Did you know that one out of every five U.S. jobs pays less than a poverty-level wage for a family four? It’s true, according to a study done by the nonpartisan Working Poor Families Project. An article was posted about this on Monday, October 11 on the MSNBC News website, called “39 Million Americans in Working Poor Families.”
The article reports that these poor Americans barely have enough money to cover basic needs like housing, groceries and child care. I wonder if these people have television sets, DVD players, and cable…
Where is that poverty line at these days? “A family of four with two children was considered impoverished if its income was less than $18,244 in 2002.” This particular study looked at families with kids that earned no more than twice the poverty level. These people are considered “low-income”, or poor. That is, they have to be making less than $36,488 a year. “The median U.S. income for such families is $62,732.”
Those numbers provide the outcome of “39 Million Americans in Working Poor Families.” In order to rise above “low-income” standards, a person must earn at least $8.84 an hour. Consider our minimum wage at $5.15 an hour.
Suggestions have been made to raise the minimum wage, improve educational opportunities, and make an expansion of the federal earned income tax credit.
This is surely a controversial issue, and one that cannot be resolved by blogging, but there are other things that weren’t mentioned in the article that came to mind.
If the minimum wage increases, the already rising problem of outsourcing will surely mount to outstanding numbers. Also, I’m not sure what families require to get by, but I have a feeling that $36K a year is pretty decent in comparison to actual “poor” people throughout the world. In fact, those folks might appreciate our outsourcing crisis!