From Minimum Wage to Living Wage

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What does the average American citizen need to sustain a suitable lifestyle? Is it a working wage of $7.25 or is a higher wage necessary? Those are the questions the United States Government needs to be asking themselves. The current minimum wage of $7.25 is not enough for a person to live off of comfortably. This is well known throughout the middle and lower class of society. With the rate of inflation on housing raising the minimum wage should to be raised, yet it has stayed the same since 2009. If minimum wage is not enough funds to pay for housing then how could it possibly pay for the necessities beyond that like food and clothing. Many states like California, Alaska, Colorado, and Florida are all raising their state minimum wage, so why wont the federal wage be raised? This is what american citizens all around the country should be pushing for, a living wage not a minimum wage.

The minimum wage was introduced in the united states in 1938 within the Fair Labor Standard act (FLSA)(What Is the History of the Minimum Wage? ). The point of FLSA was to supply overtime pay, child labor regulations, requirements of keeping records and the minimum wage. Minimum wage is the lowest wage an employer can pay an employee legally with certain exceptions. The reason the minimum wage was supported by FLSA was because the sole purpose of the minimum wage at this time was to stabilize the post depression economy and provide a stable protection plan for the workforce(Minimum Wage. ). The very first minimum wage was set at $0.25 per hour, since then the minimum wage has been increased to keep up with the rate of inflation 22 more times. The last raise in minimum wage was in 2009 when it reached $7.25 yet has not changed since in almost ten years to keep up with the ever increasing rate of inflation(What Is the History of the Minimum Wage?).

A living wage is a wage that is high enough for someone to be able to afford a normal standard of living. Yet then we must ask, What is a normal standard of living? A normal standard of living includes income, quality of employment, affordable housing and quality, hours of work necessary to purchase basic necessities, access to affordable health care, and safety. The difference between minimum wage and a living wage is that even though the minimum wage is supposed to keep up with inflation and allowing for all of the aspects of life that a living wage can, it does not.

A living wage has not been given to the american citizens and the federal government refuses to raise the minimum wage to bring the poverty rate and those who depend of welfare and food stamps to rise from the bottom and make a living and a life for themselves. Minimum wage has zero connection to poverty rates and a slimming connection to inflation rates of living costs.

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