Because they’re only just a little less expensive than – ahh screw it, because computers.
Forty years ago, there was no expectation that fast-food or discount-retail jobs would provide a living wage, because these were not jobs that, in the main, adult heads of household did. Today, low-wage workers provide forty-six per cent of their family’s income. It is that change which is driving the demand for higher pay.
This needs a much more thoughtful solution than just “raise the minimum wage.” If you raise the minimum wage so that people can afford the standard of living, what stops the price of that standard of living from increasing? Nothing.