Minimum Wage: Warren Buffet Shares Ideas, Concerns

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Billionaire businessman Warren Buffett thinks that in a perfect world, a $15 minimum wage would be a great thing for the economy.

He told CNBC on Monday, "If you could have a minimum wage of $15 and it didn't hurt anything else, I would love it."

But according to Buffet, "clearly that isn't the case."

Buffet has long felt strongly about the US government doing more to address income equality. However, he's concerned that a minimum wage hike to $15 per hour, as demanded by some low income workers, would do more harm than good.

Buffett did say he wouldn't argue against President Obama raising the minimum wage from its current $7.25 minimum to a more "modest" $10.10 per hour. This number is close to minimum wage hikes that are already occurring in some states. A moderate solution seems to be the most likely outcome at the national level.

The billionaire is no stranger to minimum wage, having shared that when he was a youngster he earned a mere $0.75 per hour in the 1950's.

Of course times have changed drastically since then. The standard of living was far less expensive during the 50's than it is today. While things have gotten more expensive in the United States, the minimum wage rate has been slow to catch up. This is putting one heck of a strain on working Americans, and making it impossible for many to survive without government aide.

Rather than focus solely on a minimum wage hike, Buffett thinks that it would be smart to raise the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Said Buffett, "I think you can accomplish way more through the earned income tax credit without negative effects."

Warren Buffett admits he is not moved to buy into either side of the minimum wage argument and what they say for certain a hike will do to the economy.

"People come out with these exact studies. They don't know. Usually you just get proponents of the two sides pulling out figures that substantiate their positions."

Buffett himself is simply arguing for a more sensible and less extreme solution.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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