Members of the Platform Committee, I want to thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony regarding an increase in the minimum wage.
My name is Frank Garvey, I’m an organizer with Time for a Raise, an advocacy project of Ralph Nader’s Center for Study of Responsive Law that advocates for a $15 minimum wage at the federal, state and local levels.
It is time that the DNC take a bold progressive stance and adopt a plank supporting a $15 minimum wage.
A $15 will help to address the growing wage gap that exists in this country. Imagine McDonald’s, where an employee can make $8.25 an hour, while their CEO makes $2000.00 an hour.
Over the past forty years, the minimum wage has lost one-third of its purchasing power. If it had kept up with inflation since 1968, it would be $10.93 today. If the minimum wage was even raised to just $15, it would provide a much needed raise to over fifty-one million Americans.
Raising the minimum wage has broad public support. A poll from 2015 by Hart Research found that 63% of Americans would support raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour and 82% support tying it to the rate of inflation.
Moreover, raising the minimum wage would have a sizable positive impact on public assistance programs in the United States. The Center for American Progress estimates that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would cause a 6 percent decrease in people enrolled in SNAP programs, saving taxpayers forty-six billion dollars over the next decade. Since many of the people forced to rely on public assistance programs are, in fact, employed and receiving sub-standard wages from some of our biggest corporations such as Wal-Mart, Burger King, and Sears, these corporations are relying on taxpayer dollars to fill in the gap between what they pay their employees and what their employees need to cover the daily necessities. Raising the minimum wage would help to end corporate welfare in the United States.
A study by the Economic Policy Institute found that when DC raises its minimum wage to $15 an hour, it would add 114,000 jobs to the local economy. Federal Reserve economists have observed that with each dollar the minimum wage is raised, over $2900 per person is injected into the economy.
In short, a rising tide does lift all boats.
It is important that Democrats support a plan that will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. This is a life-changing difference for thirty five million Americans.
For more information, visit TimeForARaise.org