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Is A $15 Minimum Wage Sustainable?15:19
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Activists cheered in July after the New York Wage Board endorsed a proposal to set a $15 minimum wage for workers at fast-food restaurants with 30 or more locations in New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
Activists cheered in July after the New York Wage Board endorsed a proposal to set a $15 minimum wage for workers at fast-food restaurants with 30 or more locations in New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
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According to a report released earlier this year by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, there is no state in the U.S. where a full-time, minimum-wage worker can afford to rent a one bedroom apartment for less than 30 percent of his paycheck.

In fact, in Massachusetts, you'd have to work 87 hours per week at minimum wage to realistically afford a one bedroom.

Politicians have thrown out minimum wage numbers from $10.10 to $122 to $15, but where do those numbers come from? Is there a tipping point for our economy, at which raising the minimum wage does more harm than good?

Guests

Arindrajit Dube, associate professor of economics at UMass Amherst. He tweets @ArinDube.

Robert Pollin, professor of economics at the UMass Amherst and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, which tweets @PERIatUMass.

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Bloomberg: Is A $15 Minimum Wage Too High?

  • "Those who argue for a high federal floor say that $15 won’t cost many jobs even in low-wage parts of the country because minimum-wage workers are productive enough to justify much higher pay. The letter signed by more than 200 economists supporting Sanders’s $15 an hour says the federal minimum would be $26 an hour if it had risen with labor productivity since 1968."

This segment aired on December 15, 2015.

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