Abolish the Minimum Wage Debate "Housekeeping" (05:45)
Moderator John Donvan discusses the implementation of the minimum wage and introduces the panelists.
For the Motion: Russell Roberts (06:28)
Hoover research fellow and former George Mason University economics professor Russell Roberts argues that minimum wage increases unemployment for unskilled workers.
Against the Motion: Jared Bernstein (06:31)
Jared Bernstein, former White House economics advisor, says minimum wage offsets the problem low-wage workers face due to globalization. Studies show the minimum wage doesn't increase unemployment.
For the Motion: Jared Dorn (07:08)
Jared Dorn of the Cato Institute cites a Neumark study showing that minimum wage destroys jobs. Over the short-run, it has little effect, but eventually employers turn to labor saving devices.
Against the Motion: Karen Kornbluh (06:22)
Former U.S. ambassador to the OECE, Karen Kornbluh says the low minimum wage leaves parents raising children in poverty. She cites Krueger and Card to show that the minimum wage does not cost jobs.
QA: Impact of Eliminating Minimum Wage (05:57)
Roberts favors phasing out minimum wage rather than immediate abolition. Bernstein says this makes abolishing reckless.
QA: Empirical Evidence on Employment Effects (07:22)
Roberts says studies show that minimum wage reduces employment. Bernstein admits to small declines in employment of low-wage workers resulting from the minimum wage.
QA: Logical Argument on Employment Effects (04:36)
Bernstein argues that there are logical alternatives to minimum wage. Roberts argues that empirical science is not suited to economic phenomena.
QA: Moral Argument on Minimum Wage (05:46)
Dorn argues that minimum wage costs workers their freedom to accept a low-wage job. Panelists argue the benefits of minimum wage versus its negative impact on a small number of people.
QA: Do Tuition Costs Make Minimum Wage Necessary? (02:43)
Roberts argues that government subsidies fuel tuition inflation. Kornbluh argues that decent wages are necessary for families to invest in children's human capital.
QA: Would a Living Wage Save Taxpayers Money? (05:17)
An audience member argues for a living wage, saying this would take the burden off taxpayers to care for the poor. Roberts and Bernstein discuss this claim.
QA: Is the Earned Income Tax Credit An Alternative to Minimum Wage? (01:49)
Kornbluh argues that people would rather earn their living from their job than from the government.
QA: Would Eliminating Minimum Wage Increase Poverty? (03:29)
Dorn argues that low-wage workers will rise economically if they have a job. He addresses a previous questioner's EITC argument, saying that lower wages mean lower subsidies.
QA: Does a Low Minimum Wage Have Major Effects? (02:20)
Roberts agrees that the effects of our current minimum wage are small quantitatively, but for those who can't find work, the effects are tragic.
QA: Is Minimum Wage Separable from Larger Ideological Debates (05:34)
Bernstein and Roberts argue the effects of minimum wage, low wage labor, and globalization.
Closing Statement Against: Jared Bernstein (03:01)
Bernstein states that 90% of low-income earners support the minimum wage. Research showing modest employment effects have persuaded The Economist magazine and others.
Closing Statement For: Russell Roberts (02:04)
Roberts states that the minimum wage increases Congress has imposed in American Samoa has destroyed crucial tuna canning jobs.
Closing Statement Against: Karen Kornbluh (01:43)
Kornbluh stats that many of those who would be hurt by eliminating the minimum wage are parents.
Closing Statement For: James Dorn (01:34)
Dorn tells anecdotes of people earning very low wages. To increase opportunities to enter the job market, abolish the minimum wage.
Abolish the Minimum Wage: Final Vote Results (01:28)
Pre-Debate - For: 21% - Against: 58% - Undecided: 21%
Post-Debate - For: 26% - Against: 67% - Undecided: 7%
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