Meet the Press host David Gregory allowed former HP CEO Carly Fiorina repeat the lie that raising the minimum wage would harm the very workers that it would help lift of poverty at this week's Clinton Global Initiative forum.
June 30, 2014

My first question when I saw that Carly There's No Given American Jobs Fiorina was a member of the panel at Bill Clinton's forum earlier this week was, why in the hell was this woman invited for a seat at the table? It seems there's no amount of failure by anyone on the right that's going to keep you from being invited to one of these types of events, or for the Villagers in our corporate media to quit inviting you on their shows.

So what the audience was treated to by Fiorina was what amounted to the daily talking points we hear over at Faux "news" where they pretend that raising the minimum wage is going to harm the very workers that raising that wage might help lift out of poverty.

Par for the course, David Gregory was about as useful as a potted plant, but Fiorina did get some push back from Bill Clinton. I'd feel a lot better about what he said to her if it were a bit less tepid and if he wasn't the one that allowed her a seat at the table to spew her lies in the first place.

GREGORY: So we don't have a widespread, Carly Fiorina agreement about and certainly there's disagreement about whether the government should raise the minimum wage. But is it not a widely held view that anybody working hard should be able to take care of their family, should have adequate child care, so that they don't risk their job by taking care of a sick child and so forth? Do we have to have a livable wage in America?

FIORINA: Of course, and the philosophy that Monty described is actually the same philosophy that holds at McDonalds and Burger King and some other great American companies. I think there's no question that if you're making minimum wage you think you want to make more.

On the other hand, the sad truth is that raising the minimum wage will hurt those who are looking for entry-level jobs. It hurts women who are frequently last hired and first fired. It hurts African American youth who have very high unemployment rates. So the question is are we creating an economy where people have the opportunity to get a job and rise? And I think the data is pretty clear, there's way too much crony capitalism in our economy today which helps big business, and by the way, let me just say, both parties have participated in this.


FIORINA: And not enough Main Street entrepreneurialism which creates these jobs and which this initiative celebrates.

GREGORY: Let me just get some different perspectives on the minimum wage Mr. President.

CLINTON: Yeah, you could have it so high that it would discourage employment, but you know, when we raised it when I was president, the minimum wage in real dollars terms was at a forty year low and the labor markets were tight and it wasn't oppressive and it contributed to economic growth because you had more people working. They had more spending money. They circulated it at the bottom of the pyramid and I think it added to employment.

I think there's a lot of data on this now that indicates that if you get a minimum wage much above the median, much above fifty percent of the median wage, then it could have a depressing impact on employment and if it's at fifty percent of the median or a little less, it probably won't. And that's all the research I've been able to find and I've spent a lot of time thinking about this. So I think it should be raised because I don't think that-- and I think all consumers should be prepared to pay for it because I think if somebody works full time and they have kids, they ought to be able to raise their kids without being in poverty. It just depends on how high it is on whether it's a depressant on employment.


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