I’ve argued why the minimum wage is horrific. Sound policy would support a federal minimum of $15. The minimum, currently $7.25 an hour, would be about $11 to $18-an-hour today if it kept pace over time with growth in prices, wages, and productivity. In poor states, like Alabama, it takes more than $10-an-hour today to cover basic expenses for one person and nearly $21-an-hour for one adult and one child. The gradual phase-in of a $15 federal minimum would be reasonable, even in states with lower costs. But it still keeps poor people poor.