Gregory McGann’s Sept. 13 letter “ Poverty job definition” implied that folks who work for the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and work full-time will earn 23 percent above the poverty level.
The problem with his math is that 75 percent of these low-wage earners are not working full-time. many single mothers and single fathers are working 30 hours or less each week, which will allow their companies (restaurants, lawn care, etc.) to avoid paying unemployment insurance or provide medical benefits.
If they are working part-time (30 hours a week) earning the minimum wage at $7.25 an hour, and if they are lucky enough to work 52 weeks a year, (with no vacation or sick leave) they would only earn $11,310 a year. This is $360 below the poverty level for one person. How can they afford to pay the rent? How can they pay their utilities?
I went to court recently with a young man who had stolen food from a grocery store because he could not afford food for his family. People deserve to be paid a living wage, and this will require a raise in the minimum wage and/or full-time employment.
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Lela Faye Rich