header image
Home Page
Hear Past Shows
About Us
June 18, 2018

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Photo by: Sonia J. Stamm
Minimum Wage
Last Featured: 4/21/2003

Listen to Full Program
(Windows Media Player Required)

Download the MP3
(Right-click and choose 'Save As...'
from the pop-up menu.)

Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

The last time the federal government raised the minimum wage was in 1997, when it jumped from $4.75 to $5.15 per hour. Today, even a small family in which both parents work full-time minimum wage jobs will live below the poverty line. Despite mounting pressure, Congress recently turned back a proposal to raise the minimum wage and activists have turned their efforts to “living wage laws” that boost the local minimum wage. The business community argues that raising the wage now, during an economic slowdown, would hurt workers more than it would help causing businesses to scale back the very jobs these workers need.

Richard Berman is the Executive Director of the Employment Policies Institute, a non-profit research organization dedicated to studying public policy issues surrounding employment growth. Having led government relations efforts for both the Pillsbury Restaurant Group and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Berman has frequently testified before Congress and state legislatures on minimum wage issues and has organized national business coalitions on a variety of issues. Berman has also served as Chairman of the Committee for Continuing Education for the Labor Law Section of the Federal Bar Association.

Holly Sklar is a writer whose columns on economic, social and political issues for the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service have appeared in hundreds of newspapers. She is the coauthor of "Raise The Floor: Wages and Policies That Work For All Of Us," a myth-busting book that shows how a higher minimum wage is good for workers, business and society. Sklar’s other books include "Chaos or Community? Seeking Solutions, Not Scapegoats for Bad Economics" and "Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood," a widely taught story of how the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative is rebuilding a long impoverished Boston community as a dynamic urban village.

Closing Quote
"Let your secret sympathies and your compassion be always with the underdog in the fight – this is magnanimity; but bet on the other one – this is business."

— Mark Twain

©1999-2018 University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved. Any Justice Talking program downloaded or podcast from this site is for personal use only. Any Justice Talking program, or portion of it, may not reproduced, publicly distributed or displayed, used to create a derivative work, or otherwise copied or transmitted to a third party, in any format now known or hereafter discovered, except as expressly permitted by Law.

To request permission to use Justice Talking audio, please contact support.
Join the Debate
NOTE: Justice Talking Blogs and Forums have been closed.
Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2003
U.S. Department of Labor
Employment Policies Institute
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
United for a Fair Economy: Living Wage Report
National Center for Policy Analysis
Raise the Floor
Responsible Wealth
ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now): Living Wage Campaign
Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
by Barbara Ehrenreich
Raise the Floor: Wages and Policies That Work for All of Us
by Holly Sklar, et al
The Politics of the Minimum Wage
by Jerold L. Waltman
The US Economy
Fixing the Mortgage Mess
Can We End Homelessness in 10 Years?