80.4 million Americans, 58.3% of the workforce, currently make the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, which hasn’t changed since 2009. $7.25/hr comes out to rougly $14,500/yr or $1,208/mo. This is not a livable wage in 2021. The average cost of living in the United States is $20,195/person/year which converts roughly to $1,682/person/month. If a person makes $1,208 per month and their living expenses are $1,682 per month, they’re about $475 short at the end of the month.
But, if we raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hr, annual and monthly incomes will be $31,200 and $2,600, respectively. Going off the previously provided figures for the cost of living, at $15/hr the average minimum wage worker would be able to afford to live and have approximately $918/mo to put into other engagements like investing, debt repayment, and creating an emergency fund.
Raising the minimum wage to $15/hr is a 207% increase from $7.25. It’s important to note that if the increase goes into effect, consumers may see a slight increase in prices, but there would be no direct impact on taxes. The only thing that a minimum wage increase would do to the huge companies who exploit it and have more than enough money to make the increase is force those companies to pay workers fairly. Also, raising the minimum wage would stimulate the economy and create new opportunities for job growth. Forcing companies to pay a liveable wage will reduce poverty by some 6.8 million people, which in turn will also save the government $7.6 billion on welfare payments. Also, a minimum wage increase will reduce pay inequalities based on gender and race.
If you can, please get involved in government and help us increase the federal minimum wage to $15/hr. The best way to get involved is by demanding that your local, state, and federal officials raise the minimum wage. You can find your officials by going to https://go.derekschmitz.com/reps. Once you’re there, enter your address. When the search returns, locate the contact information for your state Senator and House member, as well as your federal ones. After you have their information, use it. Call, email, and write them about what an increase would do for you. Always request a response.
Let’s get to work to get the minimum wage raised!