Video: Does a Higher Minimum Wage Help or Hurt Workers?

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Rocio Valerio, labor director for New York Communities for Change.

BRIC-TV

Rocio Valerio, labor director for New York Communities for Change.

“No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.”

Who said that: Karl Marx? Elizabeth Warren? No, President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, five years before the federal minimum wage became law as part of FDR’s New Deal.

In nearly eight decades since then, the federal minimum wage has risen in dollar terms, fallen in purchasing power, become a key cause for progressives who want to raise it and been depicted by opponents as a threat to workers and businesses.

New York State is on track to raise its minimum wage annually over the next five years. The question is what that will and won’t do — for good or ill — for local workers and their families.

BRIC-TV’s BKLive let me host the segment below where I explore those questions with Michelle Holder, a labor economist from John Jay College; Michael Seid, the managing director for MSA Worldwide and a board member of the International Franchise Association; and Rocio Valerio, labor director for New York Communities for Change.

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