I’m having such a conniption over this reporter’s comment about minimum wage.
I made minimum wage for 5-plus years and can’t remember ever thinking “MW should be higher.”
I’m not gonna lodge a personal attack, just going to break this down in numbers because numbers are impartial and I am a ball of aneurysm-bursting rage right now. But I’m keeping it all inside. ::breathes:: Okay…
New York Basic minimum wage in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Labor website, is $7.25 an hour. That translates to $15,080 in a year.
I used calculator.net to figure out take home pay percentages and bankrate.com to figure the amount of New York State income tax rates and determine the percent of state income tax deductions per paycheck. On an annual income of $15, 080, the percentage is determined to be 5.9% between a taxable income of $13,001 and $20,000.
Claiming no federal allowances and no 401K contributions, the calculations come up to this:
Monthly Pay of Annual Income of $15,080.00
gross pay $1,256.67
federal income tax $134.12
social security tax $52.78
medicare tax $18.22
state income tax $74.14
city income tax $0.00
final pay check $977.40
Now the fun begins:
Average apartment rental rate in Albany/Schenectady/Troy in 2011: $902 for a 1 bedroom (according to apartmentratings.com. To be fair, it reports the rate as 783 for 2012, but we’re going on last year’s numbers. Also, have you EVER known a landlord to lower the rent? Trollface.jpg, I’m just sayin’)
I, personally, pay 800 a month (750 if I pay on time) in rent costs. My utilities under the budget plan are 150.
So, if I had a 40-hour a week minimum wage job this is how my monthly budget would breakdown (and these are the BAREST necessities. I’m talking no entertainment budget WHATSOEVER and assuming I have no credit card bills or medical bills or children to feed):
Take home pay after taxes $977
Bus fare (7-day monthly pass to
get to and from wherever weekends) -65
Whoops. I might be able to coupon that down to a negative 150, sure.
My point is that it is incredibly difficult to get by on minimum wage. For the 0.5% that can make it work, I applaud your life choices. But reality sometimes gets in the way and for the rest of us this is just not feasible.