obviate ˈäb-vē-ˌāt verb
1. do away with
2. prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening
The word obviate has appeared in 16 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Dec. 30 in the Editorial “Double the Federal Minimum Wage”:
Over the past five years, a wave of increases in state and local minimum-wage standards has pushed the average effective minimum wage in the United States to the highest level on record. The average worker must be paid at least $11.80 an hour — more after inflation than the last peak, in the 1960s, according to an analysis by the economist Ernie Tedeschi.
And even as wages have marched upward, job growth remains strong. The unemployment rate at the end of 2019 will be lower than the previous year for the 10th straight year.
The interventions by some state and local governments, however, do not obviate the need for federal action. To the contrary. Millions of workers are being left behind because 21 states still use the federal standard, $7.25 an hour, which has not risen since 2009 — the longest period without an increase since the introduction of a federal standard in the 1930s.