Briahna Joy Gray: Businesses can 'incentivize' workers post-pandemic by raising wages

Briahna Joy Gray, former national press secretary for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersManchin suggests pausing talks on .5 trillion package until 2022: report Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed Sanders calls deadly Afghan drone strike 'unacceptable' MORE’s (I-Vt.) 2020 presidential campaign, said in an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” that businesses should raise wages to “incentivize” employees who are increasingly becoming unwilling to work for extremely low paychecks. 

In an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Gray reflected on recent reports of businesses across the country raising their hourly wages for workers in order to attract more employees as companies prepare for a post-pandemic economy. 

It seems like workers have a better sense of the value of their labor than the companies that have been able to exploit them because of very, very low work standards in this country for a long time,” Gray said. 

She argued, “It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that workers are underpaid in a world where they have any kind of flexibility, any kind of relief in the form of stimulus payments, that they’re going to have the more efficient behavior, stay home with their kids, not have to take on those childcare costs, and take the time to look for a job that actually values the work that they do.”

Gray, who also co-hosts the “Bad Faith” podcast, said the rationale for the government’s repeated use of “trickle down economics” that has historically benefited wealthier classes should instead be applied to help the working class. 

“It’s nice to see that there’s at least a little sliver of hope that it’s clear now to people that that’s the same kind of incentive structure that works for working people,” she argued. “In fact, I think it actually works for working people in a way that it never was true of the very wealthy.” 

Watch part of Gray’s interview above.