The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Minimum Wage Is an Unlivable Wage

Jan 3, 2022

The State of Michigan announced that the minimum wage would increase 22 cents to $9.87 an hour on January 1, 2022. That’s $395 a week, or $1580 a month, before taxes.

So, what will that buy? If you add the average monthly rental cost for a one-bedroom apartment in the Detroit Metro area at $821, plus utilities at $274/month; and food at $252/month for one person, that comes to $1347 a month. And this does not include transportation, car insurance, clothing, health care expenses, etc.

In other words, this $9.87 an hour is unlivable, even for one person. A single worker has to work, minimally, 60 hours a week, for just the basics. And that same worker, if they had one dependent, has to work 80 hours a week or hold down 2 or more jobs!

These politicians, Republican and Democratic alike, broadcast this “rise” in the minimum wage for 2022 like it’s some kind of windfall. While in reality, they agree to poverty level wages for many essential workers.