One unspoken objection to raising the minimum wage is that people,
other people, those people, will get paid a little more. Which
might make getting ahead a little harder. When we raise the
bottom, this thinking goes, it gets harder to move to the top.
After a company in Seattle famously raised its lowest wage tier
to $70,000, two people (who got paid more than most of the other
workers) quit, because they felt it wasn’t fair that people who
weren’t as productive as they were were going to get a raise.
They quit a good job, a job they liked, because other people got
This is our culture of ‘getting ahead’ talking.
This is the thinking that, “First class isn’t better because of
the seats, it’s better because it’s not coach.” (Several airlines
have tried to launch all-first-class seating, and all of them have