I’m focused on helping the people make the most of their wages at the ballot box. We know financial security is important to a lot of voters, so we’re dedicated to keeping you informed about your options as a worker and a voter.
One of the biggest hot-button issues today is the cost of living, and the fact that wages should match that cost of living. However, many people don’t understand how minimum wage can affect their cost of living and how much money they make themselves. Here’s a short breakdown of wages and living above the poverty line.
Minimum Wage vs. Living Wage
Simply put, the minimum wage is the minimum amount an employer is allowed to pay you. However, that doesn’t make it a wage you can live on, which is the problem for many people. Those lacking education or suffering from physical disabilities may have trouble maintaining a higher-paying job, for example.
However, that minimum wage may not meet the minimum costs for living. There is a living wage as well, which is a calculation of the minimum wages the average person needs to survive. That means many people are making less money than it takes to survive, which may be a major concern for you as you vote and seek changes to state and federal laws.
Living Below the Poverty Line
So, what happens when the cost of living is much higher than the minimum wage? Let’s take a look at New Orleans. You may not feel the difference if you’re a New Orleans car accident lawyer or physician, for example, but if you’re working in a restaurant or store, you may be unable to live on a single job’s wages.
Louisiana’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, which is also the federal minimum wage. However, it’s impossible to stay above the poverty line on this paycheck alone. People need to make at least $62,000 a year to live comfortably in the city and have a little left over for savings, and minimum wage simply doesn’t come close to that ($15,000) without working multiple jobs.
How I Want to Help
I know that the current minimum wage puts a lot of financial stress on many families. You may be unable to work a higher-paying job or your skill sets are undervalued. Raising the minimum wage, however, can help families keep up with the rising costs of living that makes it harder to survive.
That’s why I want to make sure you know the basics about the cost of living and what minimum wage really means. That way, you know what to expect when lawmakers and political candidates talk about their plans for changing the minimum wage and other concerns that affect your wallet.