Several members of the Republican field came out against raising the minimum wage during Tuesday night's debate, arguing that doing so could hurt jobs. (Only Ohio Gov. John Kasich was more positive about the idea of raising the $7.25 federal minimum wage, after he did so in his state.)
Ben Carson: "Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases."
Marco Rubio: "If I thought minimum wage would be the best way to help increase their pay, I would be all for it but it isn’t."
Donald Trump: "I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out, they have to work really hard and have to get into that upper stratum."
But most of the candidates, when they were starting out in the labor market, would have earned a higher minimum wage than people today.
The following chart shows the nominal minimum wage over time as well as the adjusted minimum wage in 2012 dollars, to make for an apples-to-apples comparison. Candidates are listed in the year they were 16 years old. Only Rubio and Ted Cruz would have earned less in inflation-adjusted terms.