Meet the Press   |  December 22, 2013

Lagarde on the minimum wage and income inequality

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde talks about the "social fabrics of society" and how the distribution of wealth should best be regulated.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> do you see the minimum wage fight in this country going anywhere? do you think it has an important impact on the economy, raising the minimum wage ? the president, the pope have talked about income inequality being a huge problem in this country and around the world.

>> income inequality around the world is a big issue. we have done some work, and there is a clear indication that rising inequality leads to less sustainable growth . not to mention the fact that the social fabrics of society can be at stake. so reducing inequality, making sure people have a job, making sure that there is growth, that there is adequate redistribution through various systems, is important.

>> as you look at the united states and the rest of the world , last time we spoke, you were very concerned about the u.s. flirting with the debt ceiling and with default. we have another deadline approaching in february and march about raising the debt ceiling. has the u.s. reemerged as a global economic leader, or is it still acting irresponsibly?

>> it is the economic leader, let's face it, given the size of the economy and below potential but still reasonable growth that is picking up now. the budget deal that was gotten at year end is a very good sign of responsibility, accountability and realism. i, for myself, certainly hope that in february congress will be equally responsible and will not threaten the recovery with yet another debate about whether or not the u.s. will honor or default in february.