Poverty: Current Minimum Wage Essay

Submitted By christinaheaney
Words: 821
Pages: 4

In today’s society around 33,198,000 families are living in poverty according to the United States Census Bureau. The causes of poverty in today’s society are unemployment or low-wage jobs and inflation. Prices are going up and employment rates are going down. In The Death of Horatio Alger Paul Krugman says that the reason that this is all happening is because of the “Walmartization” of everything (390). There are more and more low-wage jobs being created so all those people are getting paid very little money and everything costs so much in this economy that they are forced to live in poverty. They cannot afford to buy the most essential things in life and think that just because they have a job that that is enough, when in reality it is not. Low-wage jobs often lead on to become dead end jobs according to Krugman. He says that if the current economic trends continue then things will only get worse. Staying in the same article by Paul Krugman, he talks about Horatio Alger. Horatio Alger is a fictional character who stands for the American Dream. Krugman is saying how the American Dream is not the same as it used to be and that is why he ends his article so simply. He ends by saying “Goodbye, Horatio Alger. And goodbye, American Dream” (390). What he means by that simple statement is that no matter what the American Dream will no longer be the same as it once was. As a symbol for the American Dream he is saying goodbye to Horatio Alger just like he is saying goodbye to the American Dream and I totally agree with him. The American Dream will never be the same because, like I stated earlier, the United States Census Bureau tells us that somewhere around 33,198,000 families who once were living the American Dream are now living in poverty. According to the United States Department of Labor the current minimum wage is $7.25. If you work that out and do the math for someone to work for minimum wage, at the end of the year they will only earn about $15,080. Just over $15,000 a year is not nearly enough to support just one person, let alone a family so no wonder so many people are living in poverty, they are working like crazy but are not getting paid enough to support themselves.

Works Cited Krugman, Paul. “The Death of Horatio Alger”. The McGraw Hill Reader: Issues Across the Disciplines. Ed.
Gilbert H. Muller. New York: McGraw Hill, 2014. 387-391. Print.
Rose, Mike. “What College Can Mean to the Other America”. The McGraw Hill Reader: Issues Across the Disciplines. Ed. Gilbert H. Muller. New York: McGraw Hill, 2014. 194-197. Print.

Not only are families suffering from the problems in the economy these days, but schools are also taking a pretty big hit. Mike Rose says “they ‘have no other choice’ but to make cuts in education” (196). They have to keep cutting their budget which means they are cutting programs, or not getting new textbooks, etc. If schools are taking a hit that does not only affect the staff, but it also affects the students. Some students that are attending the schools are