7/19/2013 2:32 PM ET|
You can't live on $7.25 an hour anywhere in America
A new study says even in the cheapest area, it takes at least $10.20 for a US worker to achieve economic stability.
According to a study produced for The Huffington Post by Wider Opportunities for Women, a nonprofit advocacy organization aimed at boosting low-income women and families, even a worker with no children living in Hanson would need to take in $10.20 an hour to be economically stable.
That's almost $3 more than the federal minimum, which is also South Dakota's minimum wage. And $10.20 an hour is getting off lightly, because WOW's researchers found it would take an average minimum wage of $14.17 an hour for workers across the nation to be economically secure. In Montgomery County, Md., the area where the cost of living is highest, a worker needs a minimum wage of $23.65 to achieve the same stability.
That's no small matter, considering that Montgomery County borders Washington, D.C., which is taking on no less than Wal-Mart (WMT) in its battle for a living wage. The D.C. City Council passed a bill earlier this month requiring large retailers in the city to pay their workers at least $12.50 per hour, more than $4 above the city's minimum wage. Wal-Mart has threatened to pull six planned stores in the city if Mayor Vincent Gray signs the bill into law.
WOW's basic premise is that the minimum wage is too low to provide a living wage for most Americans. President Barack Obama agrees and proposed raising it to $9 per hour in his State of the Union address earlier this year. Congress didn't think much of that plan and halted it right out of the gate.
It doesn't help the minimum wage's case when its opponents think it's making minimum-wage workers rich. Billionaire Charles Koch recently released a commercial that suggests an annual income of $34,000 puts a worker among the wealthiest 1% -- in the world. The Economic Policy Institute's Family Budget Calculator counters that a family of three would require an income of $45,000 a year to cover basic needs in Simpson County, Miss., the U.S. region with the lowest cost of living for a family of that size.
That need changes drastically by location and still dwarfs the $30,000 a year two parents working full time would make from the $7.25 minimum wage. In Wichita, Kan., where Think Progress notes Koch's $200,000 commercial campaign has begun, the amount of income needed to cover basic costs jumps to nearly $54,000.
Simply put, $7.25 an hour is a wage, but no one in America is living well on it.
Sure you can't live comfortably on $7.25/hour, but is raising minimum wage the right decision? If we raise minimum wage it will simply increase inflation, require businesses to charge more for their products, and reduce the number of jobs (as many businesses will not be able to afford paying more for their workers).
Check out this article for some great thoughts on the issue: . I really think that targeting minimum wage is like painting a termite infested house - it's missing the point completely and failing to actually benefit society.
We, a family of three, live in high cost Vermont. Somehow or other, without taking any of the welfare available to us: $300+ in food stamps per month, heating subsidies, electric bill subsidy, and telephone subsidy (we could also move into subsidized housing if we desired), we are still able to live on just under $20,000 per year!
We have chosen no TV service, we use pay per minute cell phones, we make almost all of our own food from scratch, budget, budget, budget and do without a lot, we homeschooled our child (which we paid for out of our own pockets). We occasionally do have fun away from the home. We repair our clothes when they are worn out and don't buy new ones unless we need them. The list goes on.
We do not feel deprived as we have time to talk with one another, play games, take walks, read a book, and study the Bible, etc........
It can be done if one is willing to entertain oneself rather than have others do it in place (dining, media, etc...).
I hope this gives hope to those who are struggling. If we had signed onto food stamps 6 years ago, we could have saved a pretty penny (or spent it), but it would have been someone else's penny, not ours, and if we can do it on our own, we should not take it from someone else (even if he's a billionaire: because stealing is stealing whether the government approves it or not).
We pray and wish you all well.
raising it is ****, I spent 20 years working my way up from minimum wage jobs to the 27 an hour I make now. If they boost the minimum up that high all they will do is drive the cost of everthing threw the roof. We all know that corpation are going to lose money so they will raise the cost of their goods to match.
It wont give these people any more money but will effectively be a decrease in wages for the rest of us. wake up people. you dont like making minimum wage? then work harder go to school increase your skill set and get promoted to higher payign jobs like other did. I am so sick of people thinking they deserve something they have not earned. Instead of looking for a hand out how about putting your hands back to work.?
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