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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More on Poverty

I thought I'd share what I thought was a very revealing article about the realities of living in poverty, or at least at minimum wage level. In my ignorance of life, given that my husband makes well over this wage, and even at my part time "extra spending money" job, I make almost twice that, I never really considered what it looks like to actually live on that wage. I never thought we could live on what *I* make, and here, people are living on so much less. Given the thoughts I'd had on poverty earlier this week, I go back again to the question of how? How do we significantly impact these people and their situations to make a difference? How do we get people out of poverty?

As the writer of this article points out, simply giving people higher wages isn't necessarily the answer-as it's going to make life a lot harder for the business owners paying the wage. While they think it's fair to pay their employees more, the reality is that they don't have the money to do so. Therefore, they face a choice-raise prices, reduce hours for employees, or go out of business.

Though the article didn't overtly state this (I think), here's what this means for the workers getting the raise: Rather than working 40 hours a week at $6 an hour, they might only get 30 hours a week at $7.25 an hour. OR It means the people they work for will be out of business and they'll have to find a new job. OR (which is probably the most likely scenario) They will work the same hours, make more money, but pay more for other necessities.

In the end, I wonder if anyone will really be ahead?

To read the article, click here .

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