The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 is a starvation wage in many areas of the country. I've worked for $7.25 before, and many of my coworkers were struggling to get by. One worked two jobs, sometimes barely sleeping, to make ends meet. Another had a child and was on Medicaid and food stamps in addition to her job. Fearmongering about what will happen to the economy when the minimum wage is raised is baseless. It's been increased more than a dozen times in the past without crippling effects. When it comes down to it, there's no legitimate reason to focus on the hypothetical paragon of the "free market." In a "free market," the most desperate are exploited and driven into poverty because they have no other choice. In a "free market," people are forced to make every decision about their lives - from what they wear to how they get around to where their kids go to school - through the lens of destitution. In a "free market" economy, desperation leads to suicide, depression, and property crime. I don't think that sounds very "free" at all. Do you?