Last night hundreds of students, business owners and engaged citizens gathered at the University of Washington campus in Seattle to learn more about the arguments for and arguments against increasing the minimum wage.
The WPC-sponsored event, “The Minimum Wage Debate,” was moderated by award-winning political journalist Robert Mak and included pro and con panels comprised of economists, lawmakers, policy analysts and a Seattle small business owner. The panelists discussed the impacts of minimum wage hikes at the local, state and national level.
Reflecting how emotionally charged the topic of minimum wage is right now, the spirited debate at times evoked rounds of applause, laughter, heckling and booing from the audience as the pro and con panels responded to questions and made their case. The panel in support of a higher minimum wage argued an increase would not result in a loss of any jobs, would stimulate the economy and would lift working families out of poverty. The opposing panel countered that an increase would not be free; it would be paid by employers and would result in higher prices and fewer jobs, especially for the lowest skilled workers who typically earn the minimum wage.
In all, attendees received valuable information on both sides of the issue that will help them be informed as the minimum wage debate continues. You can read about the debate in an article published in The Daily , University of Washington’s campus newspaper.
WPC is hosting another minimum wage debate  at Gonzaga University in Spokane this evening.