Minimum Wage the Cause of Poverty

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A mother of three travels to work each day but still struggles to provide for her children on a salary of $7.25 an hour. This is because she works for minimum wage. When people think about minimum wage they think about teens working but never do they think about the adults that work on this salary.When people start to think about these parents working on minimum wage they start to think about how the children live. Most times the children live in poverty and are barely able to afford clothes or food. Saying this, minimum wage should be brought to $15 an hour so that parents can provide for their families. 

Raising the minimum wage would help families of five live on a full-time minimum wage and not have to raise their children in poverty. Jason Furman states that Even with a $7.25-an-hour minimum wage, a family of five with a full-time, minimum-wage earner that receives food stamps and the refundable tax credits would fall $1,139 below the poverty line in 2009.( Raising the Minimum Wage Will Reduce Poverty) This shows that even when the price of minimum wage was raised from $5.15 to $7.95 Americans were still struggling to stay above the poverty line.

This it is only in 2009 with legislation not indexing the wage for inflation families will fall even lower under the poverty line because inflation will erode the value of minimum wage., says Jason. (Raising the Minimum Wage Will Reduce Poverty). With that being said the wage would have to be raised again to a higher amount for any family to be above the poverty line. Knowing this information having minimum wage raised to $15 an hour with help families in the long run even with inflation. More Americans work on minimum wage than those who don't and out of those people, most are adult women.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey, tipped workers on minimum wage are overwhelmingly women, many of whom are supporting families. Overall, women make up sixty-two percent of tipped workers and seventy-two percent of waitresses and waiters one of the largest groups of tipped workers (A High Minimum Wage). As a result, most women are unable to support their families because they work on such a low wage. Overall, the family poverty rate for waitresses and waiters is 14.9 percent almost three times the rate for the workforce as a whole. And the rates are even higher for tipped workers as a whole since their wages are lower than those of waitresses and waiters ( A High Minimum Wage).

Showing that most people who work on minimum wage are in poverty. With that said raising the wage would lower the percentage of people working on minimum wage in poverty. People in America are even homeless and still, have jobs. A 1998 survey of Baltimore's homeless found that 17% of those surveyed were employed and approximately 46% had lost their jobs within the previous year (The Homeless). Showing that even when some people have jobs that can not make enough to even buy a house for there family.Inadequate wages put housing out of reach for many workers.

Working homeless people report that their incomes are not sufficient to afford a family's basic living needs ( The homeless). Even when people get jobs to try and make a living it is not enough to get a home so they are not homeless.  With this evidence, most would feel it is needed to raise minimum wage yet others still believe the price of minimum wage now is better for families of four and would actually affect them if it was raised because they will get fewer food stamps. Even though this could be true most families now still struggle to support their families even with welfare and food stamps. It is said that the increase would mean an additional $4,200 in annual earnings for a full-time, minimum-wage worker.

It also would automatically trigger $1,140 in increases in the family's EITC and refundable Child Tax Credit, enough to roughly offset the decrease in the family's food stamp benefits resulting from the increase in the family's cash income. As a result, the family would be lifted five percent above the poverty line, instead of being 11 percent below the poverty line in 2009, as it would be under current law(Raising the Minimum Wage Will Reduce Poverty).

This proves that even though raising the wage would reduce food stamp prices the result is still higher than it is now.  Families and citizens of America struggle every day working on minimum wage trying to provide for themselves and others. People need to make efforts to raise this wage so that the number of people homeless can be lowered. If this is done people will be more productive and put more effort into their work because they are earning more money.

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Minimum Wage The Cause of Poverty. (2019, May 07). Retrieved February 23, 2024 , from

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