November 5, 2015
In a country where 45 million people struggle to survive below the poverty line, inflation continues to rise as wages remain the same. What happened to the American Dream? As the rich continue to get richer, even those in the middle class can’t seem to catch a break. The structure of American society makes it nearly impossible for those in poverty to rise above, and there are other factors, including race and gender, which play a role.
The game “Play Spent” elicits emotions and gives the player some concept of the difficulty involved with a low-wage life. I played the game a few times, and some of the outcomes were shocking. In one of the games, I stopped to talk with a union worker to try to organize and fight for better wages. This seemed like a good choice at the time, but due to this simple conversation I was fired from my job. In another game, the car was repossessed, and because I had decided to save on rent and live farther from my work, I could not keep my job. It was absolutely impossible to pay rent without a job, so by the end of the month I was homeless. During the game, a dental problem came up that I had to put off. I can only imagine the pain a person must experience when in need of dental care they cannot afford. As I continued to play, I was able to save more money. However, the quality of living was so low. My dog had to be euthanized, I had to lie about mistakes at work, and I could not afford for my child to go on field trips or join the soccer team. I was also not able to attend his/her school events and show him/her my support, or even go out with my own friends. I love my pets and my family more than anything, so having to think about ...
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...than someone with their GED or highschool diploma. There are some countries that have free healthcare. Making healthcare free or cheaper in the US through taxes would be a huge benefit, as this cost hurts so many low-wage workers whose work does not provide adequate insurance, and those without jobs. As of right now, the minimum wage is being adjusted for inflation, and this will have to be adjusted every year after to make sure citizens are continuously paid a livable wage.
Many people believe that those stuck in poverty are there due to their own poor choices, but this is clearly not the case. However, by implementing new policies and changing those currently in place, we can help those stuck below the poverty line to rise above. With more of a focus on helping low-wage workers, we can help our country as a whole, and reintroduce the American Dream.
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