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Deep Dive with Laura Arnold

Podcast: The Fight for $15: Are Minimum Wage Increases a Path Out of Poverty or a Jobs Killer?

It's a heated debate that's unfolding at the federal, state, and local levels. What is the appropriate minimum wage that employers must pay their workers in the United States? In this episode, we take a closer look at the "fight for $15" and whether mandatory wage increases are a benefit to workers or a jobs killer.

Image: Demonstrators rally for better wages outside a McDonald's restaurant in Chicago as part of a push by labor unions, worker advocacy groups, and Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25, which has been stagnant since 2009. (Paul Beaty/Associated Press file)

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The federal minimum wage has stayed at $7.25 an hour since 2009, although 29 states — both red and blue — have set their minimum wage higher. And two-thirds of Americans favor raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, saying it is essential to addressing inequality in the U.S. But those who oppose a wage increase argue it could actually hurt those it is meant to help. 

In the latest episode of “Deep Dive with Laura Arnold,” Laura sits down with two of the country's top experts on economic policy: Jacob Vigdor, a professor of public policy and governance at the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington, and Heather Boushey, President & CEO and Co-Founder of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Listen to their discussion about the winners and losers in the "fight for 15" and the implications of a higher federal minimum wage.

How to listen

Listen to the podcast in the player above or on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app.

About the host

Laura Arnold is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Arnold Ventures, founded in 2010, and an attorney and former oil company executive. Read more about her here.