Minimum Wage Rises in New York State

Minimum Wage Rises in New York State

It's going up to $11, how does it affect you?
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New York State is breaking the mold when it comes to passing laws to benefit the hardworking people of their state. As of December 31st, 2016, minimum wage in New York State has risen from $10.00 to $11.00 per hour. It is set to rise again every year, especially in New York City. By 2019, minimum wage in the State of New York will be at $15 per hour, and I can't tell you how much this means to my family personally.

My fiance and I have a young son. We find it hard every month to pay bills and put food on the table. Working a 40 hour work week, this equates to an extra $160 in our household every single month. Yes, this benefits the worker immensely. My son might be able to go on a class play date. I won't have to borrow money to buy him school supplies. I won't have to ask for clothes as gifts, as I may actually be able to purchase them myself. But still, there are naysayers to this groundbreaking legislation.

Many fear that this will allow automation to occur, especially in the food and drink industry. Why pay someone to take orders and fill them, when a computer can do that for you? Trust me, not going to happen. The cost and upkeep of the machines alone would be just as expensive as paying workers. Plus, people usually want the experience of talking to an actual person while they have their dining experience. I've recently been to a Wendy's restaurant near me that has had a total upgrade. Besides their new fancy digs, they still have regular pay stations manned by regular workers.

Small business owners are also wondering if there overhead will rise. They'll need to charge more for services if they have to pay their workers more. Well, guess what? I would be more than happy to pay a little bit more to get my car fixed if it meant that the mechanic who worked on it would be able to afford some food for his/her family. My dress would cost $50 instead of $40 to tailor. Oh well! Not much of a difference if you ask me.

Some friends of mine who also work minimum wage are also concerned that their hours may get cut because of this increase. This could possibly be true, especially if you work an average of over 29 hours. This is because your employer is required to give you health care under the ACA. The employers try to skirt this issue by just making cuts. They are soon going to find out, like my jobs has, that people are less likely to want to work hard and diligently. They'll take on second jobs just to make ends meet and ultimately work performance will suffer. This also means a loss of customers. Employers will learn soon enough that they aren't going to win this battle. Also, who knows what Preisdent-elect Trump will do with the ACA anyway?

My main issue with the rise in the minimum wage is that other professions wages weren't raised as well. If you break down a starting teacher's salary by the hour, it comes to about $25 an hour. That only counts for the time they actually spend in school, not the hours worked tirelessly at home grading papers and making lesson plans. Yet, they also get health insurance, stock options, and retirement plans, something minimum wage workers don't get. Maybe that isn't the best example. But what about EMTs? CNAs? These people go to school for countless hours to become certified and have very important jobs. Every single one of us will be touched by these people, especially when it comes to our loved ones. Why does a CNA only make minimum wage? Why does an EMT make just over it?

Truth be told, we need a total overhaul of the wage system in the USA. What works for one state obviously won't work for all. The federal minimum wage in the USA is $7.25, which in my opinion, is a starvation wage. Minimum wage workers are no longer single, young people. We have families with children who depend on the minimum wage to survive. There's no way they can survive on this kind of money. Keep in mind the definition of minimum wage: a wage a family can subsist on.

Cover Image Credit: amazon aws

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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