Feb. 16: The minimum wage, Universal Pre-K

Updated

On Saturday’s Up w/ Chris Hayes, we’ll break down President Obama’s State of the Union address, with a special focus on several of the most surprising and significant initiatives in the speech, and the reaction on Capitol Hill. First, we’ll examine the dynamics of the 113th Congress and the return of Republican obstructionism as President Obama unveils his second term agenda. This week, House Majority Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) flatly refused to consider any of the president’s major proposals, deferring action to the dysfunctional Senate.

Then we’ll dive deep on the president’s proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 $9 an hour, and to index the minimum wage according to inflation, so that it keeps pace with the cost of living. Republicans and business groups have lined up in opposition to a minimum wage increase, and in doing so, they’ve repeated a talking point that has been common in Washington for decades: that an increase in the minimum wage would lead to reductions in employment. As it turns out, there’s a growing body of empirical evidence that indicates that minimum wage increases, within a certain range, have no negative impact on employment, and may actually boost worker productivity and consumer demand, providing a much-needed stimulus to the economy.

And finally, we’ll examine President Obama’s call for a universal pre-K program. The idea of a nationwide pre-K program commands broad, bi-partisan support in polls, and it’s a service that the free market has failed to competitively and sufficiently provide to consumers. To be sure, it’s an expensive endeavor, but one with marked benefits, and several states and their political leaders have clearly taken notice. For example, several governors have already called for increases in their states’ early education budgets.

Joining Chris at 8 AM ET on msnbc will be:

Georgia Republican Senator Johnny Isakson (@SenatorIsakson) who served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

Arindrajit Dube, assistant professor of economics at University of Massachusetts-Amherst, co-author of “Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties.”

Lew Prince, owner of Vintage Vinyl, Inc. a small business in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dedrick Muhammad (@DedrickM), senior economic director for the NAACP.

Jennifer Sevilla Korn (@HispanicLN), executive director of the Hispanic Leadership Network.

Luke Burbank (@lukeburbank), host of the radio show “Too Beautiful to Live,” staff panelist on NPR’s “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”

Heidi Moore (@moorehn), US finance and economics editor for “The Guardian.”

Derrell Bradford (@Dyrnwyn), executive director of Better Education for Kids.

Feb. 16: The minimum wage, Universal Pre-K

Updated