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In: Restoring the Middle Class through Wage Policy


  • Oren M. Levin-Waldman

    (Metropolitan College of New York)


The focus of the minimum wage is too narrow. The minimum wage population is larger than those who earn the statutory minimum; it encompasses the larger low-wage sector. By focusing on only a small segment of the labor force, the minimum wage has been relegated to a debate revolving around Youth disemployment effects youth disemployment effects versus anti-poverty benefits. A policy that is seen as another Anti-poverty measure anti-poverty measure cannot elicit broad political support the way a policy couched as generally for the benefit of the middle class. The minimum wage is a middle-class issue, and there are indeed positive welfare effects for the middle class. Only when we broaden our focus to understand not only what it symbolizes but its potential welfare effects for the middle class can we understand why it is such a contentious issue politically.

Suggested Citation

  • Oren M. Levin-Waldman, 2018. "Introduction," Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity, in: Restoring the Middle Class through Wage Policy, chapter 0, pages 1-22, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:bifchp:978-3-319-74448-3_1
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-74448-3_1

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