Dear Future President,
$7.25 -- also known as 725 pennies, 29 quarters, and many more combinations of coins. Why are these numbers so important? Whom does it affect? These are all questions I asked while doing research in ELA for this letter. I learned that $7.25 is the minimum hourly wage for United States employees, which takes up a little bit more than half of the United States population. This means lots of people are affected by this tiny three-digit number. Think about this, $7.25 an hour. To some people, it might sound practical, but little do they know it could lead to some major issues. You could prevent these issues by having the citizens best interests at heart and raising minimum wage.
Why is raising minimum wage a big deal? Well, to start, it affects all age groups in our society. For instance, if someone wants to start saving money for their child’s college education, they need money. To give you an idea of how many people are in this boat, let’s take a look at the number of people working at less than fifteen dollars an hour. In 2014, just two years ago, 44.4 million - 44,400,000 - people were working for the pitiful amount of fifteen dollars or less. Who was one of the largest group of ages earning this? The Newsela article, “Should America Raise the Minimum Wage? Experts see pluses and minuses,” states, 23.8% of these workers range from the ages of 25 to 34. The significance of these ages are that they are the ages when an adult would start to think of saving money for a child’s education. The same Newsela article also states, 9.1% of those earning that much are ages 16 to 19; these are the ages of prospective college students. If they want to receive college education, forget it, they can’t afford it. They lose out on a dream, a hope, a wish, for a better future because of a simple number on a piece of green paper. Think of all those people (14,607,600) who could become doctors, lawyers, teachers, and so many other careers requiring a college education but will never get that chance. Raising minimum wage could give those underpaid people the chance they rightfully deserve.
Along with providing a better chance in getting a good education, raising minimum wage will also decline the number of United States citizens in poverty. For instance, in a Newsela article called, “Half the world has as much money combined as the 85 richest people” I read one out of 85 of the richest people in the world has as much money as about 42 million - 42,000,000 - of the world’s poorest people. Where do they get this money? Their jobs give them it. I am pretty sure that they did not make a living like that on 7.25 dollars an hour. Therefore, if the minimum wage was raised up to say, even $10 an hour, there wouldn’t be so many homeless, starving, innocent people on the streets of humongous cities. They would be able to afford the comfort of a home, meal, and family. Raising minimum wage is the answer to one of the world’s biggest problems, poverty.
Having minimum wage at $7.25 is an issue because it makes people more susceptible to poverty and more likely to stay there. It needs to change because it is contributing to the way our country is viewed, the knowledge level of our country, and the increasing poverty rate in our country. I am not the only one who thinks this is wrong either. From a Newsela article called, “McDonald’s wage increase not enough, many workers say,” I learned that there have been many rallies started by McDonald’s workers about raising their wage. If they are mad about their wage, I bet there are others, too. The McDonalds’ workers succeeded in raising their wage. Will you help the rest of us succeed, too? If not, why not give the rest of this country the same opportunity?
Raising minimum wage is important to me specifically because I hope to get an hourly-paid job in the next few years. I also want to be able to go to college, but to be able to get there, I need money. If I am in this boat, I am guessing there are at least thousands of others running into the same obstacles. To add to my passion about this topic, I have physically seen poverty. I went to Boston this summer and got to see first-hand homeless strangers begging for help that the government won’t give them. I think it’s time the government helped them.
In conclusion, President, if you want to leave your mark on the United States, why not raise minimum wage? What’s wrong with $10 an hour instead of $7.25? It is a mere difference of $2.75 an hour, enough to positively impact the world, but not enough to bankrupt business owners. It is the answer to our poverty and other problems. Do not let people suffer because of financial injustice. Help everyone exceed their fullest potential! Raise minimum wage!
Sydney S., Pennsylvania