The push for a new minimum wage of $15 per hour is starting to gain some traction. Recently the state of New Jersey joined the small number of states and municipalities that now have a $15 per hour minimum wage. The new wage is not going to be enacted until 2024, so it does not solve or cause any problems immediately. In reading an article on the wage increase the author cited the example of an employee, Terrence Wise, working for MacDonald’s saying:
“My family has been homeless despite two incomes. We’ve endured freezing temperatures in our purple minivan. Try waking up in the morning and getting ready for work and school in a parking lot with your family of five. That’s something a parent can never forget and a memory you can never take away from your children. You should never have multiple jobs in the United States and nowhere to sleep.”
I agree with Mr. Wise that this is not an acceptable situation. But does the business, or the government, bear all the blame for this situation?
Many, many factors
There are many, many factors that go into the situation that Mr. Wise finds himself in. Education level and personal decisions are just two factors. But part of the reason many people find themselves in this type of situation is lack of education on simple money handling and budgeting. We all know someone who has dug themselves into a hole by their spending habits or the lack thereof. This spans many levels of income but is certainly more disastrous when you are making minimum wage.
Perhaps a minimum wage bill should also require education
Since these minimum wage bills that are being proposed endeavor to raise the living standards of those earners perhaps the bills can include a provision that any employee receiving a minimum wage should also receive some financial education on budgeting? Perhaps these bills should include a provision in them that all high school students or college students receive this education before being sent into the world to fend for themselves?
I don’t know what the answer is, I just know that giving more money to people who don’t know how to handle their money will not produce a good citizen. More money doesn’t change bad habits. Good habits change bad habits.
Just a suggestion.