Indiana Daily Student

LETTER: Raise minimum wage to raise standard of living

Minimum wages set to keep people out of poverty doesn’t help with true costs of living.

The reality is people working 40 hours a week have to then decide
between paying bills and buying food.

This should not be the case.

It is imperative that minimum wages be raised.

According to the U.S. Census, of the 49,000 residents of Monroe County in Bloomington, Indiana, 24 percent live at or below the poverty line.

Breaking it down means that a family of four, with one wage earner working a 40-hour week at the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, makes a little over $15,000 a year as household income.

A quarter of our population can’t afford the basic necessities of housing, transportation and food based on these calculations.

I have known the struggle of living from paycheck to paycheck and having to “rob Peter to pay Paul”; trying to manage a home as a single parent of two children on minimum wage alone is not an easy task.

So, I believe raising the minimum wage across the board would lift those 24 percent up out of poverty and increase economic growth since their income would be funneled directly back into their communities to pay for goods and services they could not otherwise afford.

No one working a full-time job should be in poverty.

There is a great disparity between the minimum wage earner who lives paycheck-to-paycheck and the lack of concern from those who have the power to make the changes necessary to raise the minimum wage.

Having higher minimum wage standards just makes sense; even though it is definitely not a cure-all to our current economic conditions, it is a start.

It is worth the investment to create a stronger economy.

It is worth empowering those who work hard to actually make a living.

It is without a doubt an opportunity to make a living wage.

Some economic experts would differ by surmising the additional monies would not just go to those in poverty, but the increased earnings would go to households that exceed the poverty threshold many times over.

I say, “what’s wrong with that?”

If it lifts that 24 percent up out of poverty and then allows for them to successfully provide for their basic needs and increases their spending habits within their local communities, it seems as though this would be more of a help than a hindrance to everyone.

Let’s fix this. No one working a 40-hour-a-week job should have to worry about making ends meet.

Let’s raise the minimum wage rate so those working for it can make a living.

Let the lawmakers hear your voice on this issue.

Call those elected officials. Write a letter. Send an email.

The websites below have all the contact information for your local official at: www.chamberbloomington.org/advocac/contact_your_elected_officials.aspx

Or www.opencongress.org.

Now is the time to let your voice be heard.

Let’s raise minimum wages.

Let’s raise the standard of living and quality of life for all.

Becky Haagsma
Heltonville, Indiana

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