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.