he election season is upon us, and we're hearing the usual political promises about raising wages. Democrats pledge to raise the minimum wage and assure equal pay for equal work for men and women. Republicans usually oppose those things, but their explanations are typically lame. Some even endorse raising the minimum wage because they think opposition will cost them elections. When supporters of the free market declare their opposition to minimum-wage or equal-pay-for-equal-work legislation, writes Sheldon Richman, they must at the same time emphasize that the reigning corporate state compromises the market process in fundamental ways, usually to the detriment of workers.