Limbaugh used to talk about this. He’d say something like When they’re going to pass a federal minimum wage how do they set it? And why have not states set their own? And he’d have a point. A minimum wage of $8 per hour is probably pretty good in Pueblo de Un Caballo, New Mexico. In Manhattan, NYC you’d have to live somewhere in the Jersey Pine Barrens to have an affordable rent and would have a two-day commute each day.
The issue is nicely addressed in The National Elevator Plan. The Universal Service Fee addressed in the post has long aggravated me. I even wrote to my senator, Mary Landrieu at the time (actually I wrote to her, John Breaux, and William Jefferson; Landrieu was the only one who cared enough to give me a response) about it. I wanted to know how it was that the FCC could just plop a tax on my phone bill when it was in the Constitution in plain English that all taxes had to originate in the House of Representatives. She responded that the courts had ruled that the Universal Service Fee was a fee, not a tax, and therefore wasn’t covered by the Origination Clause.
I also did a little arithmetic, multiplying the fee on my bill by 12, to get a yearly figure, and then by 200 million, figuring that was a good round number for the number of phone lines in the country. Came up with a pretty big number. All from a fund that was supposed to help provide the Internet to libraries. Plenty in the fund to do it. Also for the libraries in, say, Estonia, and Latvia, and probably India and China, too.