Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich is adding his voice to the chorus calling for a pay raise for Americans at the low end of the labor market's totem pole.
In an interview with "On the Money", the cabinet member under President Bill Clinton weighed in on the fierce debate over the minimum wage. Billionaires like Warren Buffett have held forth on the subject, while big companies like McDonald's, Wal-Mart and Target are under pressure to increase what they pay their lowest-level employees. Earlier this year, both retail giants agreed to pay part- and full-time employees at least $9 per hour.
Simultaneously, city governments have also moved to address wage disparities. In November, voters in San Francisco approved a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour by 2018. Last week, the Los Angeles City Council approved a plan to phase in a minimum wage increase, reaching $15 an hour in 2020.
Reich, who served in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1997 and is now a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, supports a wage increase for workers in the second-largest U.S. city.
"I think it is a good thing, in the sense that the minimum wage nationally is 25 percent below what it was in 1968, adjusted for inflation," he told CNBC.