Brian Strow, a Western Kentucky University economics professor and a member of the Bluegrass Institute Board of Scholars, will join Institute president Jim Waters and host Bill Goodman on Kentucky Tonight, KET’s statewide television public-affairs program, Monday at 8 pm EDT to address the minimum wage.
Thomas More College economics professor Malcolm Robinson and Kentucky Center for Economic Policy director Jason Bailey will argue in favor of increasing the state’s minimum wage.
In an interview with Bowling Green’s WBKO-TV, Strow noted that forcing all employers to raise the minimum wage – as some in Washington and Frankfort have proposed doing – would economically harm a specific demographic: younger workers.
“The last time they raised the minimum wage we saw unemployment among teenagers spike quite dramatically,” he said. “Unemployment among teenagers is still well into the double digits.”
Increasing Kentucky’s minimum wage from its current $7.25 to $10.10 by July 1, 2016 was House Speaker Greg Stumbo’s top legislative priority during the 2014 General Assembly.
The Bluegrass Institute helped stop the politically divisive issue by giving citizens, business owners and policymakers maximum information on the negative impact that raising the minimum wage would have on Kentucky’s economy and the opportunities for younger, inexperienced workers who need fewer, not more, barriers into the workforce.