Cost of living

The federal minimum wage rate needs to be raised


Photo via Pew Research Center

This graph shows the federal minimum wage rate from 1938-2016

Noah Walls, Staff Reporter

Jobs all over America offer part-time jobs with a minimum wage pay, this is the lowest amount an employer can pay their employees. Every state has different minimum wages based on the cost of living in that state, but the federal rate is $7.25 an hour. I believe that raising the federal rate could be beneficial for many reasons.

According to The Economic Policy Institute, the “Raise the Wage Act,” which boosts the minimum wage from the current paltry $7.25 per hour to $15 an hour by 2025, has passed the House of Representatives. Despite this, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to even bring it up for a vote in the Senate.” If the minimum wage is changed from $7.25 to $15 an hour then bringing the gap between rich Americans and poor Americans will slowly narrow. I believe that $15 is enough, A full-time worker getting paid $15 an hour would make $31,000 a year which should be sustainable enough to live in most places in America, especially if the employee doesn’t have a family to provide for. 

If minimum wage was raised, I believe that all workers would benefit from it and also maybe enjoy coming to work and earn their money. Bringing money home to your household and family is very important to many people because of the standard of living that people have. 

“Gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024 would lift pay for nearly 40 million workers— 26.6 percent of the U.S. workforce,” writer David Cooper said. “Affected workers who work year round would earn an extra $3,000 a year—enough to make a tremendous difference in the life of a preschool teacher, bank teller, or fast-food worker who today struggles to get by on around $20,000 a year.”

For a family of three, the poverty threshold is $19,985 income a year. Working a minimum wage job 40 hours a week for a year, your total income would be $18,720, which is right under the threshold. If the minimum wage was raised, this wouldn’t be a problem, and the people in poverty would be able to work full time jobs with minimum pay and still be above the poverty line.

“The minimum wage is poorly targeted at the poor,” writer Michael Saltsman said. “More than 35 percent are living at home with family or relatives; by contrast, just 9 percent represent single parents supporting children.” Single parents have it the hardest because you don’t have to only provide for yourself but also your child.

I believe that the federal minimum wage rate needs to be raised, getting people out of poverty and helping people who are broke needs to be a main priority for the government. It’s sad seeing homeless people and the poor because they don’t live the same life as others due to the amount of money that they make. The best option is to raise the minimum wage rate from $7.25 to $15 an hour.