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The Failure to Raise the Minimum Wage Hurts Iowa’s Families and Economy

The Failure to Raise the Minimum Wage Hurts Iowa’s Families and Economy

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Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst’s extreme position on the minimum wage has no place in the Hawkeye State.
Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst’s extreme position on the minimum wage has no place in the Hawkeye State.

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Published by: Center for American Progress on Aug 29, 2014
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1 Center for American Progress Action Fund |  The Failure to Raise the Minimum Wage Hurts Iowa’s Families and Economy
 The Failure to Raise the Minimum Wage Hurts Iowa’s Families and Economy
Joni Ernst’s Extreme Position on the Minimum Wage Has No Place in the Hawkeye State
By Anna Chu September 1, 2014
Even wih he economy showing signs o recovering rom he Grea Recession, many ami-lies in Iowa sill ace significan financial challenges. Te cos o living coninues o rise, bu amilies󲀙 incomes are no keeping up, and an increasing number o amilies are living pay-check o paycheck. And while incomes have begun o rise or some, he $7.25 minimum  wage has no budged in five years, leaving many alling urher and urher behind. Raising he minimum wage is a criical sep oward rebuilding an economy ha works or everyone, no jus he wealhy ew. Bu on his issue, he wo candidaes or one o Iowa󲀙s U.S. Senae seas differ dramaically. Joni Erns is opposed o he ederal mini-mum wage and said $7.25 is “appropriae or Iowa.”
1
 Iowans disagree.  According o a new poll commissioned by he Cener or American Progress Acion Fund, 80 percen o Iowans say hey could no suppor heir household on Iowa󲀙s mini-mum wage, which amouns o abou $15,000 per year. I is clear ha Erns is vasly ou o ouch wih he key pockebook issues acing hose she wans o represen. No everyone is experiencing he challenges o living paycheck o paycheck: From 1979 o 2007, while he op 1 percen in Iowa saw heir average income grow by 110.5 percen, he average incomes o he botom 99 percen grew by only 23.7 percen.
2
 Te economy jus is no working or everyone. Bu while he average Iowa amily is srug-gling o make ends mee, rich donors such as he Koch brohers are no only making record profis, hey are maxing ou or Erns󲀙s campaign.
3
 Iowa needs and deserves a leader who will figh or everyone and who will suppor raising he minimum wage or more han 300,000 workers in Iowa.
4
 More money in he pockes o Iowa workers means more money spen a Iowa businesses, which expands he sae󲀙s economy and creaes more jobs.
 
2 Center for American Progress Action Fund |  The Failure to Raise the Minimum Wage Hurts Iowa’s Families and Economy
Ernst’s views on raising the federal minimum wage stand in stark contrast to the majority of Iowans
Troughou her campaign or U.S. Senae, Joni Erns has been vocal in her opposiion o raising he ederal minimum wage. During an inerview wih Iowa Public Radio, she remarked, “I do no suppor a ederal minimum wage. Every sae has a differen economy, differen cos o living.”
5
 She does no believe “he ederal governmen should  be involved in seting he minimum wage,
6
 and insead believes ha his is a sae issue. Erns has also publicly saed ha a minimum wage o $7.25 per hour, which ranslaes o roughly $15,000 per year, is “appropriae or Iowa.”
7
She opposes a ederal minimum wage, even hough 57 percen o Iowans suppor i󲀔including 53 percen o independen voers.
8
 Addiionally, voers disagree wih her sance ha $7.25 per hour is appropriae or Iowa. In ac, when asked wheher hey could sup-por heir amilies on he minimum-wage salary o $7.25, 80 percen o Iowans said hey could no󲀔including 70 percen o Republicans and 78 percen o independens.
9
 Polling also shows ha 65 percen o Iowans suppor raising he curren minimum wage o $7.25 an hour󲀔including 45 percen o Iowa Republicans.
10
 Addiionally, 53 percen o Iowans suppor raising he ederal minimum wage rom $7.25 per hour o $10.10 per hour.
 
