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Minimum wage in California currently is about ten dollars to fifteen dollars an hour, depending on amount of employees working for a company, for example. That much money an hour sounds like a dream, which is what most think when they compare the current minimum wage to what previous minimum wages have been, but once you take into account living expenses, having to buy other necessities, and the costs of certain services like electric bills or car insurance, you may start to realize or wonder, can people earning minimum wage really keep up with the costs of living? The conclusion most will find is that living off minimum wage is, or can be, very tight and hard to live with for most families, or people.
People who may be able to live off or with minimum wage and still keep up with the costs of living. People agreeing with this point of view may agree solely because they themselves find it easy to live off of minimum wage, which is, depending on who you are, possible. Ways people could live off minimum wage could include using government aids to obtain more money for necessities, for example there are food stamps, which can help people feed themselves and their families while still having some money left to pay their various bills, or to make sure they and or their kids are clothed.
Additionally, most people work a nine to five, and get paid minimum wage, which sounds normal and almost good but, the cost of living – which here will include food expenses, insurance, gas, bills, and basic necessities people need or use almost every day – especially now, is fairly high. The cost of living being high can make earning minimum wage seem less ideal or desirable, this is because the cost of living being high means that more money will need to be spent. There are many other factors to take into account when you live off minimum wage, you pay electric bills, water bills, phone and cable bills, car insurance, you may even have college debt to pay off, there are seemingly countless things people need to pay for in order to live and have a place to live, and when the prices or costs for each service or item goes up, that effects and takes a toll on people living with minimum wage, regardless of government aids and the like. People using government aids can also be at a disadvantage because of people who commit fraud when applying for such government aids, because they spend their food stamps on items other than food, which is a violation to the Food Stamp Program, and if the rate of fraud being committed increases it may lead to the Food Stamp Program becoming stricter with which food stamp applications they accept which can affect the eligibility of people or families that need or depend on food stamps.
Regardless of having a family to support with a more or less stable minimum wage, or a paycheck that is the same amount every time you get it, and taking into account how things like rent, electricity, and cable bills can increase or the amount people need to pay depends on how often a service or product it used can be a big stressor to people in this situation. Reasons why this can be a big stressor to everyone involved in the situation is people will worry about what will come next. People will wonder if they can afford to pay rent, or certain bills, or if they’ll have enough money left over to pay for a meal for themselves and or their family, and this worry can even stretch into people worrying about the fact that they may have to spend outrageous amounts of money on gas to get to and from their job and their home.
Solutions to the issue or problem of people struggling to keep up with their cost of living while making or with minimum wage easier to live with, is to simply raise minimum wage. The Economic Policy Institute says that “the resulting impact on the overall economy would be demonstrably positive, as minimum-wage workers would spend their new earnings immediately, generating a positive impact on GDP and related modest employment growth,” when speaking of raising minimum wage as a solution, and what the Economic Policy Institute means is that the since the GDP, or gross domestic product – the “total value of everything produced in the country” – will increase, it will lead to something like interest rates being increased by the Federal Reserve Bank to avoid inflation.
In summation, the question of this essay “can people keep up with their cost of living with minimum wage?” can still be questioned and debated, but evidently, for some, living off of minimum wage can be varyingly difficult, the reasons being are people have various services and necessities to pay for, as well as any possible debt to pay off. Fortunately, this issue can be solved by raising minimum wage, or finding a way to lower the costs of services and products whilst ensuring companies enough money to keep their company alive, and to pay their own employers who may be dealing with same issue.
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