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Minimum-Wage Jobs, Sustainment, and Social Mobility

10 Pages 2497 Words April 2018

le. For those who are poor, the chance to make something of themselves is little to non existent (The Economist, 484). Those who work for minimum wage are considered as poor, making their chance at rising even harder. In “Serving for Florida,” the author made attempts to survive off the low-wage she made as a server at a shady restaurant called Hearthside. She barely made enough to eat, pay rent and was forced to take a second job as a housekeeper at the nearby hotel near another restaurant she later worked at. Though she was able to stay afloat, she suffered from lack of sleep, back pains, and was constantly popping Advil pills as if they were candy. She saw that it was possible to become a manger, but doing so would lead to a change in personality and would make those under you hate you. She barely made it past a month. She entered the world of someone in poverty and was incapable of surviving the emotional and physical toil. With hardships such as that, where does that leave room for social mobility (Ehrenreich)?

Barbara Ehrenreich said a low-wage job, “shows no sign of being financially viable”. She also commented on the fact that financially comfortable people on the outside would expect the poor to have all types of techniques and strategies to make up for the little bit of money that they make (469). That is, unfortunately not the case. Everything costs money and anything that doesn’t is either of low quality or requires a service in return. For many individuals, minimum wage can cover a few of these: food, clothes, bills, rent, insurance, but not the entirety of the list. You either have to live with family to survive or you rely on the one source that Americans have been looking to since the Great Depression happened: the federal government or better yet, the assistance programs that they offer. From welfare checks, EBT cards, and Section 8 housing, it all requires that you make less money than is possible to live on...

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