<\body> Stories in America: Hundreds of Economists Call for Minimum Wage Increase

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hundreds of Economists Call for Minimum Wage Increase

I recently did a story about the minimum wage increase in California for NPR's News & Notes. Listen here.

Here's a story from Reuters:
Hundreds of leading economists urged Congress on Wednesday to boost the U.S. minimum wage, which has been stuck at $5.15 an hour for a decade.

The group recommended a $1 to $2.50 hourly increase and argued that future boosts should be indexed to inflation to protect workers purchasing power from rising prices.

Dismissing the argument that better pay would burden employers and stifle job creation, these experts said a higher minimum wage was necessary to ensure a decent standard of living for low-income Americans.

"We believe a modest increase in the minimum wage would improve the well-being of low-wage workers and would not have the adverse effects that critics have claimed," the group including renowned academics for top U.S. universities said in a statement disseminated by the Economic Policy Institute.


At 10/11/2006 3:55 PM, Blogger Jack Boo said...

Um, just so you won't be surprised in the future...a little heads-up:

When a liberal think tank, like the Economic Policy Institute, collects and issues opinions, there's an awfully good chance those statements will reflect liberal policies.

A nice companion piece to the PBS piece you linked would be do a seach for "Milton Friedman," (nobel laureate in economics) and learn a little something about supply and demand.

At 10/17/2006 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It works both ways Jack. When the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute and Hoover Institute deliver an opinion on just about anything it's a safe bet it will be along conservative ideological lines. It seems that think tanks, right or left, are not much more than ways of giving propaganda some kind of academic/intellectual credibility. Sheesh, and here I am working a real job for a living! I should become a conservative intellectual, get hired by a think tank and never will I have to do an honest days work again.

John Chuckman, a columnist for Yellow Times.org, reportedly called think tanks "phony institutes where ideologue~propagandists pose as academics ... [into which] money gushes like blood from opened arteries to support meaningless advertising's suffocation of genuine debate".

sourcewatch.org says that 'Think tanks are funded primarily by large businesses and major foundations. They devise and promote policies that shape the lives of everyday Americans: Social Security privatization, tax and investment laws, regulation of everything from oil to the Internet. They supply experts to testify on Capitol Hill, write articles for the op-ed pages of newspapers, and appear as TV commentators. They advise presidential aspirants and lead orientation seminars to train incoming members of Congress.

Think tanks have a decided political leaning. There are twice as many conservative think tanks as liberal ones, and the conservative ones generally have more money. This is no accident, as one of the important functions of think tanks is to provide a backdoor way for wealthy business interests to promote their ideas or to support economic and sociological research not taking place elsewhere that they feel may turn out in their favor.'

oh and one more thing, Jack. If market laws of supply and demand were the only factors and the government stayed out of it (like not having or raising minimum wage) the US would still have children working in coal mines, the 8-hour workday would still be a dream and eventually we'd look like a lot of countries around the world with a small ruling class of incredibly wealthy elite, a huge massive population barely surviving and a weak middle class that can barely hold their own.


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