This I Believe

Donald - Morehead, Kentucky
Entered on December 14, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: work
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This I Believe

As a child my parents always told me to just wait until I was in the real world, to just wait until I had to pay bills and work everyday. I always thought that I would be fine looking at my parents and how well they had done. Neither of my parents had great paying jobs my mother an elementary school teacher and my father a supervisor over government funded low income housing, but together they managed to raise three boys and own a nice house. All of us kids were able to have a fairly nice car after we turned 16 and never had to worry about what we were going to eat for dinner. Each of us had to get a job after we turned 16 to pay our insurance and pay for our own gas but none of us had to work to many hours to do so.

Now that I am in the real world and have bills of my own I realize that my parents were accidentally right. I know that what they were telling me made since and it wasn’t bad advice but over the past nine years that I have been working wages haven’t gone up. While I was in the Navy I saw housing prices almost double. When I left Kentucky shortly after turning 18 you could buy a nice house for around $60,000, when I returned five years later the same house cost over $100,000. How can people afford to live? I have a decent job in the area I am manager of a local Arby’s. I make decent money but not enough to live comfortably. I don’t know how people that make minimum wage in our country survive. They can’t afford to own a house and have to live in inadequate housing for the size family they have.

Raising minimum wage may be the answer but there is a good possibility that that will only hurt our economy more. If minimum wage dose go up what happens to everyone else? I don’t make minimum wage will I get a raise to cover the new cost of living increase or will I suddenly see prices sky rocket and be left with the same pay I make now? It is hard enough to live on the $9.00 a hour that I make now with minimum wage at $5.15 if minimum wage goes up to $7.25 what will happen to me and the many others that are in the same situation.

I don’t claim to have the answers on how to fix this problem but I think the people that are trying to fix the situation need to be extremely careful they don’t mess it up even more.