Rich Benjamin on the D.C. Mayor's Living Wage Veto

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On Money with Melissa Francis, Demos Senior Fellow Rich Benjamin explained that Mayor Gray's and Walmart's math doesn't work for working people. 

Combating popular misconceptions of the makeup of low wage workers as overwhelming young individuals looking for a little supplemental income, Rich comes armed with the true demographics of the retail work force. 

As illustrated in Retail's Hidden Potential, over 90% of the workforce is twenty-years-old or older. Over half of the workforce work fulltime, and over half are contributing at least 50% of their earnings to their family's income.

Pushing back against the notion that companies like Walmart can't afford to pay their workers more, Rich Benjamin points out that companies and the country overall could benefit from the multiplier effect by increasing employees' wages. As Demos' Retail's Hidden Potential explains:

Increased purchasing power of low-wage workers would generate $4 to $5 billion in additional annual sales for the sector. Much of the increased consumer spending by low-wage workers after the raise will return to the very firms that offered the raise.

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