Cora Washington

Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage is not a living wage.

November 4th, 2016

Dear Next President of the USA,

Imagine that you have to work one minimum wage job and your rent is double the amount you make. Also on top of that, is other payments when it comes to water, electricity, food on the table, and all the needs. The minimum wage is simply not enough to support one's living. $7.25 is the average minimum wage. The current minimum wage is not a living wage!

According to a 2013 poll by Oxfam America, 66% of the US workers earning less than $10 an hour report that they "just meet" or "don't even have enough to meet" their basic living expenses, and 50% say that they are frequently worried about affording basic necessities such as food. A 2015 report by the Alliance for a Just Society, found that "the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour represents less than half of a living wage for a single adult" and a worker supporting only himself would have to work 93 hours a week at the federal minimum wage in order to make ends meet “ This shows that making this ammount of money does not meet the amount that can afford our needs such as utilities, food, and housing.

My Mom’s story has impacted my living situation now. She cannot make ends meet with a minimum wage job. I grew up with a single Mom who was stuck paying all the bills when it came to water, the electricity, garbage, house payments, and food on the table. There was no cable because my Mom could not afford it. My Mom was working two jobs leaving in the morning and coming home around midnight! These two jobs were only minimum wage jobs, and she was not making enough money.. Two minimum wage jobs were not enough to save our house. Eventually all the bills stacked up to the point where we had been getting eviction notices and it was time to move out. I saw the struggle my Mom went through when she had to work two minimum wage jobs and still couldn’t afford the payments anymore. She couldn’t afford to take care of my two siblings & I. Now I live with my Dad because my Mom is not financially stable to take care of my siblings & I because she is working one minimum wage job.

When families are not making enough money, there is also government help available. “If low-income workers earned more money, their dependence on, and eligibility for, government benefits would decrease. The Center for American Progress reported in 2014 that raising the federal minimum wage by 6% to $10.10 would reduce spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) by 6% or $4.6 billion. [9] The Economic Policy Institute determined that by increasing the minimum wage to $10.10, more than 1.7 million Americans would no longer be dependent on government assistance programs.” I have lived on food stamps and it is a help. If people were to have a higher paying job, they would not need to rely on government welfare.

Also in a 2015 report from the “National Low Income Housing Coalition, someone who is working must earn at least $15.50 an hour (over twice the federal minimum wage) to be able to afford to rent a "modest" one-bedroom apartment, and $19.35 for a two-bedroom unit (more than 2.5 times the minimum wage).” Then 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." One can not make enough money to pay a decent enough apartment. Not even one minimum wage job is enough.

Overall, statistics show that the wage needs to be raised due to the fact that workers must work about 93 hours to a week to make ends meet to support themselves. If you becomes president of the USA, I want you to make sure the jobs of the future in caregiving and services are good-paying jobs, & recognize what is being contributed to families and to America. As well as Commit to a full-employment, full-potential economy and break down barriers(Preventions) so that the jobs, growth, and, success are shared in the communities in America. I want to see a positive change in our economy and you actually follow through with what has been stated.


Cora P.

Foster High School

Tukwila, WA

Foster High School

Gamboa 4th Period Civics

4th period Civics and Current Events taught by Ms. Gamboa.

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