The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sam Quigley at

"Smart Capitalists Know That We Need a Higher Minimum Wage"

"Raising the minimum wage will put more money in the pockets of people who will spend it. That spending will create jobs which in turn will fuel more demand."


Today, in response to the introduction of the landmark Raise the Wage Act, the new Democratic majority's caucus bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, members of the Patriotic Millionaires issued the following remarks:

"There has never been a more critical time to raise the minimum wage," said Morris Pearl, Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and former managing director at BlackRock, Inc. "Smart capitalists know that we need a higher minimum wage. In order to thrive, a consumer economy like ours needs customers with money to spend. Raising the minimum wage will put more money in the pockets of people who will spend it. That spending will create jobs which in turn will fuel more demand. The vast majority of Americans understand this, that's why they support raising the minimum wage."

"The lowest wage earners generally spend all of their income to live. Increasing the minimum wage is great for business because that largest segment of the population will spend virtually all of that increase on goods and services. Even small businesses stand to benefit while paying their lowest-wage employees more, because all the low-wage employees of all the other small and large businesses are then able to buy more from all businesses," said Patriotic Millionaire Rich Boberg.

"The current minimum wage of $7.25 is a national disgrace. It is so low that Americans who work full time for the minimum wage are entitled to receive government benefits available only to those earning poverty level incomes. Paying workers a truly living wage supports the dignity of hard work and a motivated work force, increases consumer spending and saves governments billions of dollars a year now spent on providing necessary benefits to poorly paid workers," said Patriotic Millionaire Patricia Martone, attorney.

"Legislating an increase in the minimum wage is not the ideal solution to fairness and shared prosperity. However, until we have the courage to eliminate all the pervasive tentacles of privileged interest in every part of our government, we must raise the minimum wage, just to protect the millions of Americans who do some of our hardest work. Then, let's work toward a future where we don't have to legislate wages--where everyone who wants to work can earn a living wage," said Patriotic Millionaire Dale Walker, Vice Chairman of Pacific Vision Foundation.

"People who give you their service - their time, their creative energy, and their sweat - deserve to be paid enough to support themselves and their families. How can we even debate this?" said Patriotic Millionaire Jerry Fiddler, CEO of Zygote Ventures.

"Why are some McDonald's workers trained how to apply for public assistance? The low, unlivable minimum wage that exists now does not work. Passing The Raise the Wage Act will create happier, healthier and more productive people," said Patriotic Millionaire Lawrence Benenson, Principal at Benenson Capital Partners.

The Patriotic Millionaires is a group of high-net worth Americans who share a profound concern about the destabilizing level of inequality in America. Our work centers on the two things that matter most in a capitalist democracy: power and money. Our goal is to ensure that the country's political economy is structured to meet the needs of regular Americans, rather than just millionaires. We focus on three "first" principles: a highly progressive tax system, a livable minimum wage, and equal political representation for all citizens.

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