Why the minimum wage should be raised to $20 in California

Why the minimum wage should be raised to $20 in California

The cost of living is too damn high in California! Some cities have agreed to raise the minimum up to $15 but that won't take affect until 2020! $15 per hour is a nice start but the truth is the minimum wage should be raised to $20. When you break down the cost of living (which I'll do in a minute) in California, $15 still means living paycheck to paycheck, the magic number is $20. Ok let's break it down. Keep in mind that I live in the Bay Area so the numbers I show will roughly be the average for Northern California but they shouldn't be too far off from the rest of California.

Rent- I'll assume that nobody is living alone and is living with a BF/GF or a roommate in a 1 bedroom apartment that rents for $1,400 a month. That's $700 a month from your wallet.

Car Payment- Unless your driving a luxury vehicle like a Mercedes, BMW, or Audi, the average car payment is about $300.

PG&E and Water Bill- $160 combined

Cell Phone- depends what mobile company you have but let's face it folks these companies are constantly ripping us off so I'll put the average at $70.

Basic Cable/Satellite TV- $45

Home Internet- because these mobile companies don't do unlimited data anymore (and even if they do its shitty reception) $45

Food- this a months worth of food that you buy either at the grocery store, or eating out, $400.

Gas money- The average car tank gets full with about $55, so let's say you fill her up two times a week, that's $440 a month!

Gym Membership- I know this shouldn't be on the list but let's face it most people have a gym membership even though they never go, or only go on weekends, either way the price is still $35 a month.

So after doing the math this adds up to about $2,200 a month! If your earning $15 minimum wage that only means your making $2,000 monthly after taxes, which means your $200 short! Now, if you earn $20, you'll make $2,600 a month, which means you'll have $400 left over as fun money! What do you guys think should it be raised to $20 per hour?


Most Helpful Girl

  • The higher we make the minimum wage=more money needing to be printed= more money being printed= a dollar is less valuable= more debt
    seems legit


Most Helpful Guy

  • Hey buddy, I don't want to be an ass here but I'm going to have to break your whole "let's raise the minimum wage" theory.

    First let's create hypothetical situation.

    Let's say milk costed ten dollars a gallon and a gallon of gas costed fifteen dollars a gallon.
    Now, the minimum wage is set at five dollars an hour.

    Suddenly America decides to double the minimum wage to ten dollars an hour.

    Now what happens?
    The grocery stores and gas stations double their prices making milk twenty dollars a gallon and gas thirty dollars a gallon.

    Now I just used gas and milk as two examples. Increasing the minimum wage would not actually give you more money. The market will adapt. And make your increased minimum wage the have the same worth as you regular minimum wage.

    However the Democratic Party doesn't want anyone to figure this out because how else will they get people to the polls?

    • If milk got that high I'd just steal a cow from a farm

    • Show All
    • Wrong. Products will eventually stop selling if prices go up without providing the corresponding investment being made to people who want to buy those products. People cannot just make the same wage forever unless inflation just stops occuring, which it never will. It's greed.

    • False.

      The price of products will increase as wages increase. Everyone needs gasoline so why wouldn't I increase the price now that I know they have more money on hand. You may state that the companies will keep the regular price to be competitive but you are forgetting the main rule of business which is to maximize profit. You also seem to believe that the gas companies are dependent on us to keep them afloat which is in part true. However these companies have billions upon billions of dollars and we need gas to get to work. Unless you don't drive or use a gas powered vehicle to do things you are going to have to pay that price set by the gas company.

      Feel free to change "gas" out for almost any other product.

Join the discussion

What Girls Said 7

  • Minimum wage was not meant to live or support a family off of. It never has been. It was designed for teenagers, college students, and those wanting to work an extra job. It was the choice of those who did not learn a skill to stay in these positions and make a career out of them. Plus, you're giving "averages" of what things cost, when this person is making "below average" wage.

    This person will have to have the below average car, with below average apartment, give up the cable and gym membership, and not eat out so much. When the minimum wage increases, so do the prices of everything else. If someone wants to be able to afford the "average" cost of things, they have to make an "average" salary. A "below average" salary will not afford you all of the things you listed, and if they could, the prices will go up to reflect that average salary instead. That's life, and math.

