Dave Domina: The Minimum Wage Must be a Living Wage
The Federal minimum wage must be raised to $10.10. It has had no attention for years — the last federal legislative change was in 2007, and the last phased in adjustment was in 2009 under the 2007 law. The minimum wage was not changed for 10 years before then.
Dave Domina is the only candidate for the United States Senate to favor an increase in the minimum wage. All major Senate candidates in Nebraska have said they oppose an increase in the minimum wage. This means they oppose new or different opportunities for people who are strapped financially. The naysayers offer no solution; they just say “no” on this issue to all those in need, who work hard and deserve fair minimum pay.
Widely publicized, generally accepted research supports Domina’s position. This includes studies by John Schmitt, Senior Economist at the Center for Economic & Policy Research, Washington DC, and by academic economists Doucougliagos & Stanley.
Domina notes that what most regard as the most influential study of this subject by Dube, Lester & Reich of University of California at Berkeley, 2010, supports his position. Based on the hard data and real research, Domina maintains that increasing the minimum wage must occur and is good for wage earners and employers. He offers these reasons:
- An increase in the minimum wage is good for families. It would raise the incomes of 28 million Americans. Women would benefit most; they tend to work for lower wages. More income will allow some people to retire, go to school, have children, or otherwise make life tolerable. Americans would start to reclaim the middle class structure our nation once had.
- Nearly 9 out of 10 minimum wage earners are adults. 88%, to be precise. Only 12% are teenagers.
- Tax collections will increase. Payroll and income tax revenues would rise and the federal deficit would come down with an increase in the minimum wage. Social Security worries would fade with more contributors.
- New jobs will be created. A higher minimum wage will help mitigate abusive, exploitative working practices of certain employers. It will also boost employment. The math proves this. Specifically, it is forecast that the gross domestic product of the United States would rise by an estimated $15.2 billion. An increase in economic activity would occur. If this reaches $15.2 billion retailers will need 132,000 new employees. The total cost to retailers would be no more than 1.0% and the average shopper would pay no more than $.15 more per shopping trip.
- Raising the minimum wage is just. In the last 30 years, wealth has dramatically redistributed. A modest adjustment in the minimum wage will help reverse this position. It is estimated that raising the minimum wage of full-time workers to the equivalent of $12.25 per hour would lift 734,075 out of poverty, and an additional 769,191 people living near the poverty line would see their incomes rise to more than 150% above the poverty line.
- Changes in the law must prevent circumventing the minimum wage through schemes like contracting around employment.
Dave Domina’s support for the increase in the minimum wage has been well documented since the first days of his campaign for the U.S. Senate. His position has been unwavering. Domina stands alone in the Nebraska race in support of an intelligent and just increase in the federal minimum wage.