We’ll have what she’s having.
Appearing on CNN’s Crossfire, Congresswoman Barbara Lee advocated for raising the national minimum wage to $10.10/hour, arguing it would increase worker productivity and decrease turnover.
After discussing the national minimum wage, Newt Gingrich asked the Congresswoman whether she’d support an even higher hike than that.
Via The Daily Caller,
“Let me ask you this question, you’re a good advocate for this,” Gingrich asked Lee. “The mayor of Seattle is proposing that the minimum wage ought to go up to $15 an hour.”
“Good for him,” Lee responded. “In California — more than likely, from what I remembered — a living wage where people could live and take care of their families and move toward achieving the American dream was about $25, $26 an hour.”
“So would you support that as a minimum wage for California?” Gingrich asked.
“Absolutely I would support it for California. I think the regional factors –”
“And you don’t think that’d have an effect on unemployment?” Gingrich interrupted.
“No, Newt, trust me, believe you me,” Lee replied, “you’d have a more productive workforce, you’d have people who could afford to live in areas now where they cannot afford to live. You would increase diversity in certain communities where you don’t have diversity anymore. You would have economic parity and the income gap would begin to close.”
Gingrich pointed out that many countries in Europe — including economic powerhouse Germany — has no minimum wage, yet has tremendously-high economic productivity and relatively low unemployment. He pointed out the average European country with minimum wage laws had 13.8 percent unemployment. No wage law? Just 6.3 percent.
Lee tried to dismiss the comparison, claiming Europe “has a safety net” that America doesn’t possess. But Van Jones quickly moved to change the subject.
If a $26-an-hour minimum wage was instituted in California, employees working 40 hours per week and taking no vacations would earn over $54,000 each year.
Essentially, Lee thinks quadrupling the minimum wage is a panacea for everything from a perceived lack of diversity in certain neighborhoods, to lazy workers.
I’ll have what she’s having.
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