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Wage proposal made

To the Journal editor:

Minimum wage:

“The minimum wage ($7.25/hr.) is the lowest threshold an employer can legally pay employees for certain types of work.” Minimum wage does not vary geographically.

The minimum wage was established in 1938 though “Fair Labor Standards Act”, but it is a set it and forget program. FDR said it best … “By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level — I mean the wages of decent living.”

Currently:

≤ 34 million (10.5%) of Americans live below the poverty level — US Census

≤ 38 million live just above the poverty level only because of government financial assistance programs — CBPP.org

In my opinion, we should abandon the minimum wage paradigm for a living wage solution by tying living wage to the cost of living index, geographical location and review/adjust living wage every “x” years. Shift already established government low income assistance money toward Businesses to help them bridge the wage gap.

Living wage:

“Is the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet his or her basic needs. It is based upon geographically specific expenditure data related to a family’s minimum food, childcare, health insurance, housing, transportation, and other necessities.”

“In 2019, the average living wage in the United States was calculated to be $16.54 per hour before taxes for a family of four (two working adults, two children).” — MIT.edu

Living wage will be lower or higher depending on the region of the country.

Visit MIT’s research at https://livingwage.mit.edu

Benefits:

≤ Provide lower income Americans incentive and capital to build a better life for themselves and their family.

≤ Incentivize work (fair pay for a fair days work) through a living wage instead of de-incentivize work through Government assistance hand-outs.

≤ Government assistance safety nets will still be needed, but the percentage can be greatly reduced.

All Humans strive to better their lives when they have the opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our country is built on individual independence and our empathy to assist others.

Living wage solution is complex and beyond the scope of this letter. Congress must engage with the best private and government financial minds to design, implement, monitor, and refine a living wage solution which will give millions of Americans a shot at “working” toward the American dream! What are we afraid of?

Contact your elected representative to prioritize living wage legislation.

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