As to whether an increase in the minimum wage helps those who need it, consider this fact: 39 percent of white teens find summer jobs, while only 19 percent of black teens do, according to Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies. That 20 percent gap could have multiple causes, but one contributing factor is surely that financially weaker businesses in inner cities can’t afford to pay the minimum wage.

A cynic, according to Oscar Wilde’s Lord Darlington, is a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. In the debate over the minimum wage, it’s the economists who think price is everything, and values are nothing.