Politics Magazine

The Minimum Wage Won't Buy Decent Housing In Any State

Posted on the 20 September 2017 by Jobsanger
The Minimum Wage Won't Buy Decent Housing In Any State
The national minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 an hour ($15,080 a year). The Republicans will tell you that is enough, and the minimum wage does not need to be raised, because that wage is only paid to teenagers working part-time (and living with their parents). In fact, some congressional Republicans want to eliminate the minimum wage and let employers pay even less than the $7.25 an hour.
THEY ARE LYING! The truth is that a significant majority of minimum wage workers are adults who are trying to support a family -- and that minimum wage is forcing them to live in poverty (even though they work hard at a full-time job). Further, nearly 25% of the American workforce works for the minimum wage, or very close to it. These workers work as hard as anyone in this country, but they are abused by their employers -- and the congressional Republicans think there's nothing wrong with that.
The chart above (found at the Huffington Post) shows how much hourly income would be required to rent a decent 2 bedroom apartment in each state. Note that a minimum wage income would not be sufficient for that in any of the 50 states. To have enough income left over for other expenses, it is recommended that only 30% of income be spent on rent -- but a minimum wage worker would have to spend far more than that.
And it doesn't get any better when other expenses are considered. A minimum wage worker must spend far too high a percentage of their income for all of them (clothing, transportation, food, etc.). And we know that the minimum wage has about 35% less buying power than it did in 1968 (meaning a minimum wage worker can only purchase 65% of what that same worker could purchase in 1968).
This is unacceptable. No one who is willing to work hard at a full-time job should have to live in poverty. The minimum wage clearly needs to be raised to a livable level.

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