wage stimulates or hurts the overall economy. Many of the reader comments are, perhaps predictably, less reasoned.