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The Minimum Wage Must Be Raised

2237 words - 9 pages

The life of many Americans is one day on repeat. We wake up, prepare for our day, and then head off to our jobs that never seem to pay enough for our living needs. No matter how hard the average worker works, he/she can’t seem to make ends meet. Why is this? It would be logical that these hard working Americans that spend day after day at their job would be thriving; however, in most cases, it is the opposite. Despite the amount of time and effort that goes into a daily job, these workers are making minimum wage and are fighting to survive in the current economic state. It is close to impossible for most families to survive without spending paycheck-to-paycheck, as most do. There is a seemingly simple fix for this problem: Raise the minimum wage. Although raising the minimum wage will cause some commotion in this economy, a raise in this wage will help benefit all aspects of our economy and the people who work and support it, therefore allowing a higher spending limit of the people and ultimately boosting the economic welfare of America. This fix will solve more problems than it will create, and will help create wage equality between all classes.
The federal minimum wage laws were written into the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 during the Great Depression. These laws were designed to help keep Americans out of poverty and to increase consumerism in order to boost an unhealthy economy. Minimum wage in 1938 was $1.60, which may seem like very little to workers currently; however, this amounts to roughly $10.70 in 2013 (Rebuilding an Economy). This shows that the minimum wage has lost a lot of value since previous times due to the rising cost of living. The current minimum wage in America is $7.25, which is hardly enough to keep food on the table for many families that work for minimum wage. It has been reported that “One in five American children lives in a household with income below the poverty line – $22, 050 for a family of four” (Katel). Not only does this affect the parents, it more greatly affects the children in the situation. How is it fair that there are CEO’s of companies who earn millions of dollars a year, yet there are children that have parents who can hardly afford to allow the children to survive? The simple answer: It isn’t. While there are many factors that affect why a parent cannot afford to provide for their children, a main factor is the low minimum wage.
While it may be easier to say that the reason workers cannot support their families is that they do not work enough hours, full time workers working for minimum wage can also not afford to survive efficiently in this economy. The Times Editorial Board from the La Times states, “A full-time minimum-wage worker with one dependent barely makes enough today to stay above the federal poverty line of $15,510 a year. But most minimum-wage workers don't have the luxury of full-time positions.” If the government does not ensure that enough full time work is available for workers...

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