To many, raising the minimum wage seems like a no-brainer. If the poorest workers can simply make more money per hour, they’ll be lifted out of poverty, right?
But would supporters change their minds if drastic wage hikes resulted in some nasty unintended consequences, both for the poor and for others?
California’s governor Jerry Brown signed a bill raising the state’s wage to $15 an hour, despite admitting that, from an economic standpoint, such a hike “may not make sense.” Fifteen dollars an hour is a wage that Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have each advocated for as a federal minimum, even though a CBO report estimated that even President Obama’s more modest proposed hike to $10.10 an hour would result in about 500,000 American jobs lost.
Reason TV visited Los Angeles’ hipster enclave of Silver Lake to find out how high residents would like to see the minimum wage go and to discuss some of the possible outcomes of a wage hike on the local economy.
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Approximately 7 minutes. Interviews by Justin Monticello. Produced by Zach Weissmueller and Justin Monticello. Edited by Weissmueller. Additional graphics by Josh Swain. Music by Wood Spider, Kevin MacLeod, and Jimmy Fontanez.