There are lessons here for both left and right.
First, this should show progressives that the government doesn't actually have to mandate a minimum wage hike for wages to go up. There are other, market-based ways to get wages to increase, like tightening labor markets.
For companies, raising wages is not an exercise in philanthropy. It's a business decision. They'll almost certainly make it up in higher retention and productivity. ...
... Whenever a problem arises that progressives want to fix with some heavy-handed government intervention, conservatives respond that the market will take care of it — and they're very often right. But here's the thing: "The market" is not a demigod who lives on the planet Neptune. The market is simply decisions made by individual human beings, and human beings can decide to do some things and not others.
The progressive demand for government intervention often arises from cultural failures, and cultural remedies do not spring up magically into existence. They have to be created. Sometimes conservatives risk adopting their own version of the left's materialistic Vulgar Marxism when they think of "the market" as an autonomous force that drives history and doesn't leave room for individuals to choose to drive it in one direction or another. As the economic historian Deirdre McCloskey and the philosopher Michael Novak have shown, a thriving free enterprise system rests on the exercise of virtues and not just the laws of supply and demand.
If we conservatives think the federally mandated minimum wage is a terrible policy (and it is), we shouldn't just explain why it is a terrible policy, and we shouldn't even just support alternatives like wage subsidies. We conservatives should also actively make the case to companies like Walmart that they should pay their employees more. Same thing with rethinking work-life balance and careers for women. It's striking that we almost never hear the expression "civic duty" anymore; the reason why the demand for regulation arises is because people are no longer expected to exercise private virtue.