How can someone earning minimum wage afford to live in New York City? In New York City, a minimum-wage employee would have to work 146 hours per week just to pay the average rent ranging between $1,500 and $2,500 in our Hispanics neighborhoods in all five boroughs. This is basically impossible since there are only 168 hours in a week. It would mean working double shifts and weekends, sleep very little and not spend time caring for their family.
Almost 8 million Americans go to work every day and are still living below the poverty line, partly because the federal minimum wage is too low. Among them are fast-food workers who have organized demonstrations advocating for an increase in the minimum wage. And on Tuesday, President Obama renewed his call to increase the minimum wage.
But the congressional agenda doesn’t include this important issue because many politicians believe that raising the minimum wage will hurt businesses.. Largely Republicans leaders preach personal responsibility. Yet, at the same time, they work feverishly to cut safety net benefits and block a minimum wage increase. So they miss the fundamental point: if Congress debates and passes a reform that helps low-wage employees, many of them wouldn’t have to rely on government programs.
Contrary to misperception, the businesses that employ vast numbers of Americanssuch as fast food chains would not lose out from a minimum wage increase because they basically pass on the cost to consumers.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, 650 Economists including five Nobel Prize winners in the field, argued that raising the minimum wage by 24% to keep up with inflation, would benefits the labor market, workers, and the overall economy.
The federal government must raise the minimum wage to $9 to help close the income gap in states that use the federal standard. New York City, where the cost of living is climbing, must provide a minimum wage standard beyond the federal standard that allows families to swim, not sink, and fall behind on economic equality. Like states such as Oregon, Vermont and Washington where the minimum wages is at least $1 above the average. We need to catch up.