Raise minimum wage, reduce pay gap


graphic courtesy of MCT Campus

The minimum wage in Louisiana is $7.25 which is the lowest minimum wage that any state is allowed to have in United States.
Having a minimum wage this low has not only negative economic effects on individual people, but on the entire nation. For this reason, we must have higher minimum wages throughout the country.
There is a popular movement in America right now called “Fight for $15,” in which people are fighting for a federal minimum wage of $15. They’re doing this because the current minimum wage is not enough for most people to live off of.
When the minimum wage was first introduced in 1938, it was meant to be a living wage. That means that a person was supposed to be able to work a minimum wage job and be able to support themselves off of that without having to go hungry or homeless.
However, there are people who are not in support of raising the minimum wage that will say this is not true.
They say that the minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage, but rather a jumping off point for a person to work their way up to making a decent living.
But according to The Billfold, in 1933 FDR said “no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.”
From that statement alone, it’s obvious that the minimum wage was always meant to be a living wage. That does not mean that it ever actually was, or that it is now.
The reason that people are pushing specifically for a $15 minimum wage is because that is what a person today needs to survive.
According to NELP, by the year 2024 a single adult with no children will need at least $31,200 annually to live off of all across the United States. If a person worked full-time making $15 an hour, they would make that amount.
The people striking for the wage raise aren’t demanding it all at once though. They know that it is a big jump. NELP said the goal is not to immediately change the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15, but instead to steadily increase it over a five-year period, at the end of which minimum wage would be at $15.
According to CBS, the cost of living in America has risen 18% since 2009 but the minimum wage has remained the same since that year instead of rising to keep up with it.
This is causing the wage gap in the United States to increase, which means that the poor are getting poorer.
A big problem with this movement is that when people hear “$15 minimum wage,” they stop listening.
To get their attention, we have to start talking more about raising the minimum wage a little bit at a time instead of hitting them out of nowhere with $15.
That would make people more receptive and open to the idea.