Raising the minimum wage: What 16 business owners and economists think 

The global pandemic and subsequent recession have brought many companies to the brink. At the same time, the fortunes of the 1% continue to rise, widening the racial and gender wealth gaps. 

Depending on which side of the issue you’re on, it’s either the most crucial or the most fraught moment ever to address a long-simmering debate: What’s a livable wage? And how responsible are employers for paying one? 

The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour hasn’t budged since 2009—the longest the U.S. has delayed an increase since the inception of the minimum wage in 1938. And while a hotly contested $15 national wage did not wind up in the latest stimulus package, the issue isn’t going away; President Biden will likely pursue it later in his term. 

Inc. collected the thoughts of 16 leaders, company founders, and labor experts and economists to weigh in on the pros and cons of pushing the federal minimum wage up to $15. 

Their responses varied, from some who support raising the minimum wage to keep workers from having to turn to government aid programs to one respondent who favors allowing the market to dictate wages and then expanding programs to cover workers earning too little. See the opinions here.