What quality of life can minimum wage workers afford?

PBS NewsHour asked:

Washington state has the highest minimum wage in the nation at $9.32. Can the state’s low-wage workers can meet their basic needs without assistance? Economics correspondent Paul Solman …

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25 thoughts on “What quality of life can minimum wage workers afford?

  1. Lock0n86

    New Site

    For the black woman: its your fault. Criminal record of shoplifting, single
    mother of 2 and a high school dropout? You deserve the life you have. Keep
    flipping burgers. No one deserves to pick up your slack.

    For the bald guy: its your fault. You could use the money you spent on the
    playstation 3, playstation 4, all those games/movies and plasma TV, along
    with the time you waste on that to learn skills to get a higher paying job.
    I don’t feel bad for you at all. Keep holding that sign outside and stop
    trying to slack on the job.

  2. Thomas Scott


    Minimum wage isn’t meant to be livable. Its not called livable wage, that
    would be around $25 hourly for these families as mentioned. The reason
    people get payed so little is because they don’t much work. If someone at
    mcdonalds got more than one simple task, he might as well get payed more.
    But still, McDonalds or a janitor or any of these other minimum wage jobs
    aren’t mean to be for a family to survive on

  3. Pyrrhic Victory

    California Dir

    Fast food jobs are meant for teenagers to gain experience, not for adults
    to work there long term, much less supporting a family. Learning a trade or
    college ed is a best bet to get out of these minimum wage jobs. $15 an hour
    is unrealistic. I graduated from a 4-year college with high GPA, have been
    working for two years. And I don’t get to earn $15 an hour. I agree fast
    food workers should still earn a sustainable wage, but $15 per hour is

  4. Light of Judgment

    English Lit

    $15.00 a hour is way too much. What about assembly line
    workers, janitors and welders? They work WAY harder than these people who
    work at fast foods and make little money.

    Minimum wage jobs is not a career. I guess I’m different than most people.
    I have aspirations and goals in my life… 

  5. Y Kim

    Concert ticks

    Joshua says “its hard for him to get by”, but funny how many video games he
    has. He slacked in school, he had a kid without a stable income. It’s his
    fault. Unfair for taxpayers that their hard-earned money is going to people
    like this. If you think he’s hard-working I mean look at how dirty their
    house is, even if you’re poor you can still keep you house clean

  6. WarmSoftKitty

    earnings date

    You can live pretty decently off minimum wage in a lot of cities, its the
    states that are expensive to live in that people have problems. The main
    problem is that minimum wage is simply not high enough in these expensive
    to live in states like California, New York, Florida or larger cities.

  7. J Dahllquist


    Minimum wage is not a wage at all. Wage is based on the value produced by
    the employee, anything above that is not wage it is subsidy. So, much of
    minimum wage is just welfare. A better idea: get a skill that you
    can sell on the free market for the money that you want to make. Forcing
    employers to pay more for the same work takes money away from the business
    owners, and may put businesses out of work.

  8. Out Of Place Ninja

    unblock rocks

    What is it like to live on minimum wage? You learn how to live with more
    people in a home than it can legally support. You learn how to make $10-$20
    a week stretch to feed you. You learn how to efficiently apply to hundreds
    of places because you are always trying to find something that actually
    pays enough to live on. You learn to live with the cold of winter and the
    heat of summer because you cannot afford to run your heating or air
    conditioning. You learn to do without “fancy things” such as a new computer
    or iphone or android phone. You learn the world is full of cruel and
    heartless people who are clueless about the suffering of the poor. You
    learn that the only way you will get help from the government is if you
    unemployed, homeless, pregnant, have kids, or making so little money you
    can’t even afford rent. Then maybe you will get government help. Don’t
    expect much from churches either unless you are willing to go to that
    church every service and kiss a lot of rear. You see so many opportunities
    that are just out of reach as well. Maybe you don’t have enough experience.
    Maybe they are too far away for your piece of crap car to make it. Maybe
    you cannot afford the gas. Maybe there are too many others applying who
    have a slight edge or better connections. Maybe you end up making too many
    mistakes at your job because you are too tired from working your second job
    or too tired from being kept up by all the people you have to live with in
    order to have a roof over your head on your pathetic income. Life on
    minimum wage is hell if you have no kids.

  9. Canis Lupus

    glype proxy

    For the lady with the shoplifting charges come on what kind of life does a
    criminal expect. Did you expect society would elect you head of the
    chamber of commerce after stealing from stores. Oh because everyone else
    had the $300 tennis shoes, $1000.00 watches and assorted bling when you
    were a kid you have the right to steal. So being a criminal, a drop out
    and likely dope addicts should have no consequences. Having two children
    you can’t afford when a $3.00 investment in condoms can remove the huge
    expense of children from a life on minimum wage.

    The real question is can a single person live on minimum wage because
    children are a choice. A wife is a choice. If you and your wife both make
    minimum wage to the bald guy can you survive? If so wait to have children
    till you can afford them sir then have only the kids you can afford. You
    call yourself a man and you need the state to take care of your spawn. To
    the black lady you are a criminal my dear you are darn lucky McDonalds
    risked hiring you in the first place. you should thank your lucky stars
    you have that job rather than whining about minimum wage.

