Shapiro battles CEO Nick Hanauer over minimum wage

Jan 15, 2014, 10:55 AM | Updated: 1:51 pm
During his state of the state address on Tuesday night in Olympia, Gov. Jay Inslee advocated for an increase in the state minimum wage. (AP)

In a fiery and wide-ranging discussion, KTTH host Ben Shapiro debated the merits of a $15 minimum wage increase with Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer.

Hanauer recently wrote an article for Bloomberg called “The Capitalist’s Case for a $15 Minimum Wage” and is a strong advocate for raising the wage.

Hanauer argues that raising the minimum wage will help workers spend more, thus putting more money into the economy; he also says that corporations have enough capital to pay for the raises.

“The fundamental law of capitalism is that if workers have no money, businesses have no customers. That’s why the extreme, and widening, wealth gap in our economy presents not just a moral challenge, but an economic one, too,” Hanauer wrote in his Bloomberg column.

Shapiro challenged Hanauer’s reasoning, arguing that wisely invested corporate capital is what spurs the economy – indeed, Hanauer used capital he earned as CEO of Pacific Coast Feather Company to invest in the early 1990s in a company called

“Low wage workers are terrible customers, worse taxpayers, and not great citizens, either,” Hanauer asserted, insinuating that more money and less time spent at work could alleviate some of those problems.

One point Shapiro and Hanauer agreed on is that American taxpayers pick up the slack for low wages by paying for food stamps, welfare, and low-cost or free medical care for the impoverished.

“Obviously, I believe the best argument in favor of making poor people rich is capitalism. It’s not mandating that companies stay here and pay $15 per hour, it’s not paying tariffs; it’s making sure people can buy things they want at the prices they want and they can work for the wages they want and all those choices are made available to them,” Shapiro concluded at the end of interview.

The David Boze Show

Seattle self-defense expert Lawrence Kane said the most common natural reaction for a person angry ...
Eric Mandel

Seattle self-defense expert: Would take a ‘miracle’ for Ben Carson’s story to be accurate

If the presidential race wasn't bizarre enough, we're now calling in experts to prove whether a potential American president lied about his ability to stab a friend.
6 years ago
After 13 years on the air, David Boze announces he’s leaving KTTH. (KTTH image)...
David Boze

David Boze announces he’s leaving KTTH

I leave the station I helped found in the hands of a great company and good people. I am incredibly grateful for the loyalty and kindness of my listeners.
6 years ago
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson smiles during a campaign rally at West Memphis High Sc...
Jacob Rummel

Ben Carson tries to explain involvement with ‘propaganda’

It wasn't an intentional attempt to appeal to young voters, but Ben Carson did end up the victim of a situation youth fall prey to on a regular basis.
6 years ago
Bremerton football coach Joe Kennedy prays with players on the field. (AP)...
Jacob Rummel

Praying Bremerton coach garners support from legislators at state and federal level

As Bremerton football coach Joe Kennedy continues to defy the school district by praying at midfield after games, he's starting to garner support in legislatures at the state and federal level.
6 years ago
If voters pass the I-122 initiative, the average Seattle voter would be allotted four $25 vouchers,...
Eric Mandel

Former Seattle Ethics Commission Chair calls I-122 flawed

The aim of the I-122 campaign is to give power back to regular voters by creating a way to publicly finance city and mayoral elections. But will it?
6 years ago
Mayor Ed Murray’s Move Seattle levy promises maintenance and repair, including bridge moderni...
Kipp Robertson

Move Seattle levy raises more questions than it answers

The proposed $930 million Seattle transportation levy might look good on the surface, but it doesn't go very deep.
6 years ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Shapiro battles CEO Nick Hanauer over minimum wage