The first thing I am going to acknowledge is that Rex Maverick made some good points and argues his point of view well. The facts he provided were interesting and used well, and I see his point of view even if I do not fully agree with it, because I feel the benefits outweigh the negatives. What he did not do, however, was relay his point of view in such a way that was not close-minded or insulting to young people, students, or people from the South. Being from North Carolina, I have lived through being paid $7.25 an hour and lived with my mother who struggled to make a living there while working two jobs; she worked one job that paid $2.16 an hour with tips, and another that paid $16 an hour. I am also going to prove how it is very hard for a full-time college student to be able to live off of $12 an hour, without counting tax, on their own.
So, how was Rex close-minded and insulting? Well, first of all, he made it seem like people from the South did not matter and did not deserve to earn enough money to live off of. If you think $7.25 is enough to live off of in the South then you have never been outside of New England. I mentioned before that my mother worked two jobs while we lived in North Carolina. On average she made about $3,400 dollars a month working 70 hours a week; that is about $12 dollars an hour, our current minimum wage. She would work seven days a week leaving the house at 5 a.m. to get me to a friend's house to be able to go to school, and to get to work by seven; she often wouldn't get home until after 1 a.m. That is an insane amount of work just to be able to survive! I did not go out and do a lot of things with her because we just did not have the money to go to the zoo or amusement parks. This was just enough to pay for my child care, housing, utilities, insurance, food, students loans, toys, clothes, medical bills, gas, and everything you need to be able to live and also take care of your kid while being a single parent. She did not even have enough left over to put $25 dollars into savings and we were scraping by.
I asked my mother what she felt about this article and it was the same as my opinion; she could see Rex's point but it was delivered poorly. She even asked me to quote this for the paper, “The part that pissed me off the most was the fact that he said workers didn’t deserve minimum wage.” I would like to also note that my mother was 24 when I was born so she was still quite young when she was doing all of this, and so was I. I would also like to say that it is more common for people in the South to have kids younger than it is up here. Out of my friends who live in North Carolina I cannot name a single one whose parents had their first child past the age of 28. So, yes, people in the South and young people deserve to make more than $7.25 an hour because it is impossible to live off of, and they do deserve to get paid well.
The second way that he was insulting is that he said students did not need to be paid $15 dollars an hour. Being a college student that has to support herself, working for all my money, this really angered me. I am going to use Harbor Point as my living space example because it is one of the most common living spaces near the UMass Boston. I will also be including the University of Massachusetts Boston T-Pass for transportation because that is how I get around. According to ThinkProgress, college students work about 19 hours a week. If the student is a full time student it is hard to work more than that and stay sane! So, our fake UMass Boston student makes $912 dollars a month without taxes. For a two bed one bath apartment it is $2,428 a month in rent. Split between four people that is $607 a month. This leaves our student with $305 left over. A T-Pass from UMass Boston is $75 a month so this leaves our student with $230 left. Groceries ranges from $185.90 to $368.30 according to Well Kept Wallet, so, I am going to average it and count food as $277 a month. This leaves our student with $-47 left for the monthly budget that does not even include utilities or cable. If this student was not getting financial aid or help from their parents they would be unable to support themselves. So, yes, students should be paid more than $12 an hour.