President Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 by 2015 has garnered a fair amount of attention across the country and here in North Carolina, where the current minimum wage is tied to the federal amount of $7.25. The proposal came two weeks before the introduction of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 – which would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 – and has spurred a long-overdue national conversation about the role of the minimum wage in getting the economy back on track. There is broad recognition that while the intended purpose of the minimum wage is to serve as a protection of living standards, a raise would also drive up consumer demand by putting money into the pockets of working families, thereby helping employers grow and create new jobs.