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Is a $15 minimum wage reasonable for Kansans?

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Is a $15 minimum wage reasonable for Kansans?

Story by Whitney Silkey, Assistant News Editor

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A recent “Fair Wage Act” has been proposed in California to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

As the discussion of raising the minimum wage spreads around the country, many states are taking steps toward a $15 standard. But is it a good idea for Kansas?

Currently, the minimum wage in Kansas is $7.25 an hour compared to $10 an hour in California. Let’s compare the cost of living in California to Kansas.

According to Careertrends.com, the cost of living in California is 15 percent above the national average, in contrast to Kansas, which is 4 percent below the national average. It costs more to live in California than Kansas, as much as $7,787 a month.

The minimum wage should not be raised to $15 in Kansas because it is not practical with the current cost of living. Although I would support a slight increase in the minimum wage, I do not believe that it should be as high as $15. That just seems like a bit much for simply working fast food or retail, and this is coming from someone who works in fast food.

To help pay for college, I work summers and weekends at Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers. I have been working at Freddy’s for almost a year now. I started out at $7.50 an hour (just above minimum wage). Through my experience with Freddy’s, I believe that starting a new employee out on a $15 wage would not be motivating enough for them to want to work hard to move up in pay.

In my case, if I had been offered $15 an hour right off the bat at Freddy’s, I wouldn’t have had anything to motivate me to work hard. Of course, I would still try my best, but I don’t think I would be nearly as motivated and excited to work at my job knowing that I didn’t work hard to earn the $15. As silly as it sounds, I love my job not only because of the environment and the company, but also because I like the challenge of knowing if I try hard I will eventually be rewarded.

Although fast food workers often get a bad rap and are treated poorly for their work, I don’t believe that they need to be paid $15 an hour. I enjoy challenging myself at work because I know that even though it’s a fast food restaurant, I can still make the best and enjoy my time working while still getting the job done. I am motivated by the idea of getting raises every now an then, and I think that this wouldn’t be the case if I would have started at $15 an hour.

In California it seems more reasonable and even practical to raise the minimum wage because of how costly it is to live there. In Kansas, it doesn’t seem necessary to me right now, so for now I am perfectly content with my minimum wage job. Kansas can wait to increase starting wages to $15.

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