Minimum wage should be a livable wage. I’m not sure why this is a debate, but I think if you work full time at any job, you should be able to afford rent, food, and more than the basic necessities for your family.
Federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, meaning an annual income of $15, 080. According to MIT, a living wage would be $16.54 or $34,403 annually. MIT compiled geographic specific expenditure data for food, childcare, healthcare, housing, transportation, and other basic necessities to calculate the living wage. Minimum wage is not a livable wage.
For a family of four (with two working adults and two children), both parents need to work nearly four full-time minimum wage jobs (75 hours per week each) to earn a living wage.
Across all family sizes, the livable wage exceeds the poverty threshold. Because the poverty threshold is used to determine who gets federal aid, it doesn’t cover all families earning less than a livable wage.
Amidst billionaires making profits throughout a global health crisis, low income communities being disproportionately affected by this health crisis, and our government debating how little aid we need, remember we deserve to earn enough to live in this country and that true equality comes with economic equality.