Local Economist Weighs in on Minimum Wage Raise Impact

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- One of President Obama's biggest issues he pushed tonight was raising the minimum wage.

He said he wants to raise the minimum wage to just more than $10 an hour for federal contract workers.

"The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by - let alone get ahead. And too many still aren't working at all," said President Obama.

"If he has some constitutional authority that I don't know about to raise over $10. What's to say he can't raise it by himself to $20 or $1 million an hour. I think Congress would have a lot to say about him even raising it a dollar without their input," said WKU Economics Professor Brian Strow.

The president would like to raise it for more than just federal contract workers.

Strow isn't convinced this will be good for tax payers.

"I can't buy his claim that it's a good value for tax payers. Clearly, tax payers will pay more for the same services they had before. So, we're going to give that bill to somebody else, nothing is in fact, free," said Strow.

He also said a minimum wage raise could hurt a specific demographic.

"The last time they raised the minimum wage we saw unemployment among teenagers spike quite dramatically. Unemployment among teenagers is still well into the double digits. So, unless he's really trying to alienate that constituency, I'm not sure why exactly he thinks this is going to be helpful for the economy generally," said Strow.

Obama said the raise for federal contract workers will happen in the coming weeks in the form of an executive order.

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