Grace H. Ohio

Raise the Wage

The federal minimum wage needs to be raised in order for US citizens to prosper and have a more fulfilling life.

October 21, 2016

Dear Future President:

With the numbers of people working and supporting themselves rising, the problem of minimum wage is also rising. People as young as 16 can be impacted by this issue. I am impacted because I am a 17 year old, I have dreams just like any other kid my age. I want to go to college and support myself, but doing that will be extremely hard with a job that only pays minimum wage. The minimum wage needs to be raised because people living on the federal minimum wage are just getting by and getting by is not enough; as it stands, people barely have enough money to support the cost of living in America.

Most kids my age are restaurant servers and with this position comes tips, which are great. However, with this position also comes lower wages. According to Tiffany Koebel, ¨The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is even lower. It’s only $2.13 – and it hasn’t been raised since 1991.¨ This means waitresses are relying on tips as the bulk of their pay. Some restaurants don't get very many customers causing the amount of tips to lower. How can you support yourself, let alone anyone else, on money like that?

The cost of living in America has gone up and the minimum wage isn't supporting that. Tiffany Koebel (a public affairs specialist in the Labor Department's Office of Public Affairs, specializing in digital media) states, ¨Since the last time it was raised – to $7.25 in 2009 − the cost of living has increased by nearly 12 percent. And its value has declined over the past few decades: since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the value of the minimum wage has fallen by nearly 20 percent, and since 1968 – when the purchasing power of the minimum wage was at its highest – its value has fallen by nearly 25 percent.¨ This shows that the minimum wage isn't rising, but the cost of living is. These need to be synced because if the cost of living is going up, the wages people are getting paid need to support that rise or else there will be more and more debt in the US.

Some people may say that those working for minimum wage shouldn't complain and they should go to school to get a degree to better themselves or get a second job. Some people say this because that is what they personally did. Although this is an understandable argument, it isn't that easy. School is expensive and again minimum wage can't support a person with school loans.

What I'm asking you to do, Future President, is to fix this problem affecting millions of Americans. We all have dreams, some bigger than others, but without a raise in minimum wage, we won't be able to achieve them. People need your help, and you can change that. Change this issue and make America a better more enjoyable place to live.

We need to raise the minimum wage because it is not enough to support someone living off of a minimum wage check. This will give people a greater chance to prosper and thrive. Also, we would have fewer homeless and hungry people in the country because of this change. According to Thomas E Perez (the secretary of the US department of Labor), ¨Increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would make a powerful difference in millions of lives. Based on tabulations from the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), it would benefit 28 million workers, giving them a little bit more breathing room and peace of mind. It would raise incomes for an estimated 12 million people now in poverty, lifting about 2 million of them out of poverty.¨ Thank you, future President, for taking the time out of your busy day to read my letter. I hope you will be able to make a change to this issue.


Grace Hissett

Oak Hills High School

Biser's 3rd bell (English III)

10th and 11th grade students in Mrs. Biser's class

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