In most states in our country, it's not even enough.
You read that right.
Alliance for a Just Society just released a report. In it they looked at living expenses in every state, for singles as well as families. This is an attempt to figure out what a reasonable living wage would be. What's a "living wage"? The study's definition includes the ability to pay for luxuries items like housing, child care, utilities and savings. The conclusions, while known anecdotally by virtually every American (sans conservatives), are still chilling:
Though $15 per hour is significantly higher than any minimum wage in the country, it is not a living wage in most states. A living wage was calculated for all 50 states and for Washington, D.C. In 35 states and in Washington, D.C., a living wage for a single adult is more than $15 per hour. In no state is a living wage less than $14.26 per hour.
In fact, nationally, the living wage for a single adult is $16.87 per hour ($35,087 annually) – the weighted average of single adult living wages for all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Some of the people who have it the hardest? Childcare workers.
In 2014, 582,970 people worked as child care providers at a median wage of $9.48 per hour.
Let's put it into perspective. According to the study, in order to get by on minimum wage as it is in each state right now, you would have to work an almost 111 hour week in Hawaii. You'd be better off in Virginia, where for $7.25 it would only take a touch over 103 hours a week to get by. IF YOU ARE SINGLE.
If you're a real lazybones or don't like a little hard work, you can move to Washington or South Dakota where you only have to work for about 67 and half hours a week to get by. But remember, when politicians who rail against minimum wage hikes got their inheritance, they didn't complain and neither should you. A little hard work never hurt anyone who didn't have to do a little hard work.
The next time you hear someone moan about minimum wage being minimum wage, tell them to go screw themselves.
You can see some of the results below the fold.
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