JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour): We turn now to the continuing debate about how to fix this country’s economic problems. Some say we need to reduce income inequality, while others emphasize a need to create more growth and opportunity to climb up the ladder.
Our economics correspondent, Paul Solman, has been running into variations on those themes throughout his recent reporting on the battle over raising the minimum wage.
Tonight, he gets a different take on that debate, what you might call top-down economics vs. middle-out. It’s part of his ongoing reporting on Making Sense of financial news.
PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour): In Seattle this spring, a win for advocates of a $15-an-hour-minimum wage, nearly double the federal minimum, as the city council voted unanimously in June to phase in $15 over several years.
Leading the charge were socialist activists, labor unions, and one most unusual suspect, billionaire venture capitalist Nick Hanauer.
"Why capitalism has nothing to do with supply and demand" by Nick Hanauer, PBS NewsHour 7/28/2014
But as Hanauer has argued in a popular 2012 TED Talk, and most recently in a Politico Magazine essay, addressing income inequality, through measures like a higher minimum wage, is not simply a moral issue; it’s an economic issue because prosperity originates from having a strong middle class.