Letter to the editor: Student responds to $15 minimum wage editorial

Student responds to July editorial article, “New Jersey’s march to $15 minimum wage begins.”

Dear Editor,

On July 10, 2019 Alan Bauer wrote, “New Jersey’s march to $15 minimum wage begins.” He wrote about the effect of the wage increase over the next five years. Bauer only wrote about how the wage increase will affect those not receiving the raise and their bottom line, not about how increasing the minimum wage $6.15 over the next five years will affect those making minimum wage. By only looking at one side, Bauer is neglecting to tell readers about the struggling students.

30 years ago minimum wage was $3.35 and a four-year college education was about $5,500 dollars, according to nces.ed.gov. Based on this information a student paying for their own college education would only have to work eight hours a week over their four-year education to pay for their degree and have money left over. Using $8.85 as the NJ minimum wage and the average price of a four-year college now, which is $41,468, if a student worked eight hours a week for four years they would only make $14,726.40 which is not enough to pay for school without loans even before taxes. With a $15 an hour minimum wage, a student can work eight hours a week for four years, and make $24,960 to pay for college which is still not enough to pay for school.

Nowadays the cost of school is even more because of textbooks, lab materials and online access codes. Online access codes are a way for teachers to check attendance and give students homework online that automatically grades itself. This is easier for the teacher as they have less work to do, yet we have to pay them more. So, students nowadays have to spend more money to go to college and then even more money while they are at school just so that the teacher’s life is easier.

When students are told that they do not need to be making more money. When people compare what they used to make to what we make now it is insulting. They do not look at what necessary things cost now, they only look at well they did it why can we not. Authors like Bauer only worrying about how those not making this unlivable wage will be affected is just perpetuating the situation.

Sincerely,
Jacqueline Wenzel
College Student