Cory Booker has evoked the memory of his late grandfather to argue that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can bolster unions and empower the middle class.
Watch Booker’s remarks in the player above.
“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris know the dignity of all working Americans,” the New Jersey senator said Thursday on the final night of the virtual Democratic National Convention. “They know the urgency and the demand of our dream.”
Booker says the Trump administration’s policies have left “working people under attack” and the middle class shrinking. Booker says, “He has failed us.”
Booker added of his grandfather, “If he was alive, Joe and Kamala, he would be so proud of you.”
“And he’d tell us, take another by the hand, and another, and let’s get to work,” Booker said. “This dream ain’t free, you gotta work for it.”
He also said that the higher minimum wage favored by presidential candidate Joe Biden would lift all full-time workers out of poverty. That’s not what $15 an hour is likely to do.
“together, with Joe and Kamala in the White House, we’ll raise the minimum wage so no one who works a full-time job lives in poverty,” Booker said.
That, however, is an improbable outcome for the $15 minimum wage supported by Biden.
A 2019 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would lift 1.3 million Americans out of poverty, a small fraction of the roughly 38 million people living in poverty in 2018.
Moreover, the report estimated a $15 minimum wage would cost 1.3 million people their jobs because they would be priced out of the market.
Altogether, some 17 million people might see higher pay, the office said, but not enough to raise most who are below the poverty line above it.