GIVE 'EM A RAISE, BOB

REPUBLICANS MAY ABANDON DOLE AND AGREE TO RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE. IT'S O.K., SAY SOME ECONOMISTS

Since its inception in 1938--at two bits an hour--the minimum wage has been attacked by economists and capitalist zealots as a prime example of wrongheaded government meddling. Let the market set wages, they say, not Washington. Yet politicians, including at times none other than Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, have resisted that view. Dole argued in 1974 that "a living wage for a fair day's work is a hallmark of the American economic philosophy." Recently, however, the positions have flipped, with a rising number of economists arguing for a minimum-wage boost--and Dole holding fast against it.

He is about to be...

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