Thursday, March 14, 2019

Will the 15 Minimum Wage Work

The negative responses I've read to the $15/hr minimum wage increase are all about "I already make that amount, does this mean I'm now gonna be a minimum wage employee??? That's not fair!"

I think that protests the wrong issue. What concerns me is if the pay hike doesn't come with price increase restrictions, what will happen to costs? The purpose of raising it is because necessities have become more expensive. But is there a law to keep them reasonably priced so a minimum wage worker can spend just the suggested quarter of income on a home?

$15 hr× 40 hrs= $600 week / 25% tax= $450 a week × 52 weeks a year=  $23,400 a year / 25% income= $5,850 a year on housing / 12 months= $487.50 a month.

That's about half of what I pay in rent now, and I'm living in el-cheapo.

The door knob to my building broke. It was replaced with a ribbon for quite some time.

I'm not saying there aren't worse places. But our level of security was "tug the ribbon to get in." Stray cats mastered it on the second day.

So, yeah, I believe there should be required apartments for rent for $487 a month, and while they don't have to be fancy, they should meet some minimum requirements. (Working smoke detectors, no wires dangling from the ceiling, handles on doors, proper hallway lights, etc.) Not to sound all "first world problems" about it, but maybe those become the homes assigned to Congress. That's the new governor's mansion- the exact place that their lowest paid constituents live. Because to serve the people you need to know the people, understand what they go through.

Mostly though, I just don't want to hear one more economist jabber on about only spending 25% of income after taxes on housing, and not knowing that such places don't exist everywhere, especially the places with lots of jobs and in good school districts. They make up budget charts for living in fairytale lands. If you want the charts to matter, set laws that make it possible. Cap rent, food costs, transportation cost, etc. Fight the fire on both fronts.

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