    For both folks they should work on improving their lives with education and
    working to find better jobs once educated. I feel minimum wages should be
    raised from the federal level but in Washington State they are already
    above the federal level and still complaining come on what do you want a
    mansion. As for the plasma TV and the PS3\4 whatever the man has to have
    some joy in life. I know myself if I could only have two luxuries they
    would be a DVD player and the biggest TV I could afford. As for the TV
    being a plasma come on try to find a tube TV anywhere now good luck. Used
    to be plasma TV meant big bucks nowadays a big screen TV is not the huge
    luxury it used to be, I mean if dude had a 55 inch screen TV then yeah
    he’s living large on little but he had a dinky little plasma screen he is
    living well within his means.

    Come on look at bald dudes house it was sparse a few things stacked up no
    real furniture to speak of. the video game consoles were not in a huge
    entertainment center they were sprawled on the floor. I think both of
    these people were making due with what the bad decisions in life left
    them. This story would have been more effective if two people who did not
    do drugs, drop out orbecome criminals had to suffer on minimum wage. These
    two were stereotypical mininum wage charactures drop outs and criminal
    losers. Lets see a high school graduate who never did drugs, never
    commited crimes, never had babies they could not afford who also work and
    must live on minimum wage. If you did all the right things and still can’t
    live on minimum wage as a single adult or a married couple without kids
    then minimum wage must be raised. Minimum wage was not meant to be a
    family wage. Minimum wage should allow one single individual to live a
    very basic spartan life.

  10. Chris O

    best escorts

    This is the kind of shit Karl Marx mentions in his book. And this is why I
    support communism. How can these huge companies just let these people
    suffer? Some of these companies like Walmart, McDonald’s, Burger King, any
    fast food joint or retail establishment makes more money than companies
    like Microsoft and Apple and they pay their employees more than minimum
    wage. These companies have more than enough money to pay their employees
    more. At the end of the day, companies and banks rule everything and they
    control us. Minimum wage is basically just legalized slavery. I saw a
    documentary not to long ago called “Living on Tips” and they make around $3
    an hour and this is completely legal by law. These massive companies can
    pay $3 an hour to an employee and make up for anything else with tips that
    the customer leaves behind. Customers don’t necessarily need to leave tips.
    It’s wrong that customers are paying for their living.



    $15.00 an hour ? Ok. So we do this for the low end worker at McDonald’s .
    We just raised the wage. Now we have the higher earner wanting more pay. So
    now we have to pay that worker more because the other worker just got a
    wage increase. This is just politics and always comes from the democrats.
    The same democrats that tax the poor and hope you don’t notice. You know,
    Cigarettes, Beer, the lottery, your cell phone. And for the single mother
    of two I say make better choices. Go to college. I worked two jobs while I
    went to college. No excuses.

  12. Trish House


    This is crazy and mean. Why can’t we just recognize that a land base,
    housing, and a healthy food supply are human rights and share them among
    ourselves? Instead we permit hoarding by a few in some kind of stupid
    Monopoly game as if we the People have no value unless we are paying
    somebody else to exercise their own extreme self indulgence.

    There is enough arable land in America for each one of us to have 2 acres.
    Let’s take away all this desperation and misery by simply agreeing to share
    what we already have. Then we will never NEED jobs, and government/tax
    payer handouts; we will just comfortably LIVE.

  13. TheUncledink

    pick and pull

    This video is outrageous. Is it a joke? The Black woman who dropped out
    of High School, has two kids, and has three misdemeanor theft charges has
    the nerve to complain about her situation. On top of that, purchases a
    very old high mileage Infinity with expensive aftermarket Rims and tires
    and a touch screen stereo. This woman is a victim of BAD DECISION MAKING
    and nothing else. I started out making $7.25. It’s not easy and you have
    to make sacrifices, to get by. People need to be responsible for their own
    actions. She CHOSE to steal, she CHOSE to have unprotected sex, and she
    CHOSE to buy an impractical vehicle. Live within your means, or change

  14. separation0620

    electronic save

    These two should take a sales job. There are plenty sales jobs out there
    that will take chances of people with minimal experience and only a HS
    education. They could be raking in the big bucks instead of making a measly
    minimum wage. There’s no greater feeling than having the freedom of being
    your own boss and controlling your own destiny (i.e. money) you can make.

  15. Lee Johnson

    god tube

    Slaves in the Old South Were who created the Wealth. The Slave owners were
    the ones who were rich, from the work of the Slaves. In Today’s World, the
    Minimum Wage Workers are the Wage Slaves that create the Wealth While The
    Rich Men get richer from the work of Minimum Wage Slaves. Will Slavery
    ever end in the United States

  16. MileHighClub211

    Best Hosting Deals

    $7.25 an hour? That would only be an agreeable source of income if you had
    a time machine, and are able to teleport yourself into the 1950’s where the
    minimum wage of today was accounted for into inflationary terms. In other
    words, we are making a minimum wage accounted for inflation of 60 years
    ago! Unbelievable! Account it for the inflation of today, and you have
    yourself a much higher minimum wage! Raise the minimum wage slightly, and
    we could quite possibly draw the working poor out of poverty, eliminate
    government subsidiary programs, and recover from an ailing economy in a
    timely manner. It’s unfortunate to call ourselves the richest, yet poorest
    country on the planet.


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