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Minimum wage isn't enough to cover the cost of living in America. There are currently 870,000 people in America who make minimum wage. That doesn't even count people who are working under the table, paid less than what people say on the books, people who don't pay taxes, undocumented workers, people who are paid barely above minimum wage (but still don't earn enough), etc.

Companies paying employees less than the cost of living costs taxpayers because then they have to support programs like foodstamps/EBT/etc. And many people voluntarily put money into soup kitchens or food pantries for poor people. But instead of getting mad at the companies that don't pay people enough to get by, the average person gets mad at the poor working class, who, despite working, don't make enough to make ends meet.

The American Dream used to be having a 2 story house, a wife, 2-3 kids, a dog, a car, and a picket fence. Now? The American dream is being able to pay rent and not starve.


I'd say this should be in /hell/.

I wrote a really long post but it was all just stuff everyone with sense already knows so the tldr is that there will always be a relative poor comparative to the majority and functional family is the key to societal success in the long term.


Meh, this is why getting some roommates or family members is pretty nice. Get about six or seven incomes, live away from the crowded cities, learn how to shop for food and cook, take advantage of eBay and the insane amount of capitalist waste for a low price for things like vidya games, computers, and other things and all that fun stuff.

I'm already living my American Dream.


> The American Dream used to be having a 2 story house, a wife, 2-3 kids, a dog, a car, and a picket fence.

I mean, that's a pretty recent conception. That doesn't mean its bad. But saying it used to be that is a little naive. I mean, sure, but before it was that it was something else. Infinite expansion west for smallholdings? Freedom for radical religious groups? Etc.


>American Dream is dead
roll the dream in general is dead. Anything close to minimum wage won't get you anywhere anymore, here in Europe. You either go down a career path or become a manager or something.


>You either go down a career path or become a manager or something.
Except that for many people in poverty, upward mobility simply doesn't exist. They can work hard and still never be presented with the opportunity to make more money or get better education or training. People who are stuck in shitty jobs often can't get better ones. They are victims of circumstance.

Meanwhile, people who are born into wealth, or get lucky (survivorship bias), tend to think that success is all about working hard. There are plenty of people who work hard who will never get anywhere in life.

Our modern society depends upon a permanent underclass of people, but likes to pretend that everyone can rise above their circumstances, even though it's not true.


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It's true that being born into poverty is severely limiting. That's why family is important. The family may pool resources and get one child the chance they need. That's what happens in developing nations, Parents and elder siblings will bankroll a younger siblings education.

>Our modern society depends upon a permanent underclass of people

The underclass relies on an upper class to do specialised jobs and give them employment and what not. Sure things would fall apart if one side vanished, it's not exactly a one way scenario.

>everyone can rise above their circumstances

I get the impression that you're jaded about these phrases like American dream and rising above circumstance but I don't think you've really thought much about what they mean. They're not entitlements.


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It seems to me you can get very nice jobs in transportation or lumber in many western countries. Have to be somewhat able and willing to do hard work tho. Doesn't really require education, and many transportation businesses will pay for your license since finding good lorry drivers can be tricky. There are ways out of poverty, but when you can barely feed yourself and make rent at the same time while working two jobs, it is hard to see more than what is right in front of you.

Don't have to be upper class, but simply being lower middle class with a simple job should be good enough for a lot of people.


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Yeah, I never understood how people can see capitalism as a meritocracy. For the reasons you said about hard work often being irrelevant, plus the implication that "merit" seems to mean manipulating and spying on people so they'll be inclined to buy useless crap.


This is what bothered me about working in retail. Sales guys weren't trying to sell what the customer needed, they tried to sell what the store would make the most money on (usually underperforming but still kinda expensive stuff). The more useless but high margin stuff they managed to make someone buy, the more pride the sales guy felt. a crappy 500 dollar laptop could end up being 1000 dollars once the customer got to the register due to all the extra bits and services they were sold.


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I think I know where this is going…





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I don't know man, haven't you guys read what's in this thread.

Sounds like were going red in here.


>pointing out some flaws of capitalism makes you a commie now


>>Minimum wage isn't enough to cover the cost of living in America
The costs of living are actually really low these days. Due to industrial farming a years worth of calories from basic cereals only costs ~150 USD. The costs of shelter are out of control in certain urban areas due to NIMBYism and other issues with the market, but outside of such arrangements living is still reasonably cheap. If you don't mind giving up luxuries and give up on the rat race, it's not too hard to live on a third or even a fourth of minimum wage

The real problem is that it is biological nature to want more and more, and our social nature only compounds that issue through mechanisms whereby we measure ourselves against others and their consumption. There's also the issue of technology making whole classes of people obsolete and useless, but that's a different matter from being able to live on minimum wage so far.


Isn't this an American board? Aren't I doing it right?


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>Sounds like were going red in here.
But sushichan has been a North Korean settlement since day one sushi roll.


>The costs of living are actually really low these days.
In areas with stagnant wages and few job opportunities.


What I meant was the objective costs are low, food, water, even basic pleasures, all of these are at a historical low because of various technological innovations. The cost of simply living is fairly low, especially in the first world with it's high purchasing power.

>>In areas with stagnant wages and few job opportunities.

I acknowledged this, but as I mentioned in the post, these are only problems if you have a desire to live above your means, if you don't mind simply living minimally you can get by on very small amounts of money in such areas. I do this myself, and it's a fine life. My largest expense is the internet, which is a terrible vice, but is worth it in terms of how much entertainment it can bring to me.


But maaaaybe people want to do something else other than "just surviving". I don't mean squander all their money in useless stuff, but a minimum wage should also be something that makes you at least cultivate some interests or consume a little of entertainment without being worried of starving. Everybody needs that in some way or another.


Entertainment is pretty cheap though, I mean the barrier of entry for something like PC gaming is pretty low and Youtube is generally free.

It's other hobbies that get pretty pricey.


Not everybody who lives on a minimum wage are boys in their 20s who want to play videogames or follow people on Youtube though.


Someone pointed out light entertainment and I pointed out examples of cheap entertainment even if you aren't a "boy in his 20s who wants to play video games" it doesn't change that gaming and YouTube are some of the cheapest things around. I'm speaking from privilege since I make way more than minimum wage but I'm a gamer in my 20s but I like more than just games.


>Minimum wage isn't enough to cover the cost of living in America
yeah, if you live in california or some other hellhole. Minimum wage is waaaay more than enough. It's only not enough when you're a single mom with 3 kids buying shit you don't need.


Do you live in the middle of nowhere? Cost of living might be cheaper, but there are no nearby universities or job opportunities.


You must be really young if you think the only costs in life are video games or something. Poor people can't afford houses, healthcare, dental, vision, etc. It's not just a difference of leisure activities.

Some of the replies in this thread are just so completely out of touch. You have no idea.


I live in Georgia and IIRC the minimum wage is like $7.50 and it is nowhere near enough to live on even if you're working 50 hours a week. I don't know how you could possibly think that you could survive on less than $200/month


I'm sorry I'm really tired, 7.5 * 50 * 4 is 1500/month. Where I live in Georgia that's rent for a 2 bedroom apartment

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