Bernie Sanders debates conservative economist over living wage laws

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 19:05 EDT
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Tuesday on CNN, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and conservative economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin debated the effects of raising the minimum wage.

President Barack Obama has called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 per hour. The minimum wage was last raised from $5.15 in 2007 to $7.25 in 2009.

Holtz-Eakin contended that raising the minimum wage would raise unemployment by discouraging employers from hiring more workers.

“Where would the money come from?” he wondered.

Sanders argued that it was wrong that massive companies like Wal-Mart were essentially receiving huge amounts of government welfare. Since Wal-Mart paid their employees a “starvation wage” with no benefits, they ended up on taxpayer-funded programs like Medicaid and food stamps.

“I’m proposing that the wealthiest family in this country, the Walton family that owns Wal-Mart, not be subsidized by the middle class in this country,” Sanders said. “They’ve got to start paying their workers a living wage, not starvation wages, provide health care to their workers, not enable them to go on Medicaid.”

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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