On Wednesday, the House voted to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour.

The bill also extends for the first time the federal minimum wage to the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands. However, it exempts American Samoa, another Pacific island territory that would become the only U.S. territory not subject to federal minimum-wage laws.

One of the biggest opponents of the federal minimum wage in Samoa is StarKist Tuna, which owns one of the two packing plants that together employ more than 5,000 Samoans, or nearly 75 percent of the island’s work force. StarKist’s parent company, Del Monte Corp., has headquarters in San Francisco, which is represented by Mrs. Pelosi.


UPDATE: Lance emails:

When I was reading the story on American Samoa, it occurred to me that the irony is that if the minimum wage makes sense, it is precisely in those cases where an isolated market dominated by one or two employers in the same industry leads to wages being held down and where the resulting higher profits are not reinvested in that isolated local economy. American Samoa is a case study. 75% of the local workforce!

Anyway, here was my take.

Good point. [LATER: It said “Lance Frizzell” before, but that was my mistake — I suffered from a blogger-confusion brain-burp and got my blogging Lances mixed up.]