Minimum Wage Essay

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America, one of the richest countries in the world. A place of freedom and opportunity. America was graced with the passing of the Fair Labor Standards Act, signed by President Roosevelt in 1938. This act was created to ensure every American is given a certain amount of income that can sustain themselves and their family. And yet, it’s been 15 years since America has seen a significant increase in the minimum wage. This is an atrocity that must be corrected before it’s too late. I affirm the belief that the minimum wage should be increased in America. When looking at minimum wage as a whole, one irrefutable fact that stands out the most is the major difference between the cost of living and how much minimum wage earners actually make. There are over 46.2 million people currently living below the poverty line, increasing every year by almost 2.6 million. The average cost of living in 2013 far exceeds the amount of money a minimum wage earner makes, “$14,500 a year, roughly $4,000 below the poverty line” (Martin). Of the 46.2 million, only 17 million have minimum wage jobs. The remaining 29.2 million are without jobs and rely on government programs to provide them with income. This becomes a burden on taxpayers and ultimately hurts our economy. Minimum wage earners today could have lived comfortably had the minimum wage met the inflation rate, and had the minimum wage kept its pace, “it would now be almost $10.60 an hour. If it had kept pace with increases in employee productivity, it would now be $22.00 an hour” (Martin). It’s the government’s moral responsibility to ensure all workers “[have] fundamental labor protection” (Williams). For the country to run properly, the citizens require a steady income to support themselves and their families. For those low-income families that rely

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