The Democratic Party ignores the philosophy of President John F. Kennedy in pushing for a higher minimum wage, says Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the Independent Women's Forum.
"It's interesting that it's Kennedy who said a rising tide lifts all ships. But it's as if progressives and Democrats have forgotten this,'' Schaeffer told Dennis Kneale, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"The very best thing we can do for all Americans — men, women, poor, wealthy — is economic growth and job creation,'' she said Tuesday.
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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, it's because they don't have paid, consistent work,'' she said.
"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.''
The loss of jobs that would occur with a minimum-wage hike could 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 earning minimum wage,'' Schaeffer said.
"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."
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.''
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