A government policy that moved families out of poverty would spare children from these sad outcomes. Fortunately, Maine has such a program.
According to an analysis by the Maine Center for Economic Policy, roughly 87,000 Mainers received a $1-an-hour raise Jan. 1 as the minimum wage rose to $11 per hour. Over the course of the year, thousands more who earn near the minimum will see their wages pushed up. A $1 increase last year resulted in relieving 10,000 Maine children from a life of poverty by putting more money in their households. It was the largest decrease in child poverty seen in at least a decade.
That’s great news, not just for those children’s immediate well-being, but for the rest of their lives as well.