October 12th, 2015
Dear Secretary Clinton:
Economic policy and income inequality are guaranteed to be two of the main themes of the 2016 presidential election. One way that you can fight for working families this election cycle is to stand up for a $15 minimum wage.
You have repeatedly spoken highly of the Fight for $15, stating “We need you out there leading the fight against those who would rip away Americans’ right to organize, to collective bargaining, to fair pay.” So why won’t you support a $15 minimum wage?
For the past few months, you have repeatedly been non-committal to what you think the minimum wage should be. But your statements to the AFL-CIO on July 30th indicating a support for the $12 minimum wage being debated in Congress is disappointing.
Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour instead of $12 an hour will have a tremendous impact on the economy. It will provide a raise to another sixteen million Americans, injecting millions into the US economy and growing the GDP.
A $15 wage hike would lead to a decrease in public assistance programs. A study by the Center for American Progress showed that even by raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would cause a 6 percent drop in SNAP enrollments, saving $4.6 billion a year. Imagine what we could do with a $15 minimum wage.
Madam Secretary, it is time to start being a true champion of the working class, not just pandering to them for their votes and then turning your back whenever it’s convenient. It’s time for you to use your status as the Democratic front runner to join Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley in supporting a $15 minimum wage.
Ralph Nader Consumer Advocate
Frank Garvey Organizer – Time For A Raise
Liz Kofman Professor of Sociology, UCLA
Scott Nelson Professor of History, The College of William and Mary
Naomi Williams, PhD Visiting Assistant Professor, School of History and Sociology, Georgia Institute of Technology
Steve Striffler Professor of History, University of New Orleans
Bill Roy Research Professor- Sociology, UCLA
Andrew Zimmerman Professor of History, The George Washington University