Insead o supporing policies ha would ensure ha Iowans who work hard have more and beter opporuniies o ge ahead, Erns suppors an exreme posiion ha would hur hardworking Iowans and he overall economy.
Failing to raise the minimum wage keeps money out of workers’ pockets.
Raising he minimum wage o $10.10 per hour would increase wages or 306,000 Iowans by a oal o $430,462,000.
11
 Opposing a minimum-wage increase denies hese workers a much-needed󲀔and much-deserved󲀔raise.
Failing to raise the minimum wage keeps Iowans poor.
 
 A $10.10 minimum wage  would reduce Iowa’s nonelderly povery rae by more han 9 percen, rom 10.9 per-cen o 9.8 percen, and would lif more han 26,000 Iowans ou o povery.
12
Failing to raise the minimum wage hurts women in particular.
57.8 percen o Iowans who would benefi rom a minimum-wage hike are women.
13
 By opposing rais-ing he minimum wage, Erns is disproporionaely huring women.
Failing to raise the minimum wage hurts the economy.
 
Increasing he minimum  wage o $10.10 would boos he Iowa economy by $272,483,000.
14
 No raising he minimum wage prevens Iowa rom growing is economy.
 
3 Center for American Progress Action Fund |  The Failure to Raise the Minimum Wage Hurts Iowa’s Families and Economy
Failing to raise the minimum makes it harder for Iowa workers to make ends meet.
 According o he Massachusets Insiue o echnology, or MI, a amily o hree in Des Moines needs $52,362 per year o mee minimum sandards o living.
15
 Despie he high cos needed o mee a minimum sandard o living, Erns wans o keep he curren minimum wage o $7.25 or Iowa. Tis is agains he ineres o Iowans, 80 percen o whom believe hey canno live on he curren minimum wage.
16
 Even Republicans such as ormer Massachusets Gov. Mit Romney, ormer Minnesoa Gov. im Pawleny, and ormer Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Sanorum agree ha he minimum wage needs o be increased.
17
 Indeed, Erns󲀙s sance on he mini-mum wage is so exreme ha i sands even urher o he righ han conservaive alk show hos Bill O󲀙Reilly. O󲀙Reilly has recenly been urging conservaive lawmakers o raise he minimum wage, saying ha, “Te Republican Pary should really wise up and sop opposing raising he minimum wage. I should be $10 bucks an hour. I an adul  American is willing o work $10 is air.
18
 Despie broad suppor or raising he minimum wage, Erns does no sop a simply opposing he increase; she opposes he exisence o a ederal minimum wage alogeher.
19
 I eleced o he Senae, he quesion remains wheher Erns will back abolishing he ed-eral minimum wage, a quesion she has avoided answering direcly on he campaign rail.
Ernst’s opposition to raising the minimum wage is harmful to Iowa workers and the economy
Currenly, a worker making $7.25 an hour and raising wo children sruggles o make ends mee. Assuming a minimum-wage employee works ull ime and akes no vaca-ions, she or he will earn jus $15,080 a year. Tis is nearly $5,000 below he ederal povery line or a amily o hree.
20
 As saed above, MI has shown ha a amily o hree in Des Moines󲀔where he average monhly cos o housing or a worker wih wo chil-dren is $737 and he average monhly cos o ood or a amily ha size is $536
21
󲀔needs $52,362 o mee minimum sandards o living.
22
 Te monhly minimum-wage income o $1,257 does no even cover he home and ood expenses.More han 600 economiss, including seven Nobel laureaes, have signed a leter sup-poring an increase in he minimum wage, saying, “he weigh o evidence now show[s] ha increases in he minimum wage have had litle or no negaive effec on he employ-men o minimum-wage workers, even during imes o weakness in he labor marke.”
23
  Addiionally, research rom he Federal Reserve Bank o Chicago shows ha increas-ing he minimum wage by jus $1 raises he incomes o minimum-wage households  by abou $1,000 and booss consumer spending by abou $2,800 he year afer he increase.
24
 Meanwhile, research rom economiss Pierre Cahuc and Philippe Michel show ha raising he minimum wage could have a posiive effec on economic growh  by inducing more human capial developmen.
25
 

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