15 Quotes on 15

“No business which depends for existence on paying less than a living wage to its workers has any right to continue.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. President, 1933-45

“Nobody who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders

“Raising the minimum wage isn't just pro-worker; it's pro-economic growth.”

Thomas Perez, current U.S. Secretary of Labor

“Increasing the minimum wage is in effect a stimulus to the economy because low-income earners spend all of their income.”

Ian Hussey, Parkland Institute, University of Alberta

“No one who works a full-time job in Alberta should have to go to a food bank to feed themselves and their families. However, many of the roughly 300,000 Albertans who earn less than $15 per hour are forced to do just that, denying them the economic security that their employment should provide, and the basic human dignity that many of us take for granted.”

Hon. Christina Gray, Alberta Minister of Labour, May 2016

“One of these strange things in our society right now is that we have all of these low-wage workers…and because they earn such small wages, the government subsidizes them with billions or tens of billions of dollars of social welfare spending that comes from taxpayers. It’s a classic example of businesses privatizing the benefits of their workers while socializing the costs.”

Ron Unz, Silicon Valley millionaire

"I thought in this country, the best social program was a job. Yet minimum wage jobs aren't paying enough to keep families out of poverty."

Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski

“We have been raising the minimum wage for 78 years, and as a new study clearly reveals, 78 years of minimum-wage hikes have produced zero evidence of "job-killing" consequences … On the contrary: When workers have more money, businesses have more customers and hire more workers. That is the virtuous cycle that has always described the way market economies actually work.”

Nick Hanauer, Seattle-based billionaire, venture capitalist and co-founder of Amazon.com

“The results are clear: (there is ) no correlation between federal minimum-wage increases and lower employment levels, even in industries that are most impacted by higher minimum wages.”

Paul Sonn and Yannet Lathrop, authors of National Employment Law Project study on the employment impacts of minimum wage increases in the United States

"The benefits of raising BC’s minimum wage to $15 through a series of pre-announced staged increases far outweigh the likely costs. Claims that such an increase will lead to massive job losses in low-wage sectors of the economy are not credible … Estimated effects for young adult and adult workers range from insignificant to non-existent."

David Green, University of British Columbia economics professor and expert on minimum wage issues

“I don’t care if you’re the ditch digger or the biggest financial planner on the planet. If you put in a 40-hour work week, you should be able to live without government subsidies, without food stamps, without welfare, without anything like that. Your wages should be high enough to accomplish that.”

Jesse Ventura, former Minnesota Governor.

“It is but equity … that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged.”

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776

“We all lose when workers are underpaid.”

Margot Dorfmen, CEO Women’s Chamber of Commerce

“Paying your employees well is not only the right thing to do, but it makes for good business.”

Jim Sinegal, Costco CEO

“Something is wrong, very wrong, when a single person in good health, a person who in addition possesses a working car, can barely support herself by the sweat of her brow. You don’t need a degree in economics to see that wages are too low and rents too high.” 

Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

"We've always believed if you work hard you will get ahead, you will make it to the middle class. Well it's not true if you're working 40 hours a week and you're still in poverty."

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand