A majority of people will work a minimum wage job at some point in their lifetime. These jobs can vary from working in fast food, to retail, to many other things in between. They are not very glamorous, and usually the staff is students trying to get through school. However more recently, there has been a rise in those working for minimum wage at a much older age. They have families as well as themselves to support. The minimum wage in the state of New Hampshire is currently $7.25. This is the federal minimum, but is nothing compared to the cost of living. A full workweek is 40 hours. At $7.25 per hour, this leaves the minimum wage worker with a paycheck of $290—before the taxes are taken out. It is unbelievable that people are expected to live off of that little. The cost of living has skyrocketed from the time a minimum wage was first established.
Even over the past decade, the economy has changed so much while minimum wage stays the same. What once would buy a week’s worth of groceries will hardly pay for anything. Yet, there are people who are expected to support not only themselves but also their families off of such a small sum of money.
Between groceries, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and everything else that has to be paid for in order to live a comfortable life, the minimum wage is simply not enough, while there are multiple other benefits that could come out of raising the minimum wage as well. If it were to be raised, the economy would flourish.
It would allow people rather than corporations to have spending money in their pocket, as well as help some get out of debt. Currently, debt in the U.S. is at such a high rate. There are so many people living paycheck to paycheck who are unable to pay off any debts that they owe to schools, banks, or anyone willing to loan them money when they needed it. Those who are in extreme debt have a very difficult time paying it off, if they even ever do. Many argue that raising the minimum wage is unnecessary, and if these people want to make money they should go to school and get a higher paying job.
However, how is this possible if they cannot even afford the cost of living without paying for school on top of that? It is a never-ending cycle that this generation and even the generation before us keeps facing. So many are stuck and unable to make progress because of how little they make compared to how much they have to spend on living.
Devon Roberts can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org