by: Essex Porter Updated:
SEATTLE - Fast food workers in Seattle will get surprising support when some join a nationwide strike this Thursday.
Multi-millionaire venture capitalist Nick Hanauer is speaking out at the behest of union groups who are organizing the protest.
Hanauer co-founded the venture capital firm Second Avenue Partners.
He was an early investor in Amazon and sold one of his companies to Microsoft for $6 billion.
And he believes the minimum wage should be raised from $9.19 an hour in Washington State to $15 an hour.
"If most people in the country had more money to spend, then every single business in the country would have more customers," Hanauer said.
Hanauer says he employs many highly paid workers, but when asked if all his workers make more than $15 an hour, he said "no." "You can't expect charitable or well-meaning business people to transform an economy,".Hanauer went on to explain. "If one business person pays their employees twice as much as all the other, all their competitors, they'll soon go out of business." That's why he believes the federal government should establish the $15 an hour minimum wage nationwide.
And contrary to many business leaders, Hanauer says a higher minimum wage will not cut jobs.
"We when were no longer allowed to employ children 12 hours a day in factories we told the world that we could all go out of business," Hanauer said, "And yet somehow, magically, not only did we not go out of business, the country became more prosperous."
And Hanauer says he's not alone, "Some of my friends are antagonized by some of these views, but over time I will tell you honestly that they've all come around."