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Is $8.75 a Fair Minimum Wage?

By Sana Zahra
Staff Writer

Controversies on minimum wage not being sufficient enough have been in the news for some time now. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said, “The wage gap is continuing to grow, despite last year’s minimum wage increase. The second tier for New York City reflects the higher cost of living there.”

Gov. Cuomo is trying to settle the hourly rates at $10.50 for New York state, and $11.50 for New York City by the end of 2016.

Photo: Maxime Devillaz
Photo: Maxime Devillaz

Many employees support their family on minimum wage but sometimes one job is not enough to keep them out of crisis. The state’s current minimum wage is $8.75, but by the end of 2015, minimum wage will increase gradually to $9.00.

“I definitely think that minimum wage should be higher than $8.75,” said Christine Buscemi, a junior Nutrition major. “Some people never had the opportunity to get an education or college degree, so it’s unfair to not allow them to make more money. No one should have to work over 40 hours a week to support their family and make ends meet.”

The cost of living in New York is very high. After taxes are deducted from an individual’s salary, not much is left for them to spend to enjoy their hard work. “I think it’s not sufficient enough to support
the family,” said Nahid Sultana, a junior Business Management major.

“Things are very expensive. One of the major expenses that takes a person’s paycheck is rent. Another factor is transportation. MTA raised the fare from $112 to $116.50 for a monthly, unlimited card. It’s not just rent and transportation that’s hurting the citizens, other expenses are involved like healthcare, food and families that have kids going to college. I believe the minimum wage should increase to standard living cost,” Sultana said.

Mitchell Zandes, a senior Nutrition major, agreed with Sultana’s opinion, adding, “In today’s economy, you can hardly get a bite to eat or enjoy a leisurely activity without spending upwards of $15.00-$20.00. Nobody should have to work long hours to hardly get by, and that is why I believe employees should be compensated with increased wages.”

Senior Economics major, Mijail Mariano, gave an economics view on minimum wage. “There are many pros and cons in increases on the minimum wage. Yet at the end of the day, I feel that the pros outweigh the cons. Increasing minimum wage increases consumer expenditure, which stimulates the economy; the increase has the potential of starting a positive trickle effect throughout the entire economy. So sure, let’s raise it up a little.”

The controversies on whether or not current minimum wage is enough will always be prevalent. With prices going high, the value of money is decreasing. Due to inflation, some would agree that New York is soon going to see a decrease in the number of employees as a result of the minimum wage.

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