Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.

WOW: In No State Is a 40-Hour, Minimum Wage Work Week Enough to Afford a Two-Bedroom Apartment

The above graphic exploded on Facebook this weekend. It shows how many minimum wage hours a worker needs to work in order to be able to afford a two-bedroom unit at “Fair Market Rent” in any given state. The FMR is a figure determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The numbers don’t show any discernible trend aside from perhaps 1) states with high cost of living/rent such as NY, NJ, DC, MD require the most man hours and 2) the minimum wage is too low. The latter, of course, is the point of this graphic.

For a complete list of state minimum wages see Wikipedia.

Originally spotted on the Occupy Raleigh Facebook page.


368 Comments on “WOW: In No State Is a 40-Hour, Minimum Wage Work Week Enough to Afford a Two-Bedroom Apartment”

  1. This is a joke right? How about you compare the rate of a TWO bedroom unit with TWO minimum wage jobs.

    Who cares if one person can’t afford a two bedroom.

    And what is your affordability factor? If you don’t know what this means, it’s the percentage of rent towards income. In expensive states people usually spend above 40% on rent. In cheap states this could be below 30%.

    Facts matter if you’re going to try to make some philosophical arguments about fairness!

    1. Why should two incomes be the standard? There are millions of single parents out there, a common situation in need of two bedrooms. Further, the number of states where 80 hour minimum wage work weeks (two 40-hour weeks) still don’t cut it for a 2-bedroom apt is alarming.

      1. a parent with a minimum wage job has no business having a child to begin with.

        1. I hope you’re being sarcastic.

        2. What if they weren’t a single parent making minimum wage before they had their kid(s) and their situation changed? Happens all the time…

        3. Wait, what? Uh, situations can change. Single mothers can get thrown out of their parents’ homes, they could have gotten pregnant by accident and didn’t want an abortion, or they could simply have gotten pregnant and then gotten left with the child when the man ran off, or the mother had the kid and then dumbed the kid on the father.

          Single parents in tough financial situations with low paying jobs are not uncommon.

          This graph IS warrant for concern.

        4. tell that to the women and men who’s SO bailed on them or died or they divorced for a myriad of reason (domestic abuse, cheating, child abuse). My mother works for 5 days straight as a care taker and can barely afford our 2 bedroom apartment that borders on a ghetto. Luckily I can help, but her dead beat husband beat her and lost his job and used to verbally harass me and my mom. Its not her fault they broke up.

        5. you are a sick person

        6. Oddly enough, some people who had perfectly stable lives experience misfortune. Should people give their children away just because they lost their job? That’s ridiculous.

        7. Usually it’s not really their choice when the father walks out. What do you expect them to do? Kill the child?

        8. Captain Hindsight to the rescue!

        9. Because no one has ever had an unplanned kid or lost a job only to have to take a minimum wage one afterward.

        10. Well, I’m sure they’ll stop because you think so! In fact, if they are stupid enough to have kids with a minimum wage job they probably don’t deserve healthcare either.

          [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

        11. But single parents working 1 - 2 minimum wage jobs are common. Stop changing the subject. People are suffering and you are criticizing their choice (or lack thereof) of being a parent. And who knows? They could have lost their good paying job and minimum wage is their only option. Shame on you for taking such a close minded stance. Just because you don’t agree with how they are living doesn’t make this information not disturbing.

        12. Accidents can happen.
          But of course, at the same token, politicians would love to outlaw abortion so any poor woman who accidentally gets pregnant and can’t care a child would be forced to have one. (And then we’ll get the “well you shouldn’t be having sex then” but that’s completely illogical because people are always going to be having sex and even with contraception accidents can and do happen)

        13. Well, if we encouraged proper sex-education, and didn’t put blocks between women and abortions(such as requiring an ultrasound(a cost which is especially prohibitive to working-poor women, as now they have to find a way to pay for an ultrasound, state required, and an abortion), just to make really sure. Let’s assume out the gate that women are too stupid to think for themselves by insisting they have to do this stupid procedure, which at early carry terms are invasive), then maybe the sort of people who worked minimum wage would be less likely to have children.

        14. Then what should they do with the child?

        15. What about people who are divorced? Women who leave abusive husbands? Do they have no business leaving the relationship with their children? Should the children be left in the hands of an abuser?

          No, I think you have no business posting about that which you do not know.

          1. Downgrade to a one bedroom!

        16. Please feel free to forward your 100% guaranteed pregnancy protection device to me so I can market it for you. Abstinence doesn’t count.

