Jairam M. Texas

Increase the Minimum Wage

Persuasive letter with reasons to increase the federal minimum wage.

Dear Madam/Mr. President,

Imagine you are a McDonald's worker that came home after a hard and strenuous day at work, only receiving 600 dollars a month. Being a mother to four children and not able to pay the rent, utilities, or commute to work, Carman Iverson has a hard time living a normal life. She is just a tiny ant in a huge colony. So many workers can’t live on the current federal minimum wage of 7.25 dollars per hour. This is the most critical issue in America that you can not overlook. It’s not just me who fights for an increase, but millions of workers depend on the increase. Madam or Mr. President, you must sign a bill into law that supports increasing the current minimum wage, because it will increase the public health and reduce poverty.

Across the state of Washington, an average of 62 percent of the people aspire an increase in the minimum wage. The Elway Research Poll results showed 57 percent of the people were supporting the increase, and 31 percent were against. The Insights West Poll results showed that 55 percent of the people supported the increase, and 30 percent  were against. Increasing the minimum wage increases the public health, as it prevents many premature deaths and the overall illness of many workers. The Human Impact Partners, or HIP, did an analysis of the SB 935, which would raise the minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2017. The HIP ended up finding that a higher wage would prevent the premature deaths of about 400 Californians per year. Every life matters and saving 400 each year is just a great feeling to have. As Jonathan Heller, the co-director of the HIP, says it, “Giving working families a decent standard of living … is one of the most powerful interventions we can make for public health.” The analysis also shows how a higher payout reduces people’s risk of all kinds of health problems, ranging from obesity to depression to smoking. The report also found that families who live on the current wage are more than twice as likely to face serious psychological torture than those families who make three times the minimum wage. Every single job has some sort of stress level, but when it comes to a minimum wage job, there is nothing like it. Workers won’t go a second without thinking about their families. All this anxiety leads to depression and chronic diseases.  As a result, people will start taking drugs which are assassins to the human body. People with a higher wage will also be more likely to exercise, which decreases the amount of workers that are obese. In 2014 Edward Ehlinger, an MD, is the State Health Commissioner for Minnesota. He stated that “raising the Minnesota minimum wage from $6.15 an hour to $9.50 was the biggest public health achievement... in the four years I've been health commissioner... If you look at the conditions that impact health, income is right at the top of the list... Anything we can do to help enhance economic stability will have a huge public health benefit. This is a major public health issue." The Health Commissioner is right about how this is a major issue, and that anything done to boost the economic stability will have a public health benefit. I have to agree with him, as increasing the federal minimum wage will provide a healthier population, and it's a fact proven correct.

Some people say that raising the minimum wage will hurt jobs, but they are obviously mistaken. The Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper says that,"raising  the minimum wage is risky." Detroit News states, "raising minimum wage hurts low-skill workers.” Vox Media says that "even left-leaning economists say it's a gamble." There is proof that this is a fake myth from the researchers at the national Employment Law Project. The people in the project have looked over the employment data from every federal minimum wage increase, right when the very first minimum wage was founded. The researchers called it “simple before-and-after comparisons of job-growth trends 12 months after each minimum-wage increase.” Everyone concluded that there has been no decline in job growth for the past 78 years. We have been raising the minimum wage for 78 years and the study clearly shows that the minimum wage increases have made none of the "job-killing" everyone is worried about. Furthermore, economies actually work like this: workers receiving extra money allow their businesses to acquire more customers and hire more employees. Unquestionably, an increase in the minimum wage will not cease the employment of people.

"In the world's richest country, no one who works should live in poverty. …” stated Jill Stein. Income always has to do with poverty. Increasing the minimum wage will reduce poverty, by letting workers actually afford everyday basics. A 2015 study, by the Alliance for a Just Society, found out that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour represents less than half of a living wage for a single adult. A minimum wage worker working only for himself would have to work 93 hours a week at the federal minimum wage in order to live a basic and functional life, without having to skip mandatory necessities like food or medicine. Working 93 hours a week is the same thing as working for 13 hours a day. For an average worker, it is close to impossible to support himself with the federal minimum wage. The situation would be even worse if the worker had a family. Another report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, shows that a worker must earn at least $15.50 an hour (which is almost twice the current minimum wage) to be able to rent a modern one-bedroom apartment, and $19.35 for a two-bedroom apartment (which is about two and a half times more than the minimum wage). The report stated that, "In no state can an individual working a typical 40-hour work week at the federal minimum wage afford a one- or two-bedroom apartment for his or her family." In California in 2015, even a person earning the then state minimum wage of $9 per hour would need to work 92 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom apartment. The current minimum wage provides almost half of the money to afford a one bedroom apartment. A typical worker would run out of money just for living in a home, and couldn’t afford any of the other essentials in a daily life, like transportation fees and clothing. A full-time worker without a child that lives on the federal minimum wage, earns about $15,080 a year, which is right above the federal poverty level of $12,331 by twenty percent. A single parent with a child would be eight percent below the poverty level of $16,337. According to a 2014 Congressional Budget Office report, increasing the minimum wage to $9 would lift 300,000 people out of poverty, and an increase to $10.10 would take 900,000 people out of poverty. A simple increase of about two dollars would already lift 300,000 people out of the poverty zone. Can businesses not even increase the minimum wage by two dollars? In the preamble of the constitution of the United States of America, it states, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” The term "general welfare" doesn’t mean that people can’t pay for their homes, or can’t afford the basics of what every human should have. Did the founding fathers put   When you say "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," are you really going to go against the constitution? As you can clearly see, increasing the minimum wage is key to diminishing poverty.

There are so many opportunities to help people that live on the minimum wage, but all of that can only happen if the federal minimum wage is raised. The workers need the respect they deserve. Someone has to be a clerk at a store, someone has to be a janitor, not everyone can be a doctor or have a job that is the best of the best. This issue is definitely one of the main things you must focus on, as soon as you step into that White House. The minimum wage has to be increased, as it provides better public health and lifts thousands from poverty. Drifting from the demanding increase of the minimum wage, I just want to congrats you on becoming the President of the United States.

                                                                            Works Cited

United States of America Constitution│Philadelphia, Pennsylvania│Sept,17, 1787.

@. "How An Increase in Minimum Wage Can Improve Health | State of Health | KQED News." The State of Health. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

@everettherald. "Polling Finds Strong Support for Minimum-wage Increase - HeraldNet.com - Everett and Snohomish County News." HeraldNet.com. 19 Oct. 2016. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

Hanauer, Nick. "A Report That Analyzed Every Minimum-wage Hike since 1938 Should Put a Bunch of Nonsense Ideas to Rest." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 06 May 2016. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

"Minimum Wage - ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

"Should the Federal Minimum Wage Be Increased? - 2016 Presidential Election - ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.