As if apartment-hunting wasn’t already hard enough.
The low minimum wage in cities across America has made it almost impossible for workers to find a decent place to call home, data released Wednesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found. Full-time minimum wage workers can’t afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the U.S., the group found, whether they’re making the $8.50-an-hour wage in cheaper Arkansas or the $11 wage in expensive California.
It only gets more depressing from there: CityLab reports that there are only 22 counties in the U.S. where people working 40-hour weeks at minimum wage can afford even a one-bedroom apartment.
This may seem like an issue solely for the poor, but the future of renting is looking grim for everyone. “The rents are far out of reach from what the average renter is earning,” said Diane Yentel, the president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. This is painfully clear when you look across the states and see what hypothetical wage would enable a renter to afford rent: Even in Arkansas, the state where housing is cheapest in the country, a worker would need to earn at least $13.84 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment — more than $5 more than the current hourly wage floor.
I post about this kind of stuff here all the time but here is yet more evidence of it, American citizens, by and large, are wage slaves.
You have a paradigm right now where you have a plutocrat like Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon worth roughly $140 billion USD, and yet a strong plurality of the employees who work for his multinational corporation, Amazon, have to sign up for food stamps and other government assistance just so they don’t suffer from hunger.
Corporations like Amazon and Walmart shouldn’t be able to shift what should be their responsibility to pay their workers a living wage to the US taxpayer, which is what has been happening for the last 20-30 years.
No American should have to work full-time and not be paid a living wage.
I would argue that these corporations like Amazon and Walmart that don’t pay their full-time staff a living wage are ultimately bad for society, because they just lead to widespread wage slavery, like we have now in America.
How can anyone justify no one in America being able to afford a 2-bedroom apartment on a full-time minimum wage job?
I hear old people say sometimes:
“Well in my day I started working for $5 an hour in the 60’s and I made ends meet.”
As if inflation isn’t a well documented fact of life. $6 an hour in the 60’s would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $30-something an hour today adjusted for inflation. Do you have any idea how many Americans my age group would kill for a first job that paid that much?
The minimum wage has got to be raised. It hasn’t been raised meaningfully in 30+ years and something’s gotta give.
I just don’t realize how more Americans aren’t aware of their rapid decline into serfdom these past 30+ years. Decades ago all you needed was a single parent’s income to support a family of 4 with decent living standards and today both parents have to work 2 jobs and they still can’t make ends meet.