Thursday, October 03, 2013

I'm Going to Go Out On a Limb and Suggest Mike Petrilli Doesn't Know Very Many Poor People


Let's do the math.

Today the federal income poverty threshold for a single person is $11,490. If that person works a minimum-wage job for 40 hours a week and for 50 weeks a year, she earns $14,500 per year. Ergo, she's not poor, at least according to the official definition. (To be sure, she's not living the high life either--and is almost surely sharing a home with family or friends to make ends meet.)

Setting aside the question of how far $11,490 actually goes today, I'd defy Petrilli to find someone in a full-time, permanent minimum-wage job. They barely exist at all now.

Here in Scotland, "zero-hour contracts," are relatively new and still controversial. It is just the way we do business in the US now.

1 comment:

Stephen Downes said...

That was my big problem when I was working minimum wage jobs - it was always a constant struggle to 'get the hours' to make up a full paycheque. And you're not very popular in a multi-person rental when you bring home $64 for two weeks' work.