As a child, I was always told, “Money doesn’t fall off of trees”, and I never understood that phrase until my young adult years. Now that I am older and living an independent life, I wish I knew where that “money tree” was hidden, or how I could invent my own (all which is just wishful thinking). Back to reality, I have yet to find such a thing, but what I have found is that being a full-time student working temporary jobs to maneuver through my college years, is quite challenging in this economy. I’ve learned that with the increase in the cost of living and the expense of everyday essentials, working a minimum wage job is just not financially fulfilling.
Like me, many Americans today struggle to make a decent living, and are often found working two or more jobs just to provide the necessities for ourselves and families. Unlike professions, the jobs that many citizens are working are undesirable, underpaid, and strenuous occupations with little to no benefit, depending on your title. On the other hand, there are some Americans who actually enjoy the nature of their jobs, but not the pay. According to CNN’s Interactive Minimum Wage Act map, majority of the country’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, while states such as California, Oregon, and Washington range from $8.00-$9.32 per hour. Whether minimum wage should be a fixed amount among all states or if it should vary is debatable, but $7.25 an hour being insufficient to support a living, is highly relatable. Hope for America’s working class lies within The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2012’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $9.80 per hour, $2.55 more than the Fair Labor and Standards Act’s current state requirement. Hype and rumor over this change has existed since last year, and we have yet to see an increase. There has been no recent discovery of a money producing tree, but there is a dedicated, anticipating class of working citizens, that with the help of the government, can replenish our rough economy. Not only would the minimum wage assist working citizens, it will benefit both large corporations and local businesses. We’ve all heard the saying, “You have to spend money to make money”, but we also have to, “Make money to spend money’. In other words, marketing and consuming goes hand in hand, and without additional money to spend, businesses can’t flourish if customers can’t buy. The fantasy of the money tree will always remain as long as there are financial deficiencies, and although it is not a drastic change, $9.80 per hour will spring the growth of the economy. I am no longer questioning where money comes from, but I am curious to know why the government is postponing the increase of living wage when its working citizens deserve it and the economy needs it. Instead of using our imagination, we could use change. After all, the saying goes, “if it doesn’t make money, it doesn’t make sense (cents)”.