The Minimum Wage Analysis

1050 Words 5 Pages
Since 1938, the minimum wage has been raised several times; usually it would occur almost every year, sometimes it would happen three or four years later. But now, it hasn’t changed for the past five years. In 2007, the minimum wage was $5.85; in 2008 it was raised to $6.55, and then again in 2009, it was raised to $7.25. It is now the year 2014, and the minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour. A full-time worker who is paid the minimum wage would make an annual income of $15,080. Most of the individuals working low-wage jobs are over the age of twenty and trying to support a family; this is not a sufficient amount of money to make ends meet. The minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour; this is called the “living wage.” The "living wage” …show more content…
In the novel, Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting by in America, the author Barbara Ehrenreich undertakes an experiment about how individuals strive to survive working low-wage jobs. A person she meets in one of these jobs is a woman named Holly. Holly lives with her husband and is pregnant. Holly can’t miss any days of work at all because she just simply can’t afford to do so. Holly’s wage was $6.65 an hour, which is lower than the minimum wage we have today. This expands to a greater theme: many low-wage workers are females who have a family or are pregnant and are the breadwinner (breadwinner meaning “a person supporting a family with his or her earnings”). Imagine having to work two, or in some cases three, low-wage jobs just to be able to pay rent and, maybe, be able to purchase a meal. Usually low-wage workers survive off of fast food because it’s quick and easy to …show more content…
They are unable to see their loved ones. But, hopefully most situations won’t end the way hers did. Maria Fernandes is one example of these low-wage workers striving to survive. In an article titled For a Worker With Little Time Between 3 Jobs, a Nap Has Fatal Consequences published by the New York Times, Maria Fernandes worked three jobs, at three Dunkin’ Donuts locations in northern New Jersey. She’d shuttle from Newark to Linden to Harrison and back. She would often sleep in her car to save time. One night, she parked in a Wawa parking lot to take a nap. During that nap, the tank of gas she had inside the car tipped over. The S.U.V filled with fumes and Ms. Fernandes died in her sleep. In the article, it states, “But Ms. Fernandes was more than an emblem of our nation’s rising economic inequality.” This statement is true; our society has been set up through political policies to favor those in the top 1%, while the others work rigorously to earn money that won’t be given to them. Barbara Ehrenreich states, “Something is wrong, very wrong, when a single person in good health, a person who in addition possesses a working car, can barely support herself by the sweat of her brow.” How have we stooped so low that a single person with good health, who possesses a car, is unable to support themself?
Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will bring millions of Americans

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