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Raising the Minimum Wage for Working Men and Women in California and the Rest of America

Raising the Minimum Wage: A Different Approach to the Jobs Problem

Ron Unz, Heidi Shierholz, Christine Owens, and Nick Hanauer

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Today, roughly four million Americans earn wages at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. For a family of four, this wage falls beneath the poverty line. As President Obama recently stated in his State of the Union Address, “in the wealthiest nation on earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.” However, the problem of working people living in poverty continues to grow. Low wage jobs have made up the majority of new jobs coming out of the recession and are projected to comprise a substantial share of the jobs that will be created in the coming decade. Given that the wage floor has far-reaching effects on the economy, meaningful consideration of its impact on workers, consumer spending, income inequality and other issues is vital. This event will feature a successful business leader and philanthropist, a leading conservative voice, a workers’ rights advocate, and a prominent researcher discussing how raising the minimum wage could contribute to addressing our jobs challenge. The event is the first discussion in an Aspen Institute series titled Working in America, which will focus on ideas and policies to improve opportunities for American workers.

• Category: National • Tags: Christine Owens, Heidi Shierholz, Nick Hanauer, Ron Unz