Senate Budget Committee Holds Economic Inequality Hearing

Would Minimum Wage Increase
Reduce Income Inequality?

Senator Patty MurrayOn April 1, 2014, the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing titled “Opportunity, Mobility and Inequality in Today’s Economy.”

Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) joined Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to open the hearing, noting that affordable housing programs were among her list of priorities.

Senator Murray said:

“…something happened to our economy over the last three decades or so. Instead of the rewards from hard work and innovation being shared broadly, those rewards began to flow overwhelmingly to those at the very top, while everyone else was left behind. But stagnant economic mobility and soaring inequality are not inevitable. We can expand opportunity to more Americans and ensure people have the tools they need to succeed.”

During the hearing, expert economists testified about the economic causes and effects of inequality. One area of disagreement was around whether raising the minimum wage would reduce income inequality or increase it to by stifling job growth.

Click here for the hearing testimony and webcast.