I would find it almost impossible to live off of minimum wage even in Massachusetts where we have one of the highest at $8.00 an hour. Ehrenreicht says that according to the Coalition for the Homeless, in 1998 it took an hourly wage of $8.89 to afford a one bedroom apartment. Costs of living have only gone up since 1998.
When you add children to the equation, it becomes necessary to work more than one job to make ends meet unless you want to live in the crowded (and many times full) homeless shelters. It then becomes necessary to provide for child care which isn’t cheap. Welfare would be an option but providing for two kids takes money and no matter what aid a mother gets, if she is earning minimum wage, food and basic needs will go unmet.
As much as it would be great for minimum wage to go up, small business owners are strapped already and raising wages would put some businesses under which would be counterproductive.