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April 24, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Workers can’t survive on $7.25

Every person who works full time should make enough money to survive. Yet the federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour, and millions of Americans are making minimum wage; they can’t survive on $7.25 an hour.

Those making minimum wage full time earn only $1,257 per month. What about paying for education or vacations, or saving for a rainy day? Forget about it.

If you make only the minimum wage, that’s all you have available to pay for food, rent, transportation, utilities, clothing, health care and taxes. For yourself and your children.

$7.25 an hour doesn’t seem like very much — unless you’re a waiter or waitress. The federal minimum wage for tipped workers is a measly $2.13 an hour. Waiters, waitresses, bellhops, porters and other tipped employees are three times more likely than other workers to live in poverty. They are twice as likely to need food stamps to avoid hunger.

It’s absurd to pay any American only $2.13 an hour for his or her work. That’s less than the minimum wage in Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

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