Minimum Wage And The American Dream

1579 words - 6 pages

Living in a nice home, a good neighborhood, and having nice cars is what most people think of as part of the American Dream. How are you supposed to get there though? Unless you're going to win the lottery you’re going to have to work in some form. Achieving the American Dream while earning minimum wage may take a person longer but it is still attainable. Through higher education or hard work individuals can achieve a higher standard of living.
What is minimum wage? Minimum wage is the lowest hourly rate (dollars per hour) that employers can pay their employees. According to minimumwage.com Minnesota’s minnimum wage is $7.25 per hour but will be getting raised to $9.00 per hour. Minnesota’s minimum wage is a common rate among many states such as Texas, South Dakota, and Iowa. Oregon and Washington are states that currently have their minimum wage rate set at or above $9.00 per hour. For both of these states, raising minimum wage has not necessarily decreased the poverty line. Both Oregon and Washington are still among the top 20 states for high poverty rates while New Hampshire has the lowest poverty rate and also has minimum wage set at $7.25 per hour.
According to familiesusa.org the poverty line is a single individual who lives alone with no dependents making $11,490 a year. The annual salary goes up by $4,020 for each person you add to the household. Minimum wage is mainly used for part-time jobs, and part-time jobs are not meant to support a family full-time. These jobs are meant for teenagers or people who have others to rely on for income. People who live on minimum wage typically live alone and can support themselves. If a woman has a dependent child she either is receiving additional monetary compensation through child support or ,because she is below the indicated income level for a family, may also be receiving some sort of government assistance.
In Minnesota, minimum wage has been voted on and raised to $9.00 per hour. This increase is to be in effect at the beginning of 2015. Up until that date it will stay at $7.25 and get raised over the next few years slowly until it finally reaches $9.00 per hour. The slow increase is supposed to make the raise be evened out with inflation but the inflation would not go up anywhere near where it is heading with the new pay increase. If you look at the price of living in Washington (the state with the highest minimum wage) and the price of living in Minnesota making $10,000 dollars a year you would need to make $12,468 a year to live comparable to living in Minnesota. This increase in salary is due to inflation which then drives businesses to raise prices on products and services rendered to the customer.
Raising minimum wage would have more drawbacks than benefits. One major drawback would be inflation. Inflation is when the price of consumer goods go up. This won't really affect the people making minimum wage because they are getting a raise to keep up with this inflation that goes...

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