In this clip, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer takes FOX’s Stewart Varney to task for his opposition to raising the minimum wage to $15 and schools him on the benefits to the larger economy. Varney begins with his usual classist disparagement of the working poor, asking what McDonalds workers are doing to “deserve a doubling of their pay.” Hanauer instantly goes on the offensive, telling Varney “that’s not the relevant issue. How do you construct the economy to work for everyone? And the answer to that is to require giant profitable companies to pay their workers enough so that I don’t have to pay the taxes for the food stamps and Medicaid that they live on.”
Varney sticks to the FOX formula of blaming the poor for their poverty, implying that they’re lazy and not working hard enough to deserve the wage increase, which Hanauer strongly refutes: “They are working, they are working just as hard as you’re working. The simple facts are they work for rapacious companies who underpay them, and the only way that we can have an economy that works and functions at a high level is to require companies to pay their workers enough that they can get along!”
Hanauer then goes on to show how the example of Seattle proves that higher minimum wages lead to job creation, and that the taxes that he pays for his capital gains are far too low. It’s refreshing to see a billionaire capitalist take on FOX for their false, classist economic discrimination and to actively support responsible economic policies that benefit all Americans, not just the top 1%.
Watch it here:
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.