10 Reasons to Raise the Minimum Wage (with Charts)

There have been rumors lately that Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is trying to broker a smaller minimum wage increase. The offer is a non-starter for Democratic leaders, and would in fact lock low-income workers into poverty wages for the indefinite future. Here at CAP Action, we agree. The Senate’s plan to vote on a minimum wage increase has been pushed back several times, but what matters most is that it stays at $10.10. Here are ten reasons why raising the minimum wage to $10.10 is the right thing for America’s workers and for our economy:

1. It Will Put Money Into The Pockets Of Hard-Working Americans. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will raise wages for 28 million workers by $35 billion in total. Since many of those workers will turn around and spend that money, that is a huge boost for the economy.

2. It Will Reduce Income Inequality. The average CEO shouldn’t make 933 times more than a full-time minimum wage worker.


3. It Won’t Hurt Job Creation. States have raised the minimum wage 91 times since 1987 during periods of high unemployment, and in more than half of those instances the unemployment rate actually fell. Over 600 economists signed a letter agreeing that a minimum wage increase doesn’t hurt job creation.

4. It Is Unlikely To Significantly Impact Prices. A higher minimum wage would mean a DVD at Walmart will cost just one cent more.


5. It Would Help People Get Off Of Food Stamps. A study by the Center for American Progress found that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would help 3.5 million Americansget off food stamps.

6. It Will Save The Government Money. The same CAP study found that, in conjunction with helping people get off of food stamps, raising the minimum wage would save the government $46 billion over 10 years in spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as people earn enough on their own to no longer qualify.

7. It Will Improve People’s Economic Security. It is no longer the case that the people making the minimum wage are largely teenagers. In fact, now more than half of workers earning under $10.10 an hour are forced to support themselves on that as their primary income.


8. It Will Lift People Out Of Poverty. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office states that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. For full time workers earning the federal minimum wage, this bump would give them a raise of over $4,000 dollars — enough to take a family of three out of poverty.

9. Businesses Recognize That They Will Also Benefit. Many successful businesses, such as Gap and Costco, already pay their employees wages above $10.10 so they can “attract and retain great talent“. And 60% of small business owners recognize that their businesses would benefit if we raise the wage.


10. Millions Of Children Will Be More Secure. If we raise the minimum wage to $10.10,21 million children will have at least one parent whose pay will go up.

BOTTOM LINE: Simply put, it’s an economic no-brainier for Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. It will put more money into the pockets of hard-working Americans and will not negatively impact businesses and job creation. Raising the wage is a critical step in creating an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.

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