Living With the Minimum Wage?

Josh Ort and Cole Connelly

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Josh Ort
A student filling out her W2 form, knowing she will be making minimum wage.

The 17 year-old boy was exhausted after another 6 hour day of work at his minimum wage job. He couldn’t wait to get his paycheck to buy the new sneakers that were on sale for $149.99. He thought that he had more than enough money. His boss handed him his paycheck and he ran straight to the bank. He opened the envelope to reveal that he only made $94.53 this week. He was devastated.The current minimum wage is not a living wage because many low wage workers are suffering financially.

The minimum wage law creates a lot of controversy all around America. It is currently $7.25 federally and $10.10 in Connecticut. Carlie Dailey, Hall High teacher, said, “Living off the minimum wage is not a living wage because it all depends on what your expenses are and how many people depend on your income for support.” If someone has a huge family in New York, their living wage would be greater than a single man in Texas.

Some people are better handling money and budgeting than other people even if they make around the same amount of income per year. Being smart with your money can help your life significantly.

Josh Ort
A student stressed about paying for his car loan with his minimum wage job.

U.S. Representative, Bobby Scott, believes that raising the wage is a good thing and only has positive outcomes. “Raising the minimum wage is not only good for workers, it is good for the businesses, and good for the economy.”

People who do make the minimum wage have their own say about the controversy. According to the New York Times, Payes, a minimum wage worker, said, “‘I felt like a zombie,’ Payes told me. ‘No energy. Always sad.’ Yet just to afford basic necessities, he had to work up to 16 hours a day, seven days a week.”

People all over the world are struggling to make a living off the minimum wage and it should be obvious that raising the minimum wage will help the people suffering financially, and will be good for the economy.

Although, the minimum wage must be raised, there are many opposing viewpoints that are understandable. For example, when asked about the negatives of an increasing minimum wage, Hall High senior Sam Harrington, stated, “It wouldn’t be as easy to find a minimum wage job, and I think that would raise unemployment.” It’s likely that an increase in the minimum wage would reduce lower income hirings because it would cost more to employ the workers.

Overall, it should be very clear that while there is some good and some bad, the benefits of raising the minimum wage definitely outweigh the negatives. Many people are suffering financially; how can we make minimum wage a living wage?