Justin F. Michigan

Wage Changes Could Benefit All

There should be a change in pay scale across the US in order to help families make their way out of poverty.

Dear Future President,

I think minimum wage should be higher for minors and higher in general to help bring people in poor areas out of poverty and be able to support their families. Michigan's minimum wage is currently, $8.50 an hour for people over the age of 18 and that is simply not enough for people who live in poverty to be successful. It is difficult to imagine living on such a miniscule amount of money each month. When one does the math, even a student, relying on their parents to pay certain bills, or even put a roof over their head, it is a struggle. I am begging of you to reconsider the amount dished out to those who truly need money to care for themselves and their families.

According to the 2015 Census, there are about 13.5% of Americans living at or below poverty level, which is nearly 4.1 million citizens. “In 2014, 77.2 million workers age 16 and older in the United States were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.7 percent of all wage and salary workers. Among those paid by the hour, 1.3 million earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. About 1.7 million had wages below the federal minimum,” according to the Bureau of Labor Services. These numbers are upsetting, to say the least. It is clear that something has to be done to help families in need, and that are deserving of a higher income.

Minimum wage is a big topic and there has been a lot of talk about raising it the last couple years but not much has really taken place.We need a president that will actually do what we've been talking about and help the people of our country. Low pay, equals more crime as stated in Jackson Free Press, in an article titled, “The Poverty-Crime Connection.” “If you struggle to pay your bills and don't know where your next meal is coming from, studies show you are more likely to be incarcerated. Once you fall into that cycle, it's difficult to break out. When people get out of jail, they usually have no money or a stable home to return to. If you are African American, the chances that you will be incarcerated are even higher. Studies show that people resort to crime only if they determine that potential benefits outweigh the cost or consequences of committing that. Therefore, people living in poverty are more likely to commit burglary, larceny or theft.” If we could take this information into consideration, when deciding home much to pay those working in labor intensive jobs, then perhaps we could have a better reason to boost their pay.

There has been plenty of controversy over the topic of raising wages. People have been protesting for 3 straight years trying to get company’s like Mcdonald's to raise their wage to $15 an hour, however there has been no deal made yet. According to an article written recently on The Guardian, “One of the workers joining the crowd in Times Square was Naquasia LeGrand, who works as a manager at a McDonald’s in North Carolina. When she started working, she was paid $7.25 an hour. She was recently promoted to a manager and saw her pay go up to $8 an hour, then to $8.15 an hour. Yet still, she says, “it’s not enough to make ends meet. I am still $400 short at the end of the month.” This proves that an individual can work exceptionally hard at a job, for years and still not make enough to get out of poverty.

One solution is to simply budget out a pay scale that is fitting for the majority of the population. What would be a liveable wage that could help poverty, according to president President Obama would be a raise from 7.25 to 10.10 dollars an hour. According to the US Census, this plan will help 12 million people in poverty and lift about 2 million out of poverty. And this could be a way we could improve our economy help poverty and maybe

In conclusion, the minimum wage should raised across the US to $15 or more an hour. Those who simply cannot afford college, and must settle on working a low paying job to support themselves or their families, must be able to afford daily expenses.This could help teenagers a lot because they could earn more at a younger age and get prepared and more ahead for college and I believe it will lower crime if there is less poverty in the US.


Justin Fisher

Clarkston Community Schools

ELA 10- Vickers

English Language Arts 10 A

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