According to Webster’s
Dictionary, minimum wage is defined as “the lowest wage permitted by law.” The
minimum wage should not remain the same and should be higher because of
multiple reasons, one of them being that two parents working full time with two
kids still can’t afford basic necessities and often turn to government
assistance. Another reason would be that the minimum wage hasn’t kept up with
inflation. Also, as a result of raising the minimum wage, additional income
would be spent by consumers and would ripple through the economy.

            Picture this, you get home from work early in the morning
only to get up again at 6 a.m., not being able to stop for breakfast so you can
go to your second job at 8 a.m. Even working seven days a week — 52 hours in
all — you still have to scrape every penny and live paycheck to paycheck, not
having enough for simple necessities or luxuries and still not having enough to
pay rent on time. This is sadly the reality for millions of workers across the
nation who subsist, barely, on the federal minimum wage of $7.25.  Many workers still can’t afford rent or bills so they turn to other things such
as donating their blood or sperm, but some turn to illegal activities such as
selling drugs just to have food on the table. If they were payed a fair wage
they wouldn’t have to turn to such extremes. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has
publicly said he thinks the minimum wage is too low, said “It is a
national disgrace that millions of full-time workers are living in poverty and
millions more are forced to work two or three jobs just to pay their
bills.” According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,
the Federal Highway Administration, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average
cost of living in the U.S., excluding discretionary spending, is more than
$65,000 a year for a family with two adults and two children. That’s roughly
$50,000 more than what a minimum-wage worker earns. But in some places, such as
Washington, D.C., a household with two adults and two children would need to
budget more than $106,000 a year to make ends meet (excluding luxuries).

            In 1968, the minimum wage raised from $1.40 to $1.60 per
hour, which would correlate to $10.25 per hour in 2016 dollars. The current
minimum wage of $7.25 implies that Americans are making around the same as
someone 50 years ago in 1968. Prices have obviously gotten higher such as rent,
utilities and even luxuries. So how does that seem fair? Holly Sklar, CEO of
the advocacy group Business for a Fair Minimum Wage said “The whole point
of the minimum wage is to have it go up regularly. It shouldn’t sit still every
year when the cost of living is going up. The minimum wage is losing
value.” If minimum wage had kept up with overall income growth in the
American economy, it would now be $21.16 per hour. That may sound like a lot
but statistically speaking, it is technically, economically, and socially realistic.  The only reason we can’t have it is because
of greedy rich CEOS and those at the top.

            Many opposers to the raising of minimum wage say that
raising the minimum wage would hurt small companies and businesses. Which is
honestly correct, but there is a solution, by raising their prices by 20
percent, it would even out. So yes, we would have to pay more for certain stuff,
but paying 1 dollar extra on a 5-dollar t-shirt won’t really take a toll on our
wallets. This argument is just purely selfish, yes, we would have to pay more
but think about all of the good that money is doing. With that extra $5 you are
making sure that a family has food on the table and a roof over their heads.
Which is way better than whatever you were planning to do with that extra
money. Also, with raising minimum wage, consumers would buy more stuff and “luxuries”
from the producers, such as bleach, cleaning supplies, and other things that
they would have previously not have been able to afford, therefore, benefiting not
only the producers but the entire economy at the end of the day.

            As I said before, the minimum wage must not remain the
same and should be higher because of reasons that will affect us all. Raising
the minimum wage would assure that hardworking parents have enough for their children
and for themselves, it is also simply logical to raise the minimum wage given
the fact that prices are higher but the pay is the same. Lastly, this would
affect the entire economy of America by consumers buying more. Raising the
minimum wage to a living wage is simply the most logical, rational and understandable
solution. As the previous president of the U.S, Barack Obama said, “In the
wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in
poverty.”

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