Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! This is the second opinion post of June. This one is on a big issue in the States: Minimum Wage.
Working for myself, I no longer worry about the minimum wage as the hours I work each month are what ultimately decide if I make enough for my bills. But I worked for one of the big box retail companies for three years as well as two childcare centers for the next two years so I am well-versed in minimum wage as well as the difference one shift can make. Minimum wage should be at least $16 an hour. Anything less than that is nowhere near enough to pay bills. By bills, I mean the basic: food, shelter, gas; as in most cities in the US, you can’t work without some kind of way around, some kind of cellphone ‘contract’ as you have to be accessible. That doesn’t even include any ‘extras’ such as television, internet, computer/laptop of some kind and is solely on a studio apartment for one person. If you’re responsible for more than just yourself, the $7.25 an/hr is definitely not enough. You might have a chance if it’s just you and you work 40 a week. But having worked for one of the big box companies, I know just how impossible it can be to get 40 hours even if you’re considered a full time employee. After all, they can afford to pay multiple employees minimum wage at 20-25 hours a week without any benefits but they can’t afford to pay one full time employee 40 hours a week at 12-16 an hour with healthcare. Healthcare’s a whole other black pit of despair in the USA. Being self-employed I’m currently uninsured, working on fixing that but it’s a process.
So my opinion is that minimum wage should be at least $13-16 an hour at 35-40 hours a week with benefits. But as I said last week, my opinion and four dollars can get you a latte at Starbucks.
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