  • A lot of those things you mentioned on your list aren't needed, though. If you're living with minimum wage, you've got to cut some of those things out. I get by on minimum wage just fine with some extra pocket money left because I've made compromises that benefit me more in the long run.
    For example, I don't own a car. No need to pay for gas and all that, I just take the bus. And I have a monthly card thing that I use that costs roughly 25 dollars a month. Way more beneficial, since with that card I get unlimited access to all buses and trams in the city. Less of a hassle too.
    I don't have a TV either. I get by on my laptop just fine. I can read the news and watch my shows whenever I want. My ping is ridiculously low and for like another 25 bucks a month, so you've just got to figure out which provider is the best. Not all of them are out to rip you off with shitty internet and high prices.
    Gym membership... fuck that. If you only go once a week, you might as well just get rid of the membership and go for a jog instead. It's free. Or work out at home. That's also free.
    For food, find out which store has the cheapest prices (without reducing the quality too much) and you'll be just fine. I spend about 200 dollars on food a month since I don't eat out and I cook my food efficiently. Cooking dishes you can eat several times from is a good investment. Like lasagna. You can get like 3-5 meals from that depending on how big you make it. Nor do I drink alcohol or smoke. Drinking alcohol/smoking when you're living on minimum wage is just money down the drain.

    So if you make the same compromises I've made, you save about 1020 dollars (300 + 45 + 200 + 440 + 35). Give or take maybe 100-200 dollars if you eat more than me and want to spend some money on alcohol. See how much money you save when you make some compromises and keep it to the BARE necessities? You've got to realize that you can't live with a car and a TV and memberships and eating out/drinking etc if you only make minimum wage. And I do just fine without all these things, I don't need them anyway. I'd rather have more money in my pocket.

    • What kind of life is that? You are speaking of a cycle comprising a completely bleak existence. It is not fair for some people to have to live like that and others to enjoy life. Don't you want a house? Children? A car? Aren't those things everyone in this country was promised they could have if they worked hard for it?
      If I was living your life, I would just kill myself. Your life sounds awful.

    • Show All
    • You and everyone else here loves to beat the drum of "I'm so much better than everyone else because I am frugal". Well guess what? Unless wages are raised soon, the majority of this country will be in ruins because people will not be able to afford to consume, which is what NEED them to do. I am not being negative, I am being realistic. Ask ANY economic expert and he/she will tell you that you need a strong middle class in order to avoid recessions. Banks and large corporations paying peanuts and rigging the system in their favor has historically led to EVERY major recession in this country. Sorry if my facts and evidence trump your feelings.

    • @Jimrat86 did you even read the part about me not being an American? I'm also not sure what all of that has to do with me getting by just fine on minimum wage AS A STUDENT. I'm not better than everyone else, what makes you think I think that? In my original post I did nothing but state that you don't even need all of the things the OP said you need. That doesn't mean I think I'm better, it just means that I'm pointing out that you don't NEED a tv or a gym membership (especially if you don't even use it) if you're actually trying to live on minimum wage.
      Also raising the wages won't do shit, if you raise the wages you also raise the prices and then you're back to square 1. And you don't even need to be an economic expert to realize that, lol.

      Again, not sure what any of this has to do with my post, go argue with someone else.

  • Yeah my stepsister lived in California and had to work 70 hours a week and 3 jobs which basically came out to 40k a year. Not worth the struggle if you ask me. This is why I'm going to college.

  • Minimum wage is not for working adults. Minimum wage is for children on starter jobs. The answer is school. College. To make more than minimum wage. It wasn't meant to keep you comfortable and loving life 😂

    • minimum wage is supposed to be enough to 'live on'.

    • thats why there is a number that payment can not legally go below. when cost of living increases minimum wage needs to increase -based on its purpose.

      by the way , are you in college and paying your way through supporting yourself on a 'starter job' ?

    • Enough to live on lol not enough to keep you comfortable happy and without complaints. That's what degrees are for.

      I got my scholarship back so it's free for me if I can maintain my grades this time. well I pay room and board lol and that's paid with mostly financial aid.

      But even if I didn't have a scholarship... if you're dorm aged and able bodied/minded there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to go to school and get a bachelors degree at the least.

      But people these days want to move out on their own and have kids on minimum wage and it's almost laughable.

  • Be happy. In New York, the minimum wage is $5.00 an hour.

