Though you can put up with a lot of things when you’re young, it’s hard to imagine what life must be like for Daniel Gretz as detailed in this story at the Guardian, but for the more affluent folks in the Bay Area who can afford to work there and live there, that new parental leave law must be pretty sweet.
Spending more than three hours in a car each day is not unusual for Daniel Gretz. Gretz works as a security guard in Milpitas, which is in the southern part of California’s Bay Area. Each morning, he gets in the car and drives about 97 miles up Route 101 from Greenfield where he lives with his brother’s family.
Gretz had grown up in nearby Cupertino and has over the years seen housing and rental prices sky rocket.
“There are more and more people moving outside the Bay and then commuting to work,” says Gretz. Five years ago, when he first moved to Greenfield, his commute was “an hour and 15 minutes max. Now, on a good day, it’s an hour 45 minutes. On Friday, I leave work at 4:30 and not get home until 7 o’clock.”
Trying to survive on hourly pay of $15 an hour, Gretz feels he has no choice but to make the daily trek up and down the 101. Moving closer to Milpitas and San Jose would mean renting a place that would swallow up the majority of his monthly paycheck.
As California becomes the first state to approve a proposal for $15 minimum wage, the question becomes: is $15 an hour enough?
The situation appears to be similar in New York, where $15 an hour will also become the minimum wage, it’s just that the commutes are a little shorter.