By: K’Lynn Brown
There have been debates on minimum wage for years, but most recently, there have been debates on whether or not the minimum wage should be raised to $15. Currently in Illinois, the minimum wage is $8.25. Chicago, however, has a legal minimum wage of $10.50. Now, depending on where a person may live should affect what their minimum wage is.
Chicago is a big, expensive city. There are several young adults and single parents working minimum wage jobs who are struggling to care for themselves and their families if they have that responsibility. Young adults often work the minimum wage jobs to pay their few bills and sometimes to help pay off their college education, while in school. Single mothers working part time minimum wage jobs tend to live on their own with little to no support, making it more difficult for them to live above poverty lines with their families.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “About 14 percent of people in the Chicago metropolitan area, or more than 1.3 million people, lived below the poverty line in 2013.” Now, I will admit that there are several other factors that lead to the poverty problem in Chicago, but an increase in the minimum wage would help families improve their chances of living above the poverty lines.
According to “Seattle.gov”, Mayor Murray increased the minimum wage to $15.00. Seattle is a large and expensive city like Chicago, and after increasing the minimum wage there were no reported decreases in employment due to the minimum wage. Chicago should be the next city to increase the minimum wage to prove that it does nothing but help hard working lower income citizens.
People who are against the minimum wage increasing have supported their reasoning by saying an increase in minimum wage will increase unemployment. That is not true, raising the minimum wage would simply benefit those working minimum wage jobs in paying their bills, supporting their families, help pay for their education, or even go towards the savings of citizens who are trying to live a decent life.
I believe that the true reason they are saying this (because they will not tell the citizens the truth) is because they are greedy and don’t want to pay workers more if they don’t have to. The law makers are selfish and will keep as much money to themselves as possible. Another reason could be that the people who are saying this is that they are uneducated and haven’t taken the time out to really study what would happen if the wages were increased. If they took a chance to really look at what would happen, and if they weren’t so greedy about keeping money for themselves, the wages could be increased without a problem or doubt.
I personally think the minimum wage should increase. As a future college student, student loan debt is calling my name. I am hoping to work part time and be a full time student. It would be nice if the minimum wage would increase, so I could decrease the amount of loans I have to take out or pay bills when I decide to live on my own.
Those are just my plans. There are families that have several people working minimum wage jobs, so they can support one another. Increasing the minimum wage to $15 would be beneficial to the American people, and I am sure of it.