Top Ten reasons why minimum wages should go up- just not $15/hr

I know this is going political here but I felt the need to comment since we’re all ultimately affected by what the minimum wage is one way or another.

  1. Raising the minimum wage would cut the need for millions of people to have to use government aid to get by for basic things like food or healthcare. According to the Center on Budget and Policy priorities, 60% of people using SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) work while receiving SNAP. According to Iowa’s Department of Health and Services,as of June 30, 2015, 58,199 children were enrolled in Iowa’s CHIP program ( Children’s Health Insurance Program) a program that provides healthcare to families above Medicaid eligibility levels.  Nationally, 60 million people are enrolled in CHIP according to Medicaid.gov.
  2. We’re actually behind a lot of other major countries in the world in terms of minimum wage. Businessinsider.com released a study by Convergex strategists who calculated the minimum wage in other countries and America was placed in #7 spot behind Japan, who pays their people a minimum of $8.17 an hour. The top spot went to Australia with $16.88 an hour. We’re definitely better off than India with $.28 cents per hour but we’re also behind the United Kingdom who pays $9.83 an hour
  3. Why are teachers the only job in Iowa guaranteed to start at $33,500? I completely understand being a teacher is hard and education is important but I am a child of the Des Moines and Southeast Polk school districts and both had some pretty horrible teachers on their payroll. Why are teachers the only profession in Iowa to be given so much straight out of college with no experience at all while the rest of us have to settle for starting wages well below that?
  4. Home ownership has dropped to 63.4% which is the lowest homeownership rate since 1967 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Gee, do you think it may just be because people can’t afford to buy a house when they get paid $7 an hour? Yes, we can’t all own homes but aren’t we also the country who prides itself on fulfilling the dream of homeownership?  Rent isn’t any better in Iowa either, the Census American Community Survey found Iowa’s median gross rent was $711 in 2014 and Des Moines having a gross rent average of $816. Now let’s do some basic math. Gross rent is let’s go with the Iowa average to be nice of $711 and a person who makes $7.25 makes $1160 before taxes are taken out. 23% is the average amount taken out for Social security,medicare and federal taxes per paycheck so that would be $266.80 taken off of that $1160 leaving the person with $893.20 and their rent is $711. Can you live off of $182.20 at the end of the month?
  5. CEO’s will make more in one year than you will probably make over the lifetime of your entire career. The average CEO at the largest firms in America made $16.3 million in 2014. Those on minimum wage in 2014 at $7.25 made $15,080. How many years would this person at $7.25 need to work to reach 16.3 million? Oh, just 1,081 years. Yes, Iowa doesn’t have CEO’s making that much per year but this is a national problem. Let’s get some Iowa paychecks in here like say coach Ferentz who made $4 million in 2015- which, thank you Iowa taxpayers for paying that. Salary.com puts the average Iowa CEO at $711,244 as of March of this year. The average Iowan makes roughly $50,000 a year so they’d have to work roughly 14 years to make $711,244.
  6. To further speak about CEO pay,from 1978 to 2014, the average workers compensation grew 10.9% (Bivens and Mishel 2013; Bakija, Cole, and Heim 2012) while the average CEO’s pay increased 997% in that same time frame. Why as a nation, are our wages only growing 10.9% in a 36 year timeframe? Everything else has gone up with the cost of inflation including gas and even milk prices but salaries have yet to catch up.
  7. The following companies paid no federal income tax in 2015 according to Citizens for Tax Justice: JetBlue, General Electric, Mattel, Time Warner and Prudential Financial. With tax season just recently ending, doesn’t it sting a little bit that these Fortune 500 companies didn’t pay any income taxes but you did?
  8. Crime and income are connected unfortunately. In 2008, the most recent year available for the Department of Justice, the victimization rate for individuals with family incomes less than $15,000 were 3 times the rate of individuals from family income of $75,000. The Hamilton Project found that children who are victims of violence or who witness violence are more likely to suffer from depression or aggressive behavior.
  9. Stress has become a national epidemic. A report titled Attitudes in the American Workplace VII showed 80% of American workers feel stress on the job. No big deal, we’re all stressed, well that stress costs money unfortunately. To the tune of $300 billion- yes billion- annually due to accidents, absenteeism, job turnover and workers compensation judgements. More money won’t take away all of that stress but surely it would make a huge dent in it if money wasn’t a daily problem for most of us.
  10. I would like to have the people who are in charge of the legislation and the business owners and CEO’s and anyone who has any sort of power over salaries for people to live off of 7.25 for a month and come back to me and say it’s fair. I get that $15 is too much for a fast food job but $7.25 is too little. Low pay hurts everyone in one way or another.We are supposed to be the top nation in the world, so why are so many of our people living in poverty while working?
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