Written by Breanna Johnson. Media by Fallyn Paruleski.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Illinois’ is $8.25 an hour, which is higher than higher than a lot of the states, but Washington is ahead, the minimum wage being $9.19 an hour! Of course it would be great to get paid almost $10 an hour, but I honestly feel that Illinois’ minimum wage is not bad at all–not saying it is great and should never consider changing. But after looking at Wyoming’s minimum wage, $5.15 an hour, Illinois does not seem so bad! And most of the states have similar minimum wages.
Many seem to forgot that minimum wage is just the starting point! It’s the minimal pay, which means you mostly likely will earn more in the future. Now college students who are working two minimum wage paying jobs are probably rolling their eyes at me right now, but everyone has to start somewhere! Not to mention a lot of the jobs these students are getting are fast food places and small jobs at their school, which are considered the some of the low paying jobs, and because of that sometimes they get paid under minimum wage, which isn’t fair at all! But these are all the reasons why they are in school, so they will not have work those jobs for long.
Although I don’t have a problem with Illinois’ current minimum wage standard, I am absolutely for raising the minimum wage! I say that because the economy is is awful today and it is hard for college graduates and other highly qualified people to get jobs, and these people need to feed themselves and their families somehow. Many people have so many different situations and what may work for others may not work for you or me and vice versa. I understand that. What also needs to be taken into consideration is that minimum wage has actually risen over the years! I find this interesting because, for the past few years, people seem to be in worse shape, despite most people not making as much as they do now in minimal paying jobs.
I’ll be honest, I used to think poverty and minimum wage went hand in hand, but that is not true. To keep raising the pay doesn’t mean that people will not be poor or in poverty anymore; in fact, it probably won’t make a difference at all! According to heritage.org, raising minimum wage wouldn’t affect those in poverty because “ few minimum wage earners actually come from poor households.” Yes, the people who are now earning higher will be benefited, but today there are so many people who are in bad living conditions, giving an extra dollar an hour will not help them. Since minimum wage doesn’t really seem to be making or breaking us, let’s just leave it how it is for now.
“we want higher wages!”
I mean that’s cool but I’d actually prefer to actually control where I work and determine what happens to my work and I’d really like to get what I really deserve from my labor, not just a wage shelled out to me by someone who still owns my livelihood at the end of the day.
Why stop at wages? Why not assert yourself as your labor entitles you to? especially when it quite literally supports and makes possible the system that steals from you hourly.