Watch: Robert Reich Proves Raising the Minimum Wage is a Win-Win
Berkeley economist Robert Reich put out a video that argues for raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. As always, the former labor secretary is right on point.
“Raising the minimum wage is only fair,” Reich explains, noting that if the minimum wage stuck with inflation, it would be $10.56 today.
It’s also good for the economy, Reich notes. 15,000 workers would get a wage increase, giving them more dollars to spend. Plus, it could benefit taxpayers in the process. “If workers aren’t getting paid enough to get out of poverty, the rest of us end up footing the bill, in terms of paying for Medicaid, housing and food stamps,” Reich said. “In other words, the rest of us make up for what their employers fail to do.”
Reich also debunks some conservative myths about minimum wages, including the absurd trope that it’ll force employers to cut or outsource jobs. But Reich notes that most jobs that pay at this level are “at the local, personal service sector.” He says any “small wage hikes will be passed on to customers.”
Another myth Reich explodes: That minimum wage owners are all teenage, part-time workers. The former labor secretary explains that nearly 90% of minimum wage workers are at least 20 years old, nearly half of them full-time workers, and nearly a quarter are parents.
Reich concludes, “Raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour. It’s good for low-wage workers. It’s good for the economy. And it’s the decent thing to do.”