Letter: Minimum wage — always behind the times

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding “Does County Understand Rental Market?” June 1, Xpress:] Those who understand the rental market are those who can’t afford to pay it in order to live relatively near their work — those workers, without whom, our communities wouldn’t function. Minimum wages seem always to be behind the times re: what it actually costs for workers to experience an adequate quality of life.

As a counselor and case manager in the early ’90s in San Antonio, Texas, my colleagues and I did the numbers on what a single parent with two children would need to make in order to provide for his/her family: about $9/hour. The federal minimum wage at that time was $3.80. It may be a bit better now, but I suspect there still is a huge disparity between actual wages and actual, low-end costs to live.

— Bruce Cox


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