Workers in Dallas push for minimum wage increase - Dallas News |

Workers in Dallas push for minimum wage increase

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A new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office shows raising the minimum wage for workers will help decrease poverty rates, but some economists say it will cost the nation jobs.

It's a controversial topic that may affect more than 16 million workers, and almost 500,000 workers in Texas. Dozens gathered in front of the federal building in Dallas on Wednesday to send a very clear message to lawmakers.

"People that are making minimum wage are barely putting anything into social security, and they are barely going to get anything from social security when they get there," said Gene Lantz, who supports a minimum wage increase.

Luis Velez, 20, says in his family, money has been tight for as long as he can remember.

"It does hurt," said Velez. "You do see what minimum wage can bring to a family, and it's not a lot."

Velez is not alone.

Right now, more than 452,000 Texans are earning $7.25 an hour.

The report conducted by the Congressional Budget Office suggests raising the minimum wage to $10.10.

It shows the raise may lift up to 1 million people out of poverty.

SMU economics professor Mike Davis says that's not necessarily true.

"As it turns out, minimum wage is a really poor way in helping poor people," said Davis. "Most people who get paid the minimum wage are not poor. About two-thirds of people who get minimum wage come from homes with an income of twice the poverty level."

Even though Davis says raising the minimum wage won't fix the big problem, he says there is a solution.

"Simply telling employers to give people more money won't do much good," he said. "If you give people the skills to command more money, that's what will lift them out of poverty."

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