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The minimum wage challenge

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Many people, who never had to toil at the minimum wage make the argument that it just a starting point. In theory they are correct, but that is not reality for people. Huffington Post does a good job at profiling the stories of some of the people. To look at their article, let us first point to why opponents of increasing the minnum wage are flawed

The starting point argument is flawed on a variety of counts. For example lets us take a budget for a single person living on the minimum wage in a Oshkosh, WI. First lets assume they work 30 hours a week and let us use the Wisconsin minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The person's monthly salary is 870 a month or 10,440 a year. You will have to deduct close to $150 for taxes and now you are down to $720. A cheaper apartment, $495 a month and you are down to $225 dollars and insurance on the care and that will bring down to at least $130 a month. Food cost would eat up $100 a month and you have not saved or spent a dime on utilities. Looking at budget example is important, because it takes a long time for people to develop themselves.

People will then argue, the minimum wage is a temporary spot for many people. That argument is flawed as well. Number one, our economy will only create a certain amount of middle class jobs, and we will still have a need for the "bottom of the barrel jobs" more then entry level people will fill. Plus according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, two of the fastest growing occupations are home care aids and health care aids. Both of which average less than 21,000 a year. Some of these people only make minimum wage.

Lastly, in America are criminal justice is based on punishing not reforming people. Thus some are stuck in an endless cycle of poverty and crime. I worked for a summer on minimum wage and observed ex cons working a factory and many of them were convicted of petty drug crimes and had felonies on their record. Thus they cannot vote, hardly any reputable employer will hire them, schools will not likely accept them and so much more in the vicious cycle.

Thus America has a choice to make. Do we doom more and more people to economic serfdom or do raise the minimum wage to allow for true mobility. Conservatives cannot have to both ways here, either support a higher wage floor or support more food stamps and welfare. Opposing both will only lead to more pointless suffering.

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