Monday, April 04, 2016

MINIMUM WAGE - Fight for $15

"Is a $15 minimum wage a boon or a risk for low-paid workers?" PBS NewsHour 4/1/2016


SUMMARY:  The fight for a $15 per hour minimum wage has won its biggest victories yet.  California lawmakers voted for a bill to raise the minimum by 2022, while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he reached a deal to hike the wage in New York City by the end of 2018.  Judy Woodruff examines the consequences with Douglas Holtz-Eakin of American Action Forum and David Cooper of the Economic Policy Institute.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  The fight for a $15-an-hour minimum wage just netted its biggest victories yet this week.

Yesterday, lawmakers in California voted for a bill that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2022.  On Monday, Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign it into law.

Last night, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he reached a budget deal hiking the minimum to $15 in New York City by the end of 2018.  Suburbs and other parts of the state would reach that level in 2021.  The combined moves could affect as many as 10 million workers.

But there are continuing questions about whether that level of wage might have unintended consequences.

We explore now that with two who watch this closely from different political lenses.  David Cooper is with the Economic Policy Institute, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin is with the American Action Forum.

And we welcome both of you to the program.

David Cooper, to you first.

You have been watching this issue for a long time, but this has come about pretty suddenly, hasn’t it?

DAVID COOPER, Economic Policy Institute:  It has.  I don’t think anyone expected both states to move so quickly like this.

Of course, there had been talk in New York of there being some sort of increase to $15.  Governor Cuomo talked about it a few weeks ago.  And there were these ballots measures moving in California.  So we expected there to be some action on the minimum wage in both states, but no one anticipated deals happening twice in one week.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Douglas Holtz-Eakin, I know you have been watching this from your own perspective.  What difference do you think this is going to make?  Some of this will take effect 2018, 2021, 2022.  But what do you see the tangible effects of this?

DOUGLAS HOLTZ-EAKIN, Former Congressional Budget Office Director:  Well, we know some of the tangible effects.

There are going to be some people who get a raise.  And that’s the good news part of this.  The bad news is, there is no new money to pay someone $15 an hour, and so the money has to come from somewhere.  And one of the places it will come from is from those people who would otherwise have gotten hired and won’t now.  Our estimates are that could be 700,000 people in California, something like 400,000 people in New York state.

And it seems odd to me that we would take money from someone who hasn’t gotten a job to give it to someone who has a job.  That’s a problem with the minimum wage.

No comments: