Friday, May 23, 2014

AMERICA - Life on Minimum Wage

"What quality of life can workers earning nation’s highest minimum wage afford?" PBS NewsHour 5/22/2014


GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  The battle over the minimum wage heated up across the country today, as fast-food workers in several cities launched a one-day strike.

Outside Chicago, near the corporate home of McDonald’s, workers protested as the company held its annual meeting.  More than 100 were arrested.  The workers are demanding minimum pay of $15 an hour, which brings us to the question:  What is it like to live on minimum wage, even in a state with the highest wage in the country?

The NewsHour’s economics correspondent, Paul Solman, profiles two people dealing with that question, all part of his reporting Making Sense of financial news.

TERRAN LYONS, Crew Trainer, McDonald’s:  Everything just seems to be going wrong, you know?  So, I’m just — I’m trying to be responsible and fix it, but it’s stressing me out.


PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour):  Terran Lyons was talking about her car, but it may as well have been her life.  The 25-year-old single mother of two, a high school dropout, works as a crew trainer at a McDonald’s in Seattle, earning $9.85 an hour, just above the state minimum wage of $9.32.

Using her federal earned income tax refund, she moved to a cheaper suburb 30 miles south, close to her mother, who watches the kids while she works, and bought a 17-year-old car for the commute.

TERRAN LYONS:  Car’s the quickest way for me to get there, because on the bus, I will be on there for three hours.

No comments: