In a recent “Making Sen$e” column, billionaire Nick Hanauer explained why he believes unfair standards for overtime pay are hurting the middle class. In 1975, more than 65 percent of salaried American workers were paid time-and-a-half for every hour they worked over 40 hours a week. Today, only workers earning less than $23,660 annually are eligible for mandatory overtime pay.
In spite of this, a recent Gallup poll revealed that full-time U.S. workers report working 47 hours a week on average. Why are workers putting in longer hours when overtime pay is not guaranteed? How has this impacted the economy and the middle class. We took the conversation to Twitter. Nick Hanauer (@NickHanauer) and Brookings Institution economist Gary Burtless (@GBurtless) shared their insights, along with PBS NewsHour economics web editor Simone Pathe (@sfpathe). Read a transcript of the discussion below.