Virginia Commonwealth University
UNIV Focused Inquiry 1
December 2, 2019
Wages are the fundamental of life. Wages are important to employees to help their lives and live in good condition of life. Wages have many benefits, such as paying rent, buying food, and paying for school tuition. In Richmond, VA, wages are low, and people cannot survive because of low wages. Because wages are low in Richmond, people are unemployed and those who are employed do not make enough to survive. According to the Department of Numbers (2019), unemployment in Richmond is 2.8%. Higher wages could solve many problems in the state, so the state should solve this problem because low wages have many consequences on people. The state of Virginia should raise the minimum wage because it would reduce poverty, decrease evictions, and lower rates of the homeless.
Poverty is a bad state and anyone who is living in poverty is constantly living in struggle and stress. Poverty means hunger, lack of shelter, and not having a good job. Poverty makes life harder and worse. Poor people do not have enough money to buy some food or buy toys for the kids. In Richmond, there are some people who live in a bad house because they do not have money to have a good house or live in a good community. Those who live in poor house, usually live in poor communities as well that are dangerous. Desmond (2016) states that “today, the majority of poor renting families in America spend over half of their income on housing, and at least one in four dedicates over 70 presents to paying the rent and keeping the lights on” (p. 4). This shows that low wages lead to poverty, so poor people spend over half of their income on housing thus making their lives harder. Poor people will not have enough money to survive from poverty. Because of low wages, children will not go to a good school to study, and parents will not have a good job to support their family and themselves. Minimum wages are not rising in Richmond, so that will create many other problems for people. According to Sun Gazette (2019), quoting National Association of Realtors, “unfortunately, income and wages are not rising as fast and will make it difficult to buy once rates rise” (para. 5). That shows that the state of Virginia is not raising the income for people, and that will keep poor people in bad condition.
Eviction is the main issue in Richmond, VA. Eviction means a person is thrown away from their house or building for not paying the rent. There is an issue in Richmond that leads to eviction, which is low wages. The rent in Richmond is increasing, and wages are low, so people do not have money to pay their rent. Robinson (2019) states that “Richmond has had the second-highest eviction rate in the country, according to a Princeton University Eviction Lab analysis published in The New York Times last year” (para. 5). That represents Richmond, which is a small city, has the highest rate of eviction in the country. In addition, low wages lead to evictions because people do not have money to pay the rent. Many landlords evict people because they do not pay the rent, so they evict them from the house. The issue of evictions is not from the landlord, but it is from the government. That means the government controls the wages, and they can decrease the rate of evictions in Richmond by raising the minimum wage. Furthermore, it is not the landlord’s problem when they evict someone that does not pay the rent. Also, the landlords want to get money from the tenants and not solving the tenant’s issues with wages. That is the consequence of low wages, which leads to eviction.
Being homeless is one of the biggest problems that the United States is facing internally. Homelessness manes that the person does not have shelter, food, and/or education. Homelessness does not depend just on men but also depends on women, children, and older people too. In addition, homeless people live on the sidewalk or on a bench on the street, and their condition is scary. They cannot take care of themselves and their children usually end up homeless with them when they are evicted. The sight of homeless people is scary and sad. Also, homeless people do not have family or friends because their lives become harder especially since they have no house and are living alone. Homeless people tend to use drugs such as heroin and marijuana because they feel that their life is almost done and that these drugs will make them feel better temporarily. Some homeless people have diseases and health problems, and it is easy to spread these diseases. Furthermore, homeless people are not supported by the government or anyone else. According to Homeward (2019), there are some factors that lead to homelessness such as high housing costs. This shows that low wages, and a higher cost of housing leads to homelessness, so low wages will not help poor people to pay their rent, and it is easy to evict them. It is the government’s responsibility to support homeless people because they do not have anyone to support their lives.
Many Economists think that higher wages could lead to problems. Carballo (2018) states that “Economists differ on how raising the minimum wage would impact the economy” (para. 9). It could be true that higher wages could impact the economy and effect on the consumer, but raising wages by percentages in each year will help the bad condition of poor people because “some would benefit by having larger paychecks, poverty rates would likely go down” (Carballo, 2018, para. 10). That means the higher minimum wages could help to reduce poverty rates in the country and will help the country to have many employees. States that raised the minimum wages for employees can see the result of employment growth (Carballo, 2018). It is so important to know that raising wages could have many benefits not only to the country but also to the poor people. The state of Virginia should raise wages to help the lives of the poor. Furthermore, poverty rates and homelessness rates will decrease over the years. The way that the country should raise the minimum wages by percentages in each year will not affect the economy, and they will get many benefits from raising wages in the country. In addition, employees will be in every ministry, and all people have jobs to help their lives and their families. Raising minimum wages will raise employment rates and the economy of the country will also rise benefiting the country.
In conclusion, raising minimum wages will help both the country and the poor people. In addition, raising minimum wages could reduce poverty and homelessness rates and increase the rates of the employees and the economy. The state of Virginia should solve the issue of low wages because it is lead to poverty, eviction, and homelessness. Having a low minimum wage is extremely concerning because the number of homeless people is increasing. Since housing costs are rising while the minimum wage is stable, more people will fall into poverty increasing the amounts of homeless people and decreasing the employment rates.
Carballo, R. (2018, January). Virginia’s minimum wage still among lowest in the
nation. The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved from https://www.pilotonline.com/government/virginia/article_ebcce526-6f19-11e8-95ff-bb024c7cc91e.html
Department of Numbers. (2019). Richmond, Virginia Unemployment. Retrieved
Desmond, M. (2016). Evicted: poverty and profit in the American city. New York:
Homeward. (2019). About Homelessness. Retrieved from
Robinson, M. (2019, January). Richmond council approves ‘living wage’ for city
employees. Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved from https://www.richmond.com/news/local/richmond-council-approves-living-wage-for-city-employees/article_7b6b92d3-2579-5611-8ef2-13fb2d60a6d9.html
Robinson, M. (2019, October). Creighton Court evictions prompt outcry, suspicion of RRHA redevelopment plans. Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved from
Sun Gazette Newspaper. (2019, November). Region, nation see home-value
appreciation in single-family market. Arlington Sun Gazette. Retrieved from https://infoweb-newsbank-com.proxy.library.vcu.edu/apps/news/document-view?p=WORLDNEWS&t=&sort=YMD_date%3AD&page=1&fld-base-0=alltext&maxresults=20&val-base-0=Richmond%20and%20wages&docref=news/17717269E9A777A8