In 1938, federal minimum wage legislation became effective when the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed. The Fair Labor Act is a United States labor law that creates the right to a minimum wage and overtime pay when a person works more than forty hours a week. It has been 67 years since the law was passed and the minimum wage has only increased 20 times. The minimum wage was created to make sure that working people could support themselves and their families. Despite slight increases in the minimum wage, health care and housing have sky-rocketed, whereas the minimum wage is still far below the average amount of money needed to support hardworking individuals.
According to CityLab.com, in the United States today, there is not a single state where a minimum wage worker, who works 40 hours a week, can afford a two-bedroom apartment. When it comes to being able to afford a one-bedroom, there are only 28 counties that allow such a possibility. Rather than trying to accommodate the minimum earners, many cities such as Minneapolis and Seattle are actually making it less affordable by decreasing the number of low-income housing. A possible solution (or solutions) for this problem is to add more affordable housing in neighborhoods and/or increase the minimum wage, which could greatly help hard-working individuals.
Nearly half of all Americans get their health insurance through work. This system allows insurance coverage for 153 million people, but as for lower-wage workers, it’s a system that is less affordable. Low-income employees face financial barriers to healthcare, due to higher costs. These employees have 70% more sick days than their peers because they don’t have access to healthcare. Health care should be a human right, not a universal controversy. Everyone deserves to have basic necessities, especially when it comes to the health of an individual.
Edited By: Julia Galperin - Chief Editor