Last week, Michigan became the latest of a handful of states to officially raise its minimum wage this year, with a gradual four-year phase-in that will take its floor from $7.40 up to $9.25 an hour — but over in the city of Seattle, things just got real. Say hello to what will soon become the highest minimum wage in the nation, via the AP:

The issue has dominated politics in the liberal municipality for months. Mayor Ed Murray, who was elected last year, had promised in his campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. A newly elected socialist City Council member had pushed the idea as well.

“This legislation sends a message heard around the world: Seattle wants to stop the race to the bottom in wages and that we deplore the growth in income inequality and the widening gap between the rich and the poor,” Councilmember Tom Rasmussen said.

The measure, which would take effect on April 1, 2015, includes a phase-in of the wage increase over several years, with a slower process for small businesses. The plan gives businesses with more than 500 employees nationally at least three years to phase in the increase. Those providing health insurance will have four years to complete the move. Smaller organizations will be given seven years.

The plan includes a phase-in of the wage increase over several years, with a slower process for small businesses. The plan gives businesses with more than 500 employees nationally at least three years to phase in the increase. Those providing health insurance will have four years to complete the move. Smaller organizations will be given seven years.

Well. Their purported goal might be to “stop the race the bottom” when it comes to income inequality, but what they’re really doing is hastening it, as Seattle may soon see. The full phase-in is going to be gradual (which I really don’t understand, by the way, if part of these progressives’ sincere theory is that these companies have this money in profits and executive pay to throw around anyway), but most businesses will have to hike their minimum wages from the already highest-in-the-nation $9.32 to $11/hour by next year. Seattle’s is going to become the highest minimum wage by a long shot, even if national Democrats somehow do end up getting the arbitrary, job-killing, and ludicrously one-size-does-NOT-fit-all minimum wage of “$10.10” on which many of them are sure to campaign.