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We asked 15 people why they're fighting for $15 and this is what they said.

Why do you think we need to raise the minimum wage?

We asked 15 people why they're fighting for $15 and this is what they said.
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Around the country, people are marching to raise wages.

The federal minimum wage is just $7.25. Protesters are pushing to more than double it to $15 an hour.

A popular misconception is that minimum-wage employees are just college kids looking for extra spending money. But 89% of people who would benefit from an increased minimum wage are age 20 or older.


Upworthy asked people at the 2015 New York #FightFor15 protest why it's so important to them that we raise the minimum wage. Their responses remain true today.

Like this man, many others believe that people who work full-time shouldn't still end up in poverty.

It reads: "I'm fighting for $15 and a union because no one should work full-time and still live in poverty."

Another common concern was the rising cost of living. This woman puts it clearly:

It reads: "I'm fighting for $15 'cuz the rent won't wait."

Others, like this woman, want to help make the world a better place for future generations.

It reads: "My son just graduated from college. He and all the sons and daughters need a living wage. I hope this movement jump starts a new, vital labor movement."

And to this woman, it's about respect.

It reads: "I'm fighting for $15 to raise America and the economy. I believe we can win for us all. Workers just want to be respected. #FightFor15 #RaiseAmerica"

Home health care workers, adjunct faculty, child care professionals, and others joined in solidarity.

It reads: "We're home health aide workers and we're fighting for $15 because life is expensive."

And like this man says, paying a living wage is the humane thing to do.

It reads: "I'm fighting for $15 because people deserve to live like people, not like animals!"

This home care worker knows how rough it can be trying to support your family on low wages.

It says: "I'm a home care worker. I'm here to fight for a better salary because life is difficult at $10 an hour. I cannot pay all my expenses. I'm a single mom, and it's hard every single day. I think it's very good to be a union member cause I feel support in my life. Thanks."

A plumber chimed in, echoing the comments about supporting a family.

It reads: "I'm a union plumber. I'm here supporting workers for a fair wage of at least $15 per hour. We all have families to support."

And this group from Belgium doesn't think $15 is so much to ask.

It reads: "I'm from Belgium, and the American people deserve $15!"

For many, however, it's as simple as wanting to be able to take care of your family.

It reads: "I #FightFor15 for me and my 6 kids."

It's no surprise that workers everywhere are asking for a living wage. When you adjust for productivity, the minimum wage has actually decreased by 23% since 1968.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, if the minimum wage kept up with the rate of worker productivity, the minimum wage should actually be closer to $18 an hour.

But these protests can't really change anything, right? Wrong.

If it weren't for these efforts in cities like Seattle and San Francisco, it's likely that things would have stayed how they always were. Both cities have recently boosted their minimum wages to $15 an hour — and on April 4, 2016, the governors of California and New York followed suit by raising their states' minimum wages to $15. Because people got out there and made their voices heard, two of the most populous states now sport two of the best worker wages in the country!

Who's to say we can't make this happen nationwide?

Have your own reason to #FightFor15? Tweet your own signs at @Upworthy and share this post to let us know why!

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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