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Broadening The Discussion: Is Raising The Minimum Wage A Good Idea?

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Hundreds of thousands of American workers are paid the minimum wage.  It’s $7.25 nationally and $7.35 in St. Louis.  While the perception may be that minimum and low wage jobs are mostly held by teens, the vast majority, 75 percent, are adults over the age of 20.

Recent local news reports have highlighted protests by minimum wage earners.  They are demanding that their pay be nearly doubled.  The campaign is called “St. Louis Can’t Survive on $7.35.”

Host Don Marsh talked with Martin Rafanan, a Lutheran minister, activist and director of the St. Louis Can’t Survive on $7.35 campaign.  Angela Harrison, a local 33-year-old McDonald’s employee who makes $7.75 an hour also joined the program to talk about the challenges she faces with making just above the minimum wage.

In the second half of the program Jack Strauss, Director of the Simon Center for Regional Forecasting at Saint Louis University, and Patrick Ishmael, Policy Analyst at the Show Me Institute, joined Marsh to talk about the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage.

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years. From 1988-2014 she also taught an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. Mary was inducted into the St. Louis Media History Foundation Media Hall of Fame in April, 2017 and received the Gateway Media Literacy Partners' Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award in 2012. Mary retired from St. Louis Public Radio in 2018, but still serves the station as a St. Louis Symphony Producer.
Don Marsh served as host of St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air" from 2005 to 2019, bringing discussions of significant topics to listeners' ears at noon Monday through Friday. Don has been an active journalist for 58 years in print, radio and television. He has won 12 Regional Emmy Awards for writing, reporting, and producing. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame in 2013, and named “Media Person of the Year” by the St. Louis Press Club in 2015. He has published three books: his most recent, “Coming of Age, Liver Spots and All: A Humorous Look at the Wonders of Getting Old,” “Flash Frames: Journey of a Journeyman Journalist” and “How to be Rude (Politely).” He holds an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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