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By Natasha Alagarasan

July 19,2012

Living on less than $10 an hour in the City, let alone $7.25, is nearly impossible without financial help -- and that’s not a luxury everyone has. And I can’t imagine having to also provide for a family on those wages. While I understand it’s unrealistic to raise the fares too much in fears of hurting businesses, the minimum wage of a City should somewhat reflect the cost of living in that particular City and time. And the more income people have to spend, the better it is for the economy and those businesses.

New York City has an unemployment problem, and an employment problem too. That's the finding of a report released today from the groups UnitedNY and ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York. The report concludes four in ten households in New York City are forced to subsist on low-wages that have not kept pace with the increase in the cost of living.

The report finds one in five New Yorkers lives below the federal poverty line of $11,170 per year. But New Yorkers are also some of the highest paid workers in the world, leading to "stark levels of inequality" that are "undermining our city, our communities, and our economy."

The report recommends raising the $7.25/hour minimum wage, requiring employers that receive taxpayer subsidies to hire locally, and making it easier for workers to gain collective bargaining. What do you say?

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