For those who say minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage should review their history. The president who signed it into law over 80 years ago made it crystal clear what minimum wage is.
“No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.”
~ President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 when passing the National Industrial Recovery Act.
He also added: “And by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level — I mean the wages of decent living.”
So, if you came here saying people who “flip burgers” for a living shouldn’t earn $15 an hour, history isn’t on your side. Back then, we expected our corporations to adequately pay their workers.
But now? Some of us bought into the narrative that some jobs are lesser than others, and therefore undeserving of a decent wage.
Anyways, Fox 61 reports that our current minimum wage doesn’t even cover the “bare subsistence” anymore. In fact, it no longer will afford rent anywhere in America.
Meaning, people who do work up to or more than 40 hours a week struggle to keep a roof over their head.
This study came from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, or NLIHC, who had more to say than just that. They found that US workers need to earn $22.10 to afford a two bedroom apartment.
Which is, by all means, three times the federal minimum wage.
The survey also looked at “modest” one-bedroom apartments, too. It found people needed to earn $17.90 an hour to afford those.
More than twice the minimum wage. So, that means a worker would need to pull over 100 hours a week to afford an apartment.
Connecticut ranked 9th highest in terms of cost. A worker would need to earn $22.90 an hour to afford a two bedroom apartment. Minimum wage workers would need to work 99 hours a week to cover the cost, too.
Which is, by all means, would mean someone needs to work 2.5 jobs to rake in that kind of overtime.
The study also bases its data on the accepted idea that people should only spend 30 percent of their salaries on their residence. Which, obviously, is an entirely new can of worms in itself and better saved for opening another time.
The study not only criticized businesses for underpaying their employees, but also the surging cost of rent:
“This year’s findings demonstrate how far out of reach modestly priced housing is for the growing low-wage work force, despite recent wage growth, and for other vulnerable populations across the country.”
So, here’s what I find fascinating. Some people genuinely hate the idea that we need to raise they minimum wage. They reason that someone who “flips burgers” for a living isn’t as important as a job as a firefighter or police officer.
But, in the same breath, they condemn those on welfare or federal assistance BECAUSE they don’t make enough money to afford food/rent.
“Just get a better job,” critics say, which shows we as a society have been brainwashed by businesses who get away with paying their employees peanuts for their labor.
Businesses who have multi-million dollar CEOs and would collapse if their workers weren’t there to keep things running.
The fact of the matter is, practically everyone is underpaid. Our salaries stagnated and (if you account for inflation) people in the 60’s and 70s’s made more more money than we do.
Yet, we see our CEO’s raking in a record amount of money.
I’m sorry, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos doesn’t need $100 billion dollars when a portion of his employees require food stamps to get by.
“But he worked hard, he deserves that money!” You might say.
Well, so do the people at McDonald’s who you probably scream at for the smallest inconvenience. I think a person who is verbally abused by customers and their managers day in and day out deserve to afford a roof over their head and food on the table.
The fact is, we as a society allowed ourselves to get brainwashed into thinking some jobs are worthier than others. The “unworthy” jobs shouldn’t be eligible for a living wage because that’s what the “worthy” jobs need.
Well, how about this. We pay people with the “worthy” jobs accordingly, so a $15 hourly wage doesn’t seem so ludicrous. Just a thought.
We content ourselves with our lower salaries because we’ve been successfully pitted against each other. While the CEOs and upper management continue to delight in their inflated salaries, they laugh as we, their “underlings” fight over the scraps.
The minimum wage workers aren’t your enemy nor are they stealing money from you. Why are we allowing the millionaires to convince us, the middle class, that people making even LESS than us don’t deserve a raise?
So, wake up. If you work 40+ hours a week, you deserve to afford a place to stay and food to eat. Period.
Anyone who says boo to that needs to do some soul searching. This is why America is falling apart. And, most likely, why we’re heading to another major Stock Market Crash.
Because we’re BASICALLY REPEATING HISTORY. Why do you think your history teacher was so wacky? They see the same thing happening over and over again and, yet, no one sees it.
Anyways, before the 1929 stock market crash, companies merged like crazy as they’re doing now, the richer got richer while the poorer got poorer and… boom. The %1 became too top heavy for the 99% to support them.
As Will Rogers once said,
“Ten men in the country could buy the world and ten million can’t buy enough to eat.”
We can easily apply that 80+ year old quote to today.
So, that said, buckle up kids… we’re in for another painful lesson in history. So, if you want to know why FDR instituted a minimum wage, it was with hope a stock market crash would never happen again.
Yet here we are.
What do you think, though? Will we see another Black Tuesday? Or do you think that minimum wage workers need to stop whining?