In the People's Interest

Increased minimum wage still far from enough

What was I thinking? What was I expecting? New Year. New attitude. Nope! Article on first day proclaims somewhat joyously that Montana’s minimum wage is raised $0.10 an hour to $8.75. Oh joy, oh joy. Reality sucks.
If that’s good news of the New Year, what kind of world are we living in? Oh there is more! That makes our wage higher than the Federal minimum wage! Wow. We are really leading the way.
Just to remind us, rents below $1,000/mo. are almost impossible to find. Econ 101 taught us that rent/mortgage should be at 25-30% of your monthly income. Yes they did teach us that and lenders used to demand that.
But if we apply this basic principle, we need a monthly income of $4,000. We consider a full time job to be 5 days @ 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week or 160 hours a month. $4,000/160hr. = $25.00. Now add to that the 20% tax rate that is taken out because we need to net $4,000/mo., and you have another $5.00 for a total of $30.00/HR.
To call this a minimum is covering up the fact that we workers need a living, sustainable wage. To force us to work for less is to negate our value of the work we do. What is happening is that the employer class is exploiting us. The key word is exploitation!
This negates the free market mythology. We should be given the correct value for our labor. If we must be exploited than the money being made on the project is tainted by its lack of fairness and morality. We the people need to organize to protect our own rights. You must realize no one will give them voluntarily.
Douglas Mawhinney
Gallatin Gateway

Bozeman Daily Chronicle Letter to the Editor 1/7/21

Leave a Reply