The biggest obstacle to raising the minimum wage to something a person could actually live off of is public perception. Corporations have been personified while their employees have been dehumanized. Public perception is that raising the minimum wage would hurt the business and nobody seems to care about the people getting hurt by the businesses. This is very much intentional.
People complain about fast food workers wanting more money by saying they should buckle down and work harder and maybe they could get a better job, disregarding the fact that many college graduates are forced to take these jobs. They claim that minimum wage workers shouldn't make more money because it wouldn't be fair to those who already make more money, completely ignoring the fact that they, too, are under-paid. The "us vs. them" mentality is pounded into our psyches by the conservative media with their slanted reports that paint low wage workers as lower life forms unworthy of more.
What the media fails to point is that the public is subsidizing these corporations to allow those low wages to continue. When a person earns minimum wage for a 40 hour work week, that person qualifies for food stamps and other forms of government assistance. In fact, they require the welfare just to survive. That means the general public is being exploited by these companies as well as their own work-force. Being that the anti-minimum wage crowd also tends to be anti-welfare they should not be okay with this blatant welfare abuse, but most people just parrot what their preferred media source is telling them to think.
The most common bit of misinformation is that raising the minimum wage causes inflation. If one cares to look, they will notice that inflation has been skyrocketing without any minimum wage increases, though the top-earners have been consistently doubling and tripling their incomes. Of course, if allowed, the corporations will push the costs of paying fair wages off on the public. That should not be allowed, make them take a hit to their bottom line. It won’t hurt them, not at all.
Most corporations that rely on minimum wage workers CAN afford to pay them a living wage with only taking a minimum hit to their overall profits. The profits that would SLIGHTLY decline are not a person’s profits, they are a non-living, non-sentient entity’s profits. People are more important than non-living, non-sentient entities, or at least they should be.
The truth is simple, if a company really can’t afford to pay its employees a living wage then it doesn't deserve to exist.