Living On Minimum Wage Labor Essay

Living On Minimum Wage Labor Essay

Length: 944 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Welfare reform caused many families surviving with the help of the government to go out and look for jobs despite their need for childcare that they could not afford. Barbara Ehrenreich, a journalist with a PhD, decided to find out how life would be like living on minimum wage labor. During her journey, we see that labor has not changed majorly because laborers are not paid fairly and they are declined their rightfully owned rights. Although women are allowed in the workplace, an eight hour work day is established, and we have a minimum wage, many are still struggling to make it because the system simply does not work unless you are running the show.
Her journey begins as she begins applying at many places in Key West, Florida, where she lives. She gets hired at Hearthside as a waitress and states that she is at an advantage seeing as she is white and doesn’t have children to care for. When she gets hired, she learns that drug testing is a normal in minimum wage jobs. She also notices that all employees are constantly being watched by their supervisors. The lack of trust shows that employees are not treated equally. Also, she learns that her co workers are struggling to make ends meet. The ratio of wages to rent makes it very difficult to survive when you’re getting paid a minimum wage. She notices that certain jobs employ specific races to work there. For example, “most working housekeepers I see are African Americans, Spanish-speaking, or refugees from the Central European Post-Communist world, while servers are almost invariably white” (Ehrenreich 29).
Ehrenreich’s next destination is Maine, where she stays at a motel while searching for employment. She gets hired as a house cleaner for The Maids and then also in a nursing ho...

... middle of paper ...

... Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick and also the Shirtwaist Factory Triangle Fire in 1911 when more than a hundred female workers, that worked in terrible conditions, lost their lives because their owners failed to warn them of a fire. These events have laid out the framework minimum wage, the eight hour work day, and child labor laws. However, there are also reasons why things are still the same and our improvement is not complete. Employers continue to fail to provide their workers with their rightfully owned rights, they refuse to pay them a fair wage for the work they are doing, and they are actually spying on workers.
To conclude, it is surprising how much the workforce actually lacks improvement over these years. One reasons for that could be the fact that minimum wage workers have given up their fight and refused to believe that they deserve something more.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Minimum Wage Is Not A Living Wage Essay

- The Minimum Wage Is Not A Living Wage The cost of living can become very expensive and with these expenses, money is necessary. By raising the minimum wage, living expenses could be less of a financial crisis for families. A higher minimum wage would also supply families with more ease because the struggle of making ends meet would be less. This paper discusses the advantages of a higher minimum wage, why it is necessary for those who live in, or are very close to living in poverty, and the shortcomings of the current minimum wage....   [tags: Minimum wage, Living wage, Wage, Employment]

Better Essays
1535 words (4.4 pages)

Does the Minimum Wage Increase the Standard of Living for Low-Income People?

- The United States has maintained a minimum wage which was enacted since 1938. At the present time there is much political debate in regarding to increase the minimum wage to levels at the federal level, state, and local levels of government across this country. There are various theories regarding the minimum wage. Some believe it would circulate money into the economy faster which would negate and negative effects on employment, or even improve unemployment rates. Others point to the economic theory of supply and demand, and claim it will increase the unemployment rate....   [tags: fair labor standards, policy, unemployment]

Better Essays
1382 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Minimum Wage Should Not Be Raised

- In the United States of America, the federal minimum wage was fixed at $7.25 per hour as of July 24, 2009 (“Minimum Wage”). Since this date, there has been much controversy about this rate of pay. Many Americans believe that this rate of pay is sufficient for minimum wage and should not be raised. However, many other people believe that this wage is too low and should be raised in order to comfortably survive in today’s society. A person working part-time for minimum wage in America will earn less than $200 per week, totaling right under $9,500 per year....   [tags: United States, Minimum wage, U.S. state]

Better Essays
1587 words (4.5 pages)

Minimum Wage And The Labor Standards Act Essay

- When minimum wage was introduced in 1938, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the purpose was to establish a standard wage that employers cannot decrease and to help alleviate poverty. In 1938 minimum wage was established as $0.25 an hour and as of 2009 minimum wage is established as $7.25 an hour. Although recently in the past few years many corporations have made raised their minimum wage to $9.00 and even up to $10.10. Now, much of society is pushing for an established minimum wage of $15.00 per hour by 2020....   [tags: Employment, Minimum wage, Wage, Wage labour]

Better Essays
2015 words (5.8 pages)

Essay on Minimum Wage And The Wage

- Introduction Minimum wage was established state wide in 1938 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt; at that time it was only 25 cents which is equivalent to 4 dollars in today’s world. It was established as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act which covered youth, government and overtime pay. Massachusetts was actually the first state before Franklin’s statewide acknowledgement, and it only covered woman and children without overtime. There are lot of issues with minimum wage now such as setting a statewide minimum wage to $10.10, which does not benefit places were living is expensive such as in New York....   [tags: Minimum wage, Employment, Wage]

Better Essays
2449 words (7 pages)

Minimum Wage : Labor Standards Act Essay

- The minimum wage established in 1938, under the Fair Labor Standards Act; the purpose was to establish a standard wage that employers cannot decrease and to help alleviate poverty. In 1938, the minimum wage was set as $0.25 an hour and as of 2009 the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Although recently in the past few years, many corporations have raised their minimum wage to $9.00 and even up to $10.10 an hour. Now, much of society is pushing for an established minimum wage of $15.00 an hour by 2020....   [tags: Employment, Minimum wage, Wage, Wage labour]

Better Essays
2004 words (5.7 pages)

The Minimum Wage Should Be Raised Essay

- No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt worked hard to improve wages for workers. The first act requiring employers to pay a minimum wage was the Fair Labor Act Standards Act of 1938 was during President Roosevelt 's administration. It passed important laws concerning child labor and maximum hours per week as well as wages to workers of certain industries. Workers today are still fighting to make a living wage....   [tags: Minimum wage, Employment, Wage, Living wage]

Better Essays
1012 words (2.9 pages)

Should Minimum Wage Be Increased? Essay

- Should Minimum Wage Be Increased. “Put yourself in my dirty, worn out, ill-fitting shoes, and you hear me.”(Parker 1) A minimum wage job can only be helpful for so much. As a single parent, Parker does not have enough to sustain her family of 3 with their needs for food, child care nor medical care. With a minimum wage job you can’t afford child care which results in no job. What can you do with a minimum wage job. What can you afford with it. How can you support your family with such a low salary....   [tags: Minimum wage, Wage, Living wage, Health care]

Better Essays
818 words (2.3 pages)

Minimum Wage Isn't A Living Wage Essay

- Reasons for Minimum Wage Worker’s Tough Lives In 1938, federal minimum wage legislation became effective for the first time when the Fair Labor Standards Act passed (Sidey 573). After sixty-seven years, today, the minimum wage, which was originally set to make sure that working people could support themselves and their family, increased twenty times (Sidey 573). Nevertheless, the low-wage workers have never gotten rid of the hardship in their lives. Two main reasons cause the current situation....   [tags: Minimum Wage Essays]

Free Essays
1689 words (4.8 pages)

The Minimum Wage Essay

- "The minimum wage is something that F.D.R. put in place a long time ago during the Great Depression. I don't think it worked then. It didn't solve any problems then and it hasn't solved any problems in 50 years." -- John Raese For many years it has been a matter of conventional wisdom among economists that the minimum wage causes fewer jobs to exist than would be the case without it. This is simply a matter of price theory, taught in every economics textbook, requiring no elaborate analysis to justify....   [tags: Minimum Wage Research Paper]

Better Essays
3664 words (10.5 pages)