Women’s Advocate Says a Higher Minimum Wage Won’t Pull People out of Poverty
Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum, debunks the idea that an increased minimum wage will help millions escape poverty.
President Barack Obama’s proposal to boost the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would increase earnings for 16.5 million Americans but eliminate about 500,000 jobs, budget analysts say.
Schaeffer called the claim that minimum-wage earners live in poverty a myth.
“The reason people live in poverty is not because of low-wage jobs,” said Shaeffer during an appearance on The Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax TV. “It’s because they don’t have paid, consistent work.
“The fact is that only 9 percent of people living in poverty had full-time work last year. Similarly, 67 percent didn’t have work at all, so the big issue is job creation. That’s what would really help.”
Schaeffer said some Republicans are getting behind a minimum-wage hike for the wrong reasons.
“It sounds compassionate, it sounds nice, but the bottom line is … what this would do to younger workers,” she said. “The fact is that the people who would be hurt the most are those with the least amount of experience, the least amount to lose, so to speak.
“Entry-level jobs, which are often minimum-wage-earning jobs, give people much more than just the salary. These are critical skill-learning opportunities.”
The loss of jobs that would occur with the minimum wage hike would adversely affect the female workforce, she added.
“The reason it would hurt women in particular is that women account for nearly two-thirds of part-time workers and these workers are a lot more likely to be making minimum wage. They’re also a lot more likely to have their jobs cut, if need be, so women are definitely much more vulnerable to job losses.”