Local economists gathered Tuesday at Portland State University to express support for a $15 minimum wage for Oregon and nationally.
Speakers included professors Mary King and Robin Hahnel from PSU, and Martin Hart-Landsberg from Lewis and Clark. The three are part of a larger group of more than 200 economists across the country, 10 of whom live and work in Oregon, who signed a letter in support of Bernie Sanders’ proposal to raise the minimum wage nationally to $15.
The local economists gave several reasons why a $15 minimum wage would not only be economically viable, but necessary.
As Professor King explained: “a substantial increase in the minimum wage begins to counter the terrible growth of economic inequality…”
At the press conference, the three economists expressed their support for the 2016 ballot initiative to raise Oregon’s minimum wage to $15 over three years. The endorsement is significant because during the last legislative session bills to raise the minimum wage ranged in number from $10.75 per hour up to $15 per hour. But these local economists all agree: Oregon shouldn’t settle for less than $15.