Work, Earn, Live
The basis of life as we know it.*
*I am not a scientist.
Let’s say you have a job. You work 9–5, and at the end of the week you get a paycheck. With your earnings, you support your living as you see fit. You work, you earn, you live. In an optimal scenario, your living cost would not exceed your earnings, and your earnings are valued correctly to your work.
Current minimum wage (in the U.S) roughly provides 1,160$ per month (hourly workers may not always achieve 40 hours per week). In 2014 (7.25$ per hour was the wage then as it is now), it was estimated that the median rent was 934$, and trending upwards. That leaves 226$ per month for yourself, which you’ll hopefully be able to spend on taxes, utilities, and food. Oh, you’re also walking to work, right?
Should people who work full-time to support themselves live in poverty?
“Those who want a better life, will need to get a better job.”
This goes back to the chain I brought up first thing (work to earn to live). If this were easier done than said, then everyone who wanted to increase their standard of living would simply switch to a job where they can provide higher valued work. In addition: “better jobs” are readily available to those that can afford to work for them (education/certification and traveling costs come to mind). I trust you remember how much one earns at minimum wage. If only poor people would just stop being poor.
Higher level education or otherwise proving that one is capable of a higher wage is not always cheap. With a restrictive income, it can be impossible for one supporting their family to also boost their signal in the field of their choice.
But what if we raise the minimum wage too high? Employers now have an extra burden they must bear (woe be unto them). This would be harsher for smaller businesses whose bottom line is much thinner than mega-corporations. Jobs will be lost as employers cut costs. It will affect consumers, who will now have to pay for those higher wages themselves with the increase in product prices… except…
Now there are more consumers because they have a living where they can perform product consumption.
Instead of making 1160$ a month, you have 2600$ (at 15$ per hour). That’s a lot of extra moola to spend on food, housing, cars, and whatever else your capitalist fever dream consists of. If all companies actively empower consumers to consume more, then consume more they do. In addition with a higher wage you get the following benefits: lower employee turnover rate (less spending on training), higher productivity, and increased loyalty. It’s true because I said so.
It’s good for businesses, and money = happiness. Forgetting about the businesses, the government would be saving money because people no longer qualify for food stamps and other financial aid that taxpayers pay taxes for.
Out of the possible options of lowering the wall that is access to education so that people can become doctors, or massive reform of our current financial aid programs (universal basic income anyone?), increasing the minimum wage is the least we can do to boost the economy and lower the percentage of poverty within the nation.