No Longer Nickel and Dimed

Photo Credit: Google Images

Photo Credit: Google Images

Jeremy Lim, Staff Writer / Photographer

California’s minimum wage will increase to $9.00, making the state one of the highest minimum wage setting. The new wage per hour will be $1.75 more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

  According to the California Department of Labor, California’s minimum wage will increase from $8.00 to $9.00 on July 1, 2014. $9.00 an hour will only be a $0.05 increase compared to Oregon’s present minimum wage, which has the highest in the country. Aaron Barlin (11) thought, “The pay increase will be beneficial, especially if you are trying to make ends meet.” People who are living on paycheck after paycheck will find the pay increase the most beneficial. If you are a high school student working part time trying to make your own money, one extra dollar per hour will definitely help. Daniel Tyler (12) stated, “I would take the pay increase any day! What a benefit!” Making a little more every hour makes a big difference when pay day arrives.

  Minimum wage was set in 1938 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act. The purpose of minimum wage was to provide a minimum pay to support unskilled laborers’ standards of living. However, ironically, as businesses grew and dollar became more valuable, the minimum wage has not significantly changed for the lower class. On Morgan Spurlock’s exposé, one worker testified to this injustice. “I’m making less money this morning than I did [on] my first job 29 years ago. I got my first job in 1976 at GM. My starting wage was $7.55 an hour. This morning I’m going out in 2005 and making $7–with no insurance. They call this prosperity. But you know, they say, ‘We can’t pay what the big automakers paid.’ I always say, ‘Okay, can you pay me what they were paying a quarter of a century ago?’”

  Better yet, California’s minimum wage will increase to $10.00 On January 1, 2016. Compared to the present federal minimum wage of $7.25 (U.S. Dept. of Labor), ten dollars an hour is a great increase. The federal minimum wage is not projected to increase in the next year even though California is pushing for higher minimum wages. At the projected $9.00, California will have to pay its workers $1.75 more than the federal minimum wage. Sam Nakahira (11) pointed out, “The minimum wage increase will help the lower class.”

  The new minimum wage increase to $9.00 will directly benefit Californians who relie on it on a day to day basis. With more money in their pockets, American consumers will hopefully spend more to contribute to economic growth.