Economists often judge the appropriateness of a minimum wage by comparing it with the local median wage—the theory being that, in cities with higher pay across the board, a higher minimum will be less of a burden….In New York City, $15 in 2018 would still amount to more than 60 percent of the metro area’s median wage, which is high. In cities like Buffalo and Binghamton, $15 by 2021 would be worth more than 70 percent of the area median, which is extremely high.
One of the disingenuous debate tactics you see when people discuss the minimum wage is to suggest “why not a million dollars an hour?” as if proposed minimum wage levels are just pulled out of air based on what feels good. Levels like 10.10 and 12.60 are based on looking at median wages as well as other factors in the market. When you do the math, $15 is too high. Unless the goal is to cap the size of fast food chains at 30 locations.