(The following was originally published on the Working Families Party website.)
5 years ago, the federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25 — and as prices rise, its buying power has declined.
But Congressional Republicans refuse to see what’s right in front of their eyes: low-wage workers are struggling to get by on the current minimum wage. Someone who works full time earning the bare minimum makes only $290 a week — after housing costs and taxes, that breaks down to just $11 a day to spend on food and transportation.
I don’t know if I could live on $11 — but starting this Monday, I’m going to try. For one week, I’m taking the Live the Wage challenge to call attention to the harsh reality of surviving on minimum wage.
My budget will be the same as a minimum wage worker for food, transportation, and recreation. And I’ll track my spending and share reflections on my experience to help raise awareness of what it’s like to live on $11 a day.
I don’t pretend that by taking on this challenge, I will truly know what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a low-wage worker. I won’t have to provide for my family on the same budget, as many do.
But by publicly sharing my experience, I hope to show others how important it is that we raise the wage for millions of Americans.
Thanks for your support,