I think we can all agree on one thing. It takes money to exist. Our current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is leaving too many Granite Staters behind, and we need Gov. Sununu to take action to raise the wage.
In the late 1980s, the minimum wage was approximately $7,000 a year, or $3.55 per hour. That’s $7.62 in today’s dollars, slightly above the minimum wage right now in New Hampshire. I lived in St. Petersburg, Fla., and was working my way up from sales clerk to department manager at a sporting goods store. I thought I had made it when I eventually took home $11,000 a year, $4,000 more than the minimum wage. What was my life like?
I rented an apartment that was not in the best part of town. One night, a drug user was stabbed in a bungalow across the street. I heard that he died while knocking on doors in a desperate attempt to get help. No one responded. That was my neighborhood.
I planned my menu around groceries that were put on sale at the store as “buy one get, one free.” I ate more Frank’n Stuff novelty hot dogs than I care to remember. To this day when I think on them, with the cheese center, my stomach turns. This was life on 1.5 times the minimum wage in 1988.
Now, the minimum wage in New Hampshire isn’t even at the equivalent level it was in Florida in 1988 and the governor is not prepared to raise it.
Is this what the greatest nation on earth looks like: a place where we go on for decades failing to acknowledge that our people are suffering?
People should be able to live with dignity, work hard and earn a livable wage for a job well done. Please join me in calling Gov. Sununu’s office and asking him to sign Senate Bill 10 and provide a livable wage to Granite Staters.
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