          Furthermore, I will need to understand how your imaginary family protects itself from illness, divorce, acts of God, financial crisis or other events which would change a family into a single parent on minimum wage.

          The bubble you live in isn’t permanent and it isn’t the same one that everyone else lives in.

          1. AMen!!

        17. Wow you are naive as hell if you think that a decent paying job is going to last you for the rest of your life, much less the 18 years it takes for a child to legally become an adult. Do you have any idea how many hard working Americans lost their jobs in the past four years simply because of the economy? I’m sure they all found new jobs right away because it’s America, right? Have you ever been a victim of the American health care system? Good luck affording an ER visit or surgery after your 39.999 hour/week job refuses health benefits. Don’t pretend like the people working 50 hours/week at 3 different jobs are poor because they aren’t working hard enough.

        18. I agree. Who gave poor people rights in the first place?

        19. Disgusting dismissal of the issue at hand.

          Yes, there is a practical side to not having a child whilst on minimum wage. But not everybody gets to choose whether they are on minimum wage or not.

          There is no guarantee that you won’t be on minimum wage two weeks from now, there’s no guarantee that your partner won’t run off leaving you with all the bills and the kids.

          The whole point of minimum wage is to allow people to survive if they are working. I don’t know what sort of support system there is in the US, but in the UK, on top of our reasonable (not-insane) minimum wage, single parents can get tax credits etc to allow them to survive, whilst in the US it seems like the general population doesn’t want single parents on minimum wage to survive. Crazy

        20. I doubt most single parent were single when the child was born. Many could afford the child easily when they decided to have it.

          I have a good friend who grew up with two parents in a rather affluent part of the suburbs for most of her life. She now lives in a two bedroom apartment with her mother after her father left them and sold the house.

          Her mother had to support them both on a minimum wage job through my friends final year of High School. And they both struggled to afford the apartment for a couple of months whilst sending my friend to college.

          It proved to be impossible. Now they both work minimum wage jobs and my 21 year old friend is barely supporting herself and her mother with no possibility of going back to college and bettering her situation as her mother gets older and less able to work.

          1. “I doubt most single parent were single when the child was born.”

            -You are quite mistaken.

        21. Do you actually pay any attention at all to how the economy has been over the last decade? There are a LOT of households that had “the American Dream” a few years ago with the comfy little house, the spouse, the 2 or 3 kids and maybe some kind of dog. Then the economy tanks, and all these decent paying jobs went overseas or the companies just went out of business. So now people are taking the only jobs they can get, which are often crappy service jobs like Mc Donald’s or Walmart, which pay minimum wage and are gradually replacing the cashiers with self service machines. This has been a recap of the real world.

          So what should people do when crap like that happens to them? Drop the kids off at your house? Since they shouldn’t have children to begin with. Or are you a fan of Soilent Green?

          I hope that nice job you have doesn’t get shipped to India soon. Or they don’t come up with a computer program that can replace you or make whatever you do so easy we could teach a kid to do it.

        22. That is such a nieve, close-minded and unsympathetic comment.

          Isn’t there a possibility that such a parent had the child through an unfortunate or unforeseen circumstance?

        23. Ok so what about the parent that gets laid off and is forced to take a minimum wage job? It’s not that black and white. Must be nice to be so privileged.

          1. Living under the poverty level sucks in the US! Crap! You probably have a car, a few tvs and flat ones at that, cable, and internet! Life is sooo awful!

        24. This might come as a surprise to you but often times one has a child when they can afford it. Only later do circumstances change. This can come from medical problems, divorce, the industry they work in, age… Seriously, man, get a fucking heart. Not everyone is as lucky as we are. Terrible things can happen even to people who plan ahead.

        25. Unless they have no other option. My mom went from making 70k, got laid off, to $9 an hour. This is with two degrees. Not only that, but please take into fact that there is just shit that sometimes happens. What if she was a SAHM and her husband was the bread winner…and ended up passing? Or he left her? Or they split up for whatever other reason and then she had to take matters into her own hands? Just because someone has a child doesn’t mean they will be guaranteed more pay. Use your damn brain.

          1. 1. Get life insurance. Can’t afford it? Get rid of cable!
            2. Social security benefits will help.
            3. Downgrade to a one bedroom!

        26. Agreed.

        27. You fail to realize that some of these “single parents” where not so single when they had their child. You also assume that they started out at a minimum wage job, many people have been layed off from higher-paying jobs and are now working minimum wage to stay alive. Your thinking is disgusting. Why does this site not have a downvote button?

