Written by Mateo Biggs
There is always a status quo within the current economic system that offers discord and discouragement amongst members of society with those who make minimum wage or less– as inflation raises the price of the cost of living while current pay stagnates.
Students struggle to make payments due to the rising interest rates on their loans and in turn balance more jobs in order to close the gap between their necessities and state of living. It is an abhorrent problem that has continued to grow ever since the COVID pandemic, a byproduct of unemployment due to quarantine.
However, according to CNN Business, the current rate of interest– as of December 2023 –rests at around 3.4% compared to the 6.41% of that same January– as stated by YCharts. While this marks the start of the beginning of a possible stabilization with America’s current economic status, it does not mean that the overall costs of living will begin the descent as well, nor does this lessen the struggle many face to make ends meet.
As of 2023, Virginia’s minimum wage falls at about $12.00 per hour. This may seem enough to live on, but once again while the inflation rates of consumerism have begun to trickle down from extremes, the Federal Reserve is not quite satisfied with the current state of affairs nonetheless.
Consumer goods and services have still continued to rise in prices despite the slow drop within the inflation rates of America. In fact, the concern of if the current gap between cost of living and inflation will ever go down continues to plague many Americans minds– especially those who have severe debt due to student loans and mortgages regarding loans they had taken out previously.
All that many Americans can do is continue to budget and plan accordingly for any rises or falls within current rates, but if plans implemented by the Fed go according to plan, then there is hope after all for members of the community.
Any updates regarding the United States’ current inflation rates and/or plans to stabilize the economy will be given at the upcoming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on January 30th-31st, 2024.