  • $15 an hour? Really? Minimum wage where I live is $7.25. If we want twice as much as that, then we have to do twice the work...

  • How about just no
    Minimum wage jobs aren't suppose to be careers
    They're for teens and college kids

    • Plus if the minimum wage goes up so will the prices of rent, food, etc

    • Show All
    • @jimrat86
      You sound dumb. Considering if they work at a minimum wage job and it goes to 15, people would either be laid off or prices would go up


    • @thesunstillshines Exactly correct. They are, typically, entry level which speaks for itself.

What Guys Said 18

  • All the stuff you mentioned will just go up. Plus jobs will start firing people and trying to overwork the already overworked employees who do work hard. People are even saying that Mcdonalds is going to implement electronic ordering kiosks if they turn flipping burgers into a 15/hr job. So you can clearly see that forcing the employers to simply pay more doesn't work. They operate off of budgets and you're magically asking them to just shell out more than the budgets they get. They'll also fire well positioned employees just because. It won't end well.

    Minimum wage jobs are not careers. You shouldn't expect anyone to live off of a minimum wage job. If everyone could live off of a minimum wage job everyone would just flip burgers and wouldn't feel like going to college to try and get a degree when you can make 30k a year just flipping overly processed "meat" around.

  • won't happen. $20 will be too much money to pay for minimum wage even if the cost of living in California is high. If companies were forced to pay new people $20 an hour (supervisor/managers down here in Florida don't even earn that much) then the company will have no choice but to boost everyone else's pay such as employees with longevity, supervisors and managers. You'll have regular people without any college degrees or specialized skills making an average of $30-40 an hour which is insane.

    Such an influx in wages will either lead to companies letting go of a huge portion of people and replacing them with automated machines to do their work (which will be a nightmare for the unemployment rate) OR it will result in prices and cost of living to increase higher then what they are now.

    You can't expect minimum wage to reach such high amounts and not expect some sort of backlash to occur.

  • It is funny because people who don't like raising minimum wage, tend to be very conservative minded, which means more anti government.

    When we do not raise min wage (at least occasionally, say every 20 years) then more people will be living in poverty because prices always rise due to inflation. this means more people go on welfare, which is paid for via taxes.

    But hold on, government is inefficient, isn't it? (It is, but in many areas still necessary due to human behavior and marginal profits and stock markets)

    So why don't we just directly pay people so there are less living in poverty and cut out the government for having to make up the difference in this big roundabout way?

    Crazy I know.

  • You do realize that when the minimum wage is increased then the price of everything goes up accordingly as well, businesses will either increase the price of their products or cut the hours of their employees and sometimes even fire some of them. Not to mention that it screws people who worked their asses off for their higher paying positions or paycheck because now the people below them are making close to or exactly what they are and now they are doing more work for the same pay as people with an easier position.

    Raising it is a stupid idea because you will basically be paying and making the same amount because the cost of everything will go up according to the wage raise so nothing will change, except a lot of businesses and people will get screwed.

    It's quite obviously you have no idea what you're talking about.

    Also just for any future people who come and comment on this, the person who did this mytake deactivated his account.

    • I agree with what you are saying, but do you really feel it should never be increased? No matter what, naturally, there will be inflation in prices. Eventually even minimum cost goods will be out of reach of minimum wage earners.

      I just wanted to say I agree with all of the concepts, but eventually it does need to be upped to make up for natural inflation.

      Where I live, minimum is 7.25, which is not even close to being enough to live in anything but poverty...

    • Show All
    • I see, and I can agree with that. Thanks for clearing it up.

  • rofl in 2018 it'll be 15 dollars in San Francisco. I guess a lot of small businesses will close and people will be unemployed.

    Some people who work and have lower wages really don't think about the affect of higher minimum wages.

    If you raise the minimum wage then the people who have worked longer and do more will have to have their wages raised and from there most small businesses would have no way of supporting that...

  • vmw2008. Wrong. Ask any expert economist and they will tell you that in order for an economy to be strong, you have to put more money into the pockets of the majority of income earners. If the majority of income earners are (what we see today) are low-mid, then they are the ones we need to pay more (not the rich 1%).
    Minimum wage jobs "designed for college students and teenagers" is a complete myth. About 70% of people earning minimum wage are bread winners. It is not that raising the minimum wage will inflate everything, it is that keeping it stagnant will keep people struggling and hurt the economy further. There are billionaires out there. Are they putting the billions they earn back into our economy? Of course not. They are putting it into offshore banking accounts, investments, stocks, etc...
    Raising the minimum wage should not occur on its own, because we should also pass a law stating the employers cannot cut hours. If they don't like it, then they can move somewhere else that is cheaper to do business (they seem to have no problem hiring people from other countries anyway). Fact. Thank you.

