Sunday’s Minimum Wage Discussion

When bills hit at the same time, there is no cushion. After paying his dad $150 in rent, the child-care bill, $55 for his cellphone and $26 for diapers, he had $20 left last month. He gave that to Creek.

“I wouldn’t tell her it was my last $20,” Brown said. “I gave it to her so she could get to work and get something to eat. As long as they eat first, I’m fine with it.”

When things like that happen, he said, he’ll try to make it through the day on a $1 bag of chips or some cookies or, if he has $3, a chicken sandwich, some fries and sweet tea at McDonald’s.

Yesterday, The Washington Post told the story of a young couple with a daughter trying to scrape by on minimum wage jobs (the girlfriend used to make minimum wage at McDonald’s but now earns $9 an hour after she received a raise at another job she found at a food court—she says she definitely feels the difference in pay. The boyfriend earns $7.25 at a Family Dollar store.)

Also published yesterday were editorials for and against raising the minimum wage—Bloomberg is pro, while USA Today is against. But both editorials agree that at the very least, the minimum wage should be tied to inflation (USA Today: “In the current low inflation environment, $7.25 would have only grown to $7.76 as of last year. An automatic inflation adjustment would also prevent the minimum wage from being held hostage to other political goals.”) I think we can also agree that nobody should have to get through a day on a $1 bag of chips.

Photo: goodiesfirst

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