          [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

        28. because that’s how life works right? What happens if a husband or wife dies and he or she was the sole provider? I agree that people should think before having unprotected sex or before they try to have a child. But to say “they had no business having a child” is none of your business. Everyone should have the right to live under a roof and have a child if they are willing to work for it. But the fact of the matter is people are working hard and minimum wage isn’t doing justice anymore.

        29. Given the ignorance of the general populace when it comes to all things sex, (not to mention the alarmingly high rate of teenage pregnancy in states with abstinence-only sex education) I can pretty confidently say that it’s not that simple. Furthermore, it’s rather callous of you to dismiss such a large group of Americans based on there status as a single parent. Last I checked, we don’t consign people to the streets for making a perfectly legal decision we disapprove of.

          Additionally, you fail to consider divorcees, widows, widowers, families with absentee parents, deployed parents, etc.

        30. You sir, don’t need to have a child regardless of your job situation.

          1. HEAR HEAR!!

        31. For many, especially in this economy where underemployment is rampant, it isn’t really an option.

          1. What not an option? Moving into a one bedroom! BS!

        32. Totally. It’s a good thing women in this country have access to affordable reproductive healthcare and contraceptive options. Oh wait…

        33. What an arrogant statement. You imply that all childbirths are intentional. In many cases (and this is especially true for those who live below the poverty line who work these low-paying jobs) unexpected pregnancies ACTUALLY HAPPEN. Who would’ve thought!?

        34. Oh, yeah, because people don’t get divorced or get laid off after having children.

        35. “a parent with a minimum wage job has no business having a child to begin with”

          And yet, it might surprise you that this does occur!

          It’s ok though, I’m sure the U.S. will be fine by letting large portions of its population flounder. The few people who don’t make life-altering mistakes or who can gain upward momentum will carry the country into a beautiful future!

          It would also help if it were easier for people to get abortions or contraception on their insurance, but nah, I bet it costs the public less for poor people to have lots of kids they can’t afford.

        36. there it is folks.. he’s solved everything!

        37. Playing the chicken and the egg argument doesn’t get us anywhere. If we helped people with more parental planning, contraceptions, and allowed abortions, less people would end up needing a two bedroom apartment on one worker’s wages.

        38. A comment that stupid and heartless MUST have come from a Republican.

          Ever heard of layoffs, Kevin?

        39. I don’t usually reply to these things, but your statement is both ignorant and highly insulting. You have no place judging those who choose - or did not choose - to have children, regardless of their earnings.

        40. Wow, you sure are narrow minded and short sighted. Because you obviously didn’t think about divorce, widows (widowers), and the fact that many children aren’t planned.

        41. Right… It’s not like 50% of marriages end in divorce or anything. Or that unemployment is at record highs. Most single parents on minimum wage did not plan that one day they would be in their current situation. Your statement makes you sound incredibly entitled and out of touch with reality.

        42. Yeah, so let’s kick all those divorcees without skills (because they have been out of the work scene for too long) to the curb and take their kids, right? Are you that stupid, or just that lacking in empathy for your fellow man/woman? Do you really believe that the only way one becomes a single parent is due to negligence in birth control? Here’s one for you genius: I was a WIDOW and a single parent. So I should drown my kid because I now could not afford him? Jeeeeeebus…

        43. I hope you never have children, and pass that absolute nonsensical stupidity down the gene pool.

          I could point out that “poor people” have pretty much had kids throughout the entirety of human existence, but I am not sure it would actually mean anything to you.

        44. You ignorance is astounding. There are a myriad of circumstances that result in single mothers working for minimum wage - What happens if the father leaves, and he was the breadwinner? The mother needs to get a job. What happens if she isn’t qualified? She’d have to settle for a minimum wage job. Please don’t spread stupidity

        45. “A parent with a minimum wage job has no business having a child to begin with”
          Words cannot express how uneducated and downright pathetic that comment is.

        46. Really? We’re going to start to decide who’s business it is to have kids? Only people with wages over minimum should reproduce then? Does that mean if a parent looses their job and gets a new one at minimum wage they should put their kid up for adoption?

        47. Typed like a true conservative. Because a parent makes a choice or because the economy can’t provide a job, the child should suffer.

        48. That really happens ALL the time. Almost more often than parents with real salaries have a kid.

        49. Cool opinion.

        50. Kevin,

          So just because someone is not rich they cannot have children? Ridiculous! Oh yes, and what about accidents. You know some people tell a woman to never have an abortion and keep her baby, and now you are criticizing the people who do raise their children. How about we create more decent jobs with living wages rather than judging people who do not live up to your income standard.

