Feedback: Should Minimum Wage Be Raised?

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New York is one of a handful of states pushing to raise the minimum wage from the federal level of $7.25 an hour.

The state Assembly's Democratic leader, Sheldon Silver, is pushing for an increase to $8.50 an hour.

Silver has the backing of a recent poll of New Yorkers that showed a solid majority favoring an increase.

A random, non-scientific questioning of northern New Yorkers showed the same thing.

One example:

"it should go up. A lot of people struggling. Economy is down. Not enough money for people," said Tiffany Wagoner of Theresa.

The Silver propoal would not only increase the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour to start, it would add annual increases based on inflation.

The argument in favor: more income means more spending, which means more jobs.

But ask many business owners if they think a higher minimum wage would be good for the economy, and you'll get a different answer.

Rodney Misch of Arsenal Wine & Liquor in Watertown said he pays more than minimum wage, but doesn't like the prospect of a higher minimum driving other salaries up.

"It's definitely going to hurt some people because, like i said, you only have x amount to spend for payroll. Maybe when you're looking to hire five people, now you can only afford to hire four," Misch said.

The hike is a top priority of Silver, but he'd have to strike a compromise with the Republican leader of the state Senate, who's opposed.  So far, Governor Cuomo isn't tipping his hand. 
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(Watch our report from John Moore by clicking on the picture above. Read more about the national push for a higher minimum wage here.)

Saturday, October 25, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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