MINIMUM WAGE….Via Max, here’s a letter signed by 562 economists arguing for a small increase in the minimum wage.

We believe that a modest increase in the minimum wage would improve the well-being of low-wage workers and would not have the adverse effects that critics have claimed. In particular, we share the view the Council of Economic Advisers expressed in the 1999 Economic Report of the President that ?the weight of the evidence suggests that modest increases in the minimum wage have had very little or no effect on employment.? While controversy about the precise employment effects of the minimum wage continues, research has shown that most of the beneficiaries are adults, most are female, and the vast majority are members of low-income working families.

I’m not an economist, but you can put me down as #563 anyway. Raising the minimum wage isn’t the only way to help the working poor, but a modest increase would clearly do some good and would do it with very few adverse effects. The equivalent of an $8 minimum wage sure didn’t hurt the economy in the 50s and 60s.

Needless to say, John Kerry supports a modest increase in the minimum wage (from $5.15 to $7 over the next three years). George Bush and the Republican party don’t. That tells you all you need to know about which party values work and family and which one doesn’t.