    • You're so dumb, sticking up for minimum wage workers
      Do you not understand raising the price of minimum wage will increase the prices of food and what not?
      Rent will go up too

    • Show All
    • dollarsandsense.org/archives/2014/0714macewan.html "Any inflation generated by an increase of the minimum wage is likely to be small; second, inflation affects different goods and thus different people very differently."

    • Oh I'm sorry, you don't like facts?

  • You don't NEED a car
    You don't NEED a cell phone
    You don't NEED an internet connection
    You don't NEED gas for a car that you don't NEED
    You don't NEED a gym membership
    You don't NEED to live in California

    And as if THAT wasn't a good enough argument as to why the MW doesn't need to be raised that high:


    • Do you live without any of those things you mentioned? I'm guessing not. Hypocrite.

    • could luck keeping or finding a job without having a cell phone.

    • @Jimrat86

      I have a car, I use my bike, because it's cheaper, good for the environment, and means I don't need a gym membership.

      I don't live in California

      I have a cell phone and an internet connection, but they'd be the first things to go if I were truly struggling to make ends meet.

      So, in conclusion, I'm not a hypocrite, but you are an idiot, (and a financially irresponsible one at that). It's not that hard to live without all this crap.


      I had a job for two years without a cell phone.

  • You do realise, That raising the Mimimum wage, Will also increase prices of everything as people now have more money? Thats how economies work haha.

    All Raising the min wage will do is increases prices and increase national debt, Nothing will change, if anything it will actually get worse.

    Try looking into something called ''Hyper Inflation''...

  • Also, the city & state aren't paying those wages, the companies are.

    Those companies are owned by shareholders, that demand profit margins.

    To maintain profit margins, they must increase the prices of their goods and services 40%-200%, depending on the good or service.

    So guess who's cost of living increases even more? The little guy.

    Bumping UP pay does nothing but accelerate the problem of pre-existing inflation & a growing gap between the haves & have-nots.

    And guess who voted it in: the have nots.
    Lobbied BY the haves.

    Know what you're voting for.

  • TV is not a necessity. Actually, if everyone stopped watching TV, our country would be 1000 times better.

    You can't just magically raise the minimum wage without causing side effects like increased cost of goods. Companies are going to make up for that added burden one way or another. The cost of living will go up if you raise the wage.

  • More minimum wage = all companies who hire people will raise their prizes and you are back at step 1. Alternatively you have less workers in those companies.

    Other than that @GoodDogNigel is completely right.

  • Minimum wages equal minimum skills. Therefore, it is not a living wage.

  • Or learn a skill that pays more than minimum wage.

    Because your quality of life is your own fucking responsibility.

  • You can't just raise minimum wage and bam there's more money in people's pockets. You raise minimum wage, you raise the cost of goods and services and you'll be in the same place you were before. That $1.99 burger at McDonald's won't be $1.99 anymore when the person making it makes $15 or $20 instead of $8. Also, do you really think slapping lettuce on a burger is a $20 per hour skill? Also, the people further up the pay scale, the ones that are making $20 per hour now will demand more.

  • First world problems :/
    Meanwhile my electric bill alone is slightly over half of your entire monthly estimate and minimum wage is only a quarter of what you're proposing. I can't take people seriously when they complain about tv.

  • Those things you listed are prevalent everywhere in the country and some are not necessities. Raising the minimum wage does not come without percussion's. Businesses will either raise prices, cut hours/employees or outsource to stay competitive and none of those are good for California. As minimum wages goes up so does every business overhead, so costs will increase accordingly. It is a very temporary fix and certainly would screw those people making 21 dollars an hour over. They had a good experienced job and now would struggle. (Also California is so overrated with a roommate I pay 350 a month here)

  • It will only hurt things in the long run. Its not based on peoples needs, its based on what the labor your doing is worth.

  • You do know that will just raise the prices more right? Why not just make it $50 an hour?