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tv: 30 days

Just watched the first episode of 30 Days, where Morgan Spurlock attempts to trade on his SuperSize Me fame and embrace some aspect of american life for 30 days. Today's topic, living on minimum wage.

First thought - he cheated by having his fiance do it with him, creating extra income for utilities and stuff.

I got over that, though, as the whole show washed over me and depressed the hell out of me. True, I saw them make choices that I wouldn't see some of my clients make, like going to see the doctor(I have a client who shits blood, and I can't get her to see a doctor), but nothing out of their story seemed extremely inaccurate. One truly shocking moment: a sign in the temp agency where Morgan is working states that a worker will be docked $1/hour if a customer complains about them. How many clients complain to save money? It's like stories I hear about migrant work; supposedly, room and board and other penalties get taken out of their paychecks until they are left with almost nothing. Basically, they're slaves with a nicer title.

It puts my problems into prospective. Yeah, I'm not breaking the bank with my payrate, and my health insurance still hasn't become effective (stupid insurance agent), but I have some wiggle room in emergencies. If I had still been working at just Listening Ear when Monette got sick, I probably would have had to put him to sleep. No way could I afford an extra $1000 of medical expenses. I'll barely be able to afford my student loan payment next month with my other bills, so I guess I'm really still in the bracket of the working poor. At least I have the comfort of knowing that this is my entry level pay, and I can expect to go up from here significantly.

I'm all over the place with this issue, thinking about things like jobs that seem like better paying jobs but aren't. Take my job at the credit union where I had to buy dress clothes, which are more expensive than casual clothes (for men, at least. I don't buy much from the women's department). In the end, my extra pay went into replacing clothes that had worn out.

I can't think about this anymore, I'm really getting upset. I'm off to finish reunion stuff and listen to cheer up music.

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Comments

bugandwaterguy
Jun. 20th, 2005 12:11 pm (UTC)
30 days
Autumn and I watched it too. I think the show told more about the need for a nationalized health care system rather than a higher minimum wage. I don't understand why congress isn't working on this issue; it would help everyone except drug companies.

We don't have a huge income either, but I have Autumn, the goddess of bargains to help stretch our dollar. On the show, I questioned taking the kids out to the movies. We rarely pay for any entertainment. Free books, movies, and music from the library, free concerts in the community, and municipal parks are great forms of recreation.

On the migrant worker issue, I want to clarify some things. Not all farmers treat their migrants like you have seen on 20-20. I know of several farmers who treat their labor pretty well. The farmers would prefer to use local labor, but they cannot get anyone to stay for more than a week on the job. Anytime you but fruits or vegetables, you are using migrant labor. The way to get them higher wages or better working conditions is to pay much more for your fruits and vegetables. How much are you willing to pay for your strawberries and asparagus?