The Last Liberal President

During a discussion on HuffPost Live, Noam Chomsky weighed in on the minimum wage debate, blaming neo-liberals for keeping talk of wage increases off the table until now.

“It’s a shame that it’s taken so long to even be a discussion,” Chomsky said. “As for support, we may recall the last major program for helping families at the level of survival was under Richard Nixon. In many respects Nixon was the last liberal president.”

Obama signed an executive order a few weeks ago raising the minimum wage of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour. The president hoped that his move would encourage more businesses to raise their hourly wages as well.

But even the new $10 hourly rate is less than what minimum pay would be if adjusted for inflation. In fact, a 2012 study suggested that wages should have increased to $21.72 an hour, keeping inflation in mind.

“In fact it’s a simple economic problem, it’s cutting back economic growth,” Chomsky said. “It means that ordinary people can barely consume, which of course cuts back economic growth.”

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