$7.25 — Examining the Minimum Wage

The Hinckley Institute Radio Hour (Original Air Date: November 20, 2019) — As the Democratic-controlled Congress prepares to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package a sticking point in the negotiations is an amendment that would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. That would more than double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25, where it has sat since 2009. Progressive Caucus members such as Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are pushing hard for the amendment even as their Republican counterparts say that a raise to the minimum wage during an economic downturn is a non-starter. However, Democrats may still succeed in passing the amendment by a simple majority through the process of reconciliation. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University found that 61 percent of Americans would support such a move by Congress.

This week we air a pre-pandemic panel on if, when and how we should raise the minimum wage, as well as its benefits and risks to the economy. The panel includes Mark Knold, chief economist at the Utah Department of Workforce Services; Marshall Steinbaum, assistant professor of economics at the University of Utah; and Juliette Tennert, Director of Economic and Public Policy Research at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Moderating this week’s panel is Rep. Brian King, House Minority Leader in the Utah Legislature.

This forum was put on in partnership with the University of Utah’s Economics Department.

This forum was recorded on October 31, 2019.

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