NewsNation | March 08, 2013
>>> welcome back. the ceo of one of the country's biggest retailers costco joining president obama calling for an increase in the minimum wage . costco 's ceo says instead of minimizing wages, it is profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivities, commitment and loyalty. he's backing a bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 . state of the union address , president made a call on congress to act.
>> let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty. and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.
>> but not all business leaders agree that it's a good idea. subway ceo fred deluca says it's a bad idea. joining me is co-founder and ceo of the u.s. women's chamber of commerce . thank you for joining us, margo.
>> thank you for having me, tamron.
>> in this world it's difficult to get a consensus on anything but seeing two ceos, costco and subway, so different in the opinions on this, we thought we'd bring in an independent voice and get your thoughts at least on the debate over minimum wage here. both sides of the case. first, let's look at the case of it will cause prices to increase for consumers. what proof of that exists?
>> well, tamron, i don't know that there is any proof of that. this is an argument over the years every time we tried to raise the man mum wage and we have done so we have not found that to be a fact. in fact, what we would see is increase in consumer spending which would be very beneficial for business owners.
>> speaker boehner right after the state of the union said when you raise the price of employment, guess what happens. you get less of it. at a time when the american people are asking when where's the jobs, why would we want to make it hader for small employers to hire people? is this the indication of the size of the company? we're talking about tremendously successful companies of costco and subway. is it a different dynamic looking at a smaller business?
>> i believe it is. and i can speak for firms that we represent and women-owned firms tend to take a living wage to begin with so this bill and raising the minimum wage would not impact them. in fact, it would level the playing field so when they go out to compete against those firm that is are not paying fairly, everybody will have the same grounds for payment and that would help them access contracts.
>> obviously, just by the numbers here, wanting to show people to remind them, yearly income at the minimum wage is about $15,000 a year. and i think a lot of people one point in time when they thought about a minimum wage jobs, they would think of teenagers but we know in this economy with so many people out of work so long and taking jobs to make ends meet, these are adults caring for their families and themselves and trying to make it on $15,000 a year, margot. that's absolutely right. it impacts two thirds of the minimum wage worker who is are women. and additionally, i think the key thing that people aren't thinking about is flip side is as a taxpayer. as a taxpayer, i'm now asked to subsidize the corporations not paying a living wage by providing government assistance programs and thinking in those terms, it would be good for everyone to pay a living wage so that these workers would be able to self sustain and put money back in to the pocketbooks and ultimately in to purchases within their communities.
>> margot, we greatly appreciate you joining us. the president mentioned many things in the institution and we see how soon the conversation heats up over the minimum wage . thank you.
>> thank you.