Today the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and it has not been increased in over 10 years. From this and the constantly growing cost of living, it can be concluded that any American citizen that works a full-time federal wage job has 18% less purchasing power than what their equivalent earned at the time of the last increase.
The United States’ silence can no longer be tolerated towards the standards implemented regarding pay. The increase of the federal minimum wage needs to be demanded! As stated by the Economic Policy Institute, The Raise the Wage Act of 2021 would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025 and elevate the pay of 32 million workers. With 21% of the workforce affected, this increase would contain an annual increase of roughly $3,300. This would also supply over 108 billion dollars in additional wages in 2025.
The real question is, how did we as a society allow the value and cost of our lives to be continually diminished? A national minimum wage of $15 is reflective of the demand of the Civil Rights Movements. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the march on Washington in 1963 necessitated a $2.00 national minimum wage that would be the same as $15.00 today after modifying for inflation. Fifty-seven years later, we have to wonder what has created this workaholic mentality, as well as, why the ethical and moral effects are not discussed more.
It is no secret that the United States has an innovative and diligent workforce. This is largely because we live in a society that values efficiency and productivity. Opposite to this mentality, the minimum wage disproportionately allows for some to barely make ends meet and others to suffer while working endless hours to support their families. In the political climate that we are in, it is the leaders that work for the constitution that holds the responsibility and power to change millions of lives in this country. Yet, a basic standard of living should not be politicized by individuals or businesses, it should simply be an expectation.
Cooper, David, et al. “Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $15 by 2025 Would Lift the Pay of 32 Million Workers.” Economic Policy Institute, 9 Mar. 2021, www.epi.org/publication/raising-the-federal-minimum-wage-to-15-by-2025-would-lift-the-pay-of-32-million-workers/.