DISCUSSION: Not Getting by in America

This blog discussion is based on chapter 31 of the book Seeing Ourselves, the article   “Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting By in America” by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Answer and discuss the following questions:
Based on Ehrenreich’s experience, discuss how difficult it would be for you to live on your own making the federal minimum wage? How can a family with two children survive in America earning the federal minimum wage? Do you think that the federal minimum wage should be raised? Please explain.

The students who are assigned to answer these questions are asked to do an original posts and comment on the posts of another student. Other students may comment on these posts. The instructions for these discussions are found on the class Moodle site.

3 thoughts on “DISCUSSION: Not Getting by in America

  1. I think it would be really hard to survive on $7 dollars a hour. Rent is so high now of days, so your pay would go mainly on your rent. You would be in the low (poverty level)income.
    Having two children in the picture would make life tens times harder when your only making minimum wage. Food would be little and they might even have to get welfare to survive.
    Yes, I think the amount of pay should go up, especially when we are in an depression. People struggle and get by with the skin of their teeth.

  2. It is absolutly impossible to survive on $7 an hour or even $8 an hour which is the new minimum wage. Say you make $8 and work the normal 40 hour week. Your only making $320 before taxes. Take $50 out for taxes you make $1080 which is nothing a month. Its impossible to survive unless your working multiple minimum wage jobs at once

  3. I agree entirely. Surviving on minimum wage is very difficult. It is difficult for a college student that may have a few bills to pay here and there, let alone impossible for an adult that has rent, groceries, appliances and electricity, car payments, and whatever other bills they have to pay for. Especially, if they have kids or even a pat to support along with themselves. $1080 will only cover rent (or maybe a little over depending on where you live) and there goes all your money for the whole month. I believe that minimum wage is important because otherwise people would be working for pennies, but trying to survive on minimum wage is not possible.

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