“No one in America should be working 40 hours a week and living below the poverty level–no one.” So said Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday at a roundtable discussion about the minimum wage with Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Biden continued by asserting that the middle class is “being clobbered,” and added that a minimum wage increase would constitute a pillar of a stronger economy, and the “bare minimum that we should be doing to re-establish economic growth in this country.”
Garcetti, who has championed the idea of hiking the city’s minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017, responded by claiming the city’s citizens simply are short of cash to help local growth, the Times reports. He said the city was “where too many people can’t live the American dream of working hard, keeping a job and supporting their families.” He applauded his own proposal, saying, “We have a measured approach that is bold. It is specific.” Biden echoed the mayor that hiking the minimum wage would create jobs and raise aggregate capital available in Los Angeles by $1.8 billion.
Some City Council members have suggested that the city analyze Garceti’s proposal to see if it would reach $15.25 by 2019.
Biden said the idea that the minimum wage hurts low-income workers “just belies the facts.”
Biden, proudly referring to himself as Middle Class Joe, boasted, “In Washington, that is not meant as a compliment.” He explained that he speaks of the middle class because “when the middle class does well, the wealthy do very well, and the poor have a shot.”
Biden complained that Barack Obama’s plan to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10 has been stuck in Congress. His own take was that hiking the minimum wage accelerates economic growth and creates them, so it would be good business, additionally generating loyalty, cutting turnover and increasing productivity.
Other attendees at the L.A. Baking Co. discussion, according to the Times, included L.A. Councilmen Herb Wesson and Gil Cedillo, Congressman Xavier Becerra, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congresswoman Janice Hahn, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.