Intelligence Squared US Debates
Intelligence Squared US: Abolish the minimum wage
Airs Sunday, July 14 at 6 p.m. The first attempt at establishing a national minimum wage, a part of 1933’s sweeping National Industrial Recovery Act, was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1935. But in 1938, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law a minimum hourly wage of 25 cents—$4.07 in today’s dollars. Three-quarters of a century later, we are still debating the merits of this cornerstone of the New Deal. Do we need government to ensure a decent paycheck, or would low-wage workers and the economy be better off without its intervention? Arguing for the motion are James A. Dorn from the Cato Institute and Russell Roberts, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and arguing against the motion are Jared Bernstein, Former Chief Economist to Vice President Joe Biden and Karen Kornbluh, a Former US Ambassador, who is now with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.