On minimum wage, and the welfare system. Don't hate on people who use state welfare, but then try to say that minimum wage is living wage.
I’m so sick of everyone saying “You can’t have minimum wage raised, all you do is flip burgers.You can’t have minimum wage raised, there are people out there that work harder than you. You can’t have minimum wage raised, just go get a better job. You can’t have minimum wage raised, just go to college and you’ll make more money. Hurr durr durr.”
Well, let’s think about this. Really, think about it.
Minimum wage was created to make it so that in a two parent household, where the male/powerhouse money maker could SUPPORT THEIR FAMILY ON A SINGLE INCOME. It was literally created so people could comfortably live on a single income without falling through the cracks and without having to literally survive paycheck to paycheck/on state benefits. It was created when $7.50 an hour was plenty to live on. It was a time and space where things literally costed less. Milk was not damn near four dollars, gas was not almost four dollars a gallon. Food, housing, cars, bills, fuck EVEN BIRTH was cheaper when minimum wage was created. It was literally made so “Dad can go make money to support the mother and the quaint 2.5 children who stay at home. Mom is a homemaker, dad is the money maker.” Right now, it is damn near impossible to survive on less than 10 dollars, as well as NOT use state benefits/welfare (because we all hear the battle of “get off welfare, you’re using our tax money, work harder”). Literally. Almost. IMPOSSIBLE.
Let’s put this in to perspective:
1 gallon of milk - $2.79
1 loaf of bread - $1.99
1 package of sliced cheese - $3.00
1 package of meat - average, $2.50-$3.50
= about $11
For $11 you can have about 8-10 sandwiches depending on the bread you buy. If you ONLY eat that, that would mean three sandwiches a day, per person and (about) one glass of milk a day too. If you live in a house that has three people, that means 9 sandwiches a day (also, you should factor in that if you have kids, they can probably eat about 1.5 sandwiches maybe two, and same goes for teenagers). That means it is $11 to eat THE BARE MINIMUM a day for a family of three, with probably a glass or two of milk for each person. Chances are, one parent/older person in the household will be eating maybe once or twice a day, a single sandwich, to make sure the kids get food first.
That means that someone who makes the average minimum wage has to work about one hour and forty minutes to buy something that will last about two days in a household that has three people in it. They are only eating that. Only. Sandwiches. But wait! I’m sure you’re going to sit there and say “Oh that’s not too bad. Nah! That’s easy, they can buy more than that if they work a full day!!” Well, why don’t we look in to the actual math behind supporting a very, very average three person household.
Well, the math seems to add up that if someone works six days out of the week, eight hours of the day, and don’t get their paycheck until the end of two weeks that means about $720, MINUS state/federal taxes, now this is a ballpark figure but they’ll probably withhold about $100-$150.
So now, we’re down to $570 every two weeks. Alright, stick with me here, this math might actually shock you guys.
Say you drive to your six day a week, eight hour a day job, and it’s about 4 miles there. So, that’s 8 miles a day. 8 times 6 is 48 times two weeks that’s 96 miles, per two weeks (between pay periods). If you drive a cheap car (chances are, if you live on minimum wage, you’re driving a clunker) that get’s at the most probably about 12mi/per gal. 12 mi/per gal divided by 96 miles is 8. 8 gallons of gas costs (today) $3.84 x 8 = $30.72. That means out of your $570 paycheck, you ALWAYS take out $30.72. Well, let’s not forget, that is going literally to work and back. Not the grocery store, not your kids school, not the Dr’s office; To work - and back. So, let’s throw in a few extra gallons of gas to make sure if an emergency happens, or you go shopping that you actually can make it there. So, bump is up to about $46. That’s $570 - $46 = $524
Okay. $524 every two weeks. In one month, you’ll be making $1,048. Not bad. Alright.
So let’s look at bills now.
(remember, we’re basing this off of a three person household of two adults and one child)
Rent - $890
Food - $553
Electricity/water/heating - $166.35
= $ -561
That’s right. If you live in an average house, with your husband and you work at minimum wage, six days a week, four weeks a month you will end up in the negative. After gas for your vehicle to get to work, and an average household bills (mind you there’s no internet, or phone bills; something most people these days consider a necessity) you do not have any money left over, in fact, you don’t have money. Period.
So hey, let’s say both you and your husband work; Both drive cars, both have the same expenses. So, $1,048 * 2 = $2,096 of a monthly income.
Rent - $890
Food - $553
Electricity/water/heating - $166.35
Alright, not bad. Once more, we’re no longer in the negatives in the bank account (also, let’s remember: minimum wage was made so that a household could have ONE income to happily survive)
Food! Ahh, the wonderful thing that we all love munching.
Food for an average 3 person household = ……. *drumroll* …….
Literally, that’s what the average cost of daily (relatively?) healthy food.
So, no more money. Now, most people can manage to really, really cut down the cost of food. So let’s say, about $250 for food. That leaves you with $250 left over at the end of the month. What happens if you need insurance? After all, that job you both have isn’t considered full time so you don’t get benefits. It’s probably a good idea to have insurance for your child at the very least, after all kids are accident prone and have to get vaccines, dr checkups, dental visits, etc. So, for insurance for one kid (mind you, I’m making sure no one is using state benefits here, because well, lets face it, we hear a lot of people gripe about the use of welfare) is about $100 or so a month. That’s down to $150 a month. Let’s also look at phones. Most people have to have some sort of communication to call work/school/dr’s etc. Phones cost about $125 per month for two phones. That’s $25 a month left over….. Now, we pray to god an accident doesn’t happen, the car doesn’t break down, the kids don’t get sick and no one has to take a day off work….
Now answer me this, do you still really think minimum wage should stay at $7.50??
I hope not, because I can tell you firsthand minimum wage is NOT a LIVING wage. But hey, bitch about people who use the welfare system and then insist that minimum wage is living wage……