Should the minimum wage be raised?

Two economists lay out their arguments for why pay should or should not be raised for low-wage workers.

  • Jared Bernstein

    Economist at the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities
    and economic adviser to Vice President Biden

  • The 'simple textbook prediction' that raising wages
    results in job loss has been proven wrong and too
    simplistic. There are various ways in which the higher wages
    are offset that don't include losing jobs, including
    redistributing profits and adapting prices

  • Even if employers give workers fewer hours,
    workers' hourly wages would be higher so they
    could still come away with higher earnings

  • An increase is not a luxury or 'beer money' anymore.
    There are too many people who depend on a low-wage
    job to meet their family budget that this increase
    is needed, not wanted

  • Kevin Hassett

    Economist at the American Enterprise Institute and
    former advisor to John McCain & Mitt Romney

  • Lifting the minimum wage would result in job loss.
    A bunch of workers would get bigger checks while
    a bunch of workers would have to lose their jobs

  • Subsidies, like the Earned Income Tax Credit,
    would give low-wage earners more take-home pay.
    But the subsidies make it so taxpayers share the burden
    of supporting workers, rather than the workers who
    lose their jobs due to wage increases

  • Many people who have little experience get their start
    at places like fast food restaurants. But if wages are
    higher, employers are less likely to take a chance on people
    with less experience because it's a big investment. Fewer
    people would get a shot at proving themselves

Infographic: Emily Fox and Dominic Aratari

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