Economist to Moyers: Minimum wage hike would benefit millions

From Raw Story:

By David Ferguson
Friday, February 22, 2013

On this week’s edition of “Moyers and Co.,” host Bill Moyers spoke with economist Richard Wolff about the U.S. minimum wage, and how raising it would not just benefit workers at the bottom end of the economic spectrum, but rather the entire economy.

Moyers opened the segment by saying that even if the country increases the minimum wage to the $9 per hour proposed by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union speech, workers will still be worse off than their counterparts were fifty years ago.

Wolff agreed, “The peak for the minimum wage in terms of its purchasing power,” he said, “was 1968. It’s basically been declining, with a couple of ups and downs, ever since.”

“So, you’ve taken the people who work at the bottom, full time job,” he continued, “and you’ve made their economic condition worse over a 50 year period while wealth has accumulated at the top. What kind of a society does this?”

“Who decided that workers at the bottom should fall behind?” Moyers asked.

“Well, in the end,” said Wolff, “it’s the society as a whole that tolerates it. But, it’s Congress’ decision and Congress’ power to raise the minimum wage.”

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