        51. You are right. We should abort all babies who wouldn’t be born to affluent homes!!!

        52. Should every divorce end in giving the child up for adoption? Should a widow be forced to put her child in foster care? Your statement lacks forethought.

        53. What if its not their choice to be a single parent, you fuck-nugget? Ever thought of someone being raped and having a child? Or say a parent leaves the family?

        54. How do you know that this hypothetical single parent didn’t have a decent paying full-time job when the child was conceived? Or that the child wasn’t born to a single parent but to a couple? Maybe the guy bailed, maybe somebody passed away, or maybe the condom just broke. Are you the reproduction police? In the end whether you think the parent should or should not have had a kid, the child is there and the question we should address is what is best for them, and that is not living in the environment of poverty. The same socioeconomic environment that tends to leave a lot of young mothers alone and broke.

        55. I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not…please say you are.

        56. Annnd if a parent with a good job gets laid off and has to take a minimum wage bills, what are they supposed to do? Return the kid?

        57. You’re right, only the wealthy should ever have the privilege of having children. How dare people with lower incomes ever think of having children? And surely, should they lose their job after having the child and need to take a minimum wage job afterwards, they should simply give the child up for adoption or just drown it.

          (in case you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic).

        58. @Kevin: that’s not a valid argument. Single parents are part of the fabric of today’s societies. We’re all in this together.

        59. That is the shittiest answer I have ever seen. So my immigrant mother, whom my dad abandoned in a foreign land, thus ensuring she has nothing but crap minimum wage jobs should’ve just left me on the streets? Since she obviously has no business having a child.

          And before you start crapping all over the fact that she was a legal immigrant, in her country she was a goddamn chemical engineer. Too bad it took her a few years to learn English and get her engineering license. So ignorant.

        60. hindsight is 20/20. It’s easy enough to say this when you’re not faced with this issue. Not everything in life is perfect.

        61. I’ll be sure to tell them that the next time they’re debating having children, thanks.

        62. The world doesn’t work that way. Poor and uneducated (and the less fortunate) still have a right to reproduce.

          It’s not a crazy idea. Up until the early 90′s, a single parent could raise a kid and have a decent quality of life as long as they worked 40 hours. It was also common to have a household with only one working parent.

          As long you as you do your share (work at least 40 hours a week) you should be able to live decently.

        63. yeah, and because we have jobs for life in America you can safely have a kid when you have a good job and never worry again.

          you are an ass.

        64. Are you kidding me?! I’m a mother of a toddler and I make min wage and it is a constant struggle even with my husband and I both working. But you know what?! I wouldn’t trade her for the highest paying job in the world so you can go to h*ll “Kevin”! I hope you never have kids of your own not because of your income bracket but because they would probably be idiots too!

        65. Well if you believe that I hope you also believe that all women should have access to affordable birth control and, if necessary, affordable abortions

        66. Yeah, eff the poor right? Or, possibly, eff the people who might’ve once had better income, and then got effed by the economy.

          Who needs ‘em, right?

        67. Because nobody has ever lost a job before.

          Because no person has ever walked out on a relationship leaving a kid with the other parent.

          Because we live in a perfect world where no accidents have ever happened.

        68. But they are the ones most likely to be single parents, because they’re stupid and make dumb life decisions. But there’s no point in having the child be punished even more due to the parent working 80 hours a week. He’ll just start selling drugs and a cycle repeats.

        69. Yeah, because people don’t ever get fired/laid off, divorced, or have their significant other leave them. Idiot.

          1. I know! And because once you get a two bedroom you are stuck forever with a two bedroom lease!

        70. Which means it doesn’t happen… right? I see what you are saying though, I agree we should just let them be homeless. Hopefully they will starve to death and my kids will have one less poor person to worry about.

        71. It’s the people like you and their thought-processes that are moving this civilization backwards. Shame on you.

        72. Yeah sure you can say that, but does it mean it doesn’t happen. No matter what you should be able to afford a roof over your head if you are working 40 hours a week at minimum wage.

        73. What a simple solution! Forget people coming from difference circumstances like believing birth control and abortion are wrong, moving out of their home country with their children to start a better life, death, disease and misfortune. Whatafuckingidiot

        74. Not everyone is blessed with job security. I know a few single parents who used to have great jobs, but the economic downturn has seen them laid off.

          But good on you for being so heartless. *claps* You’re truly a wonderful specimen of humanity.

        75. What if it’s the other way around and the other parent left? Whose fault is that then?

        76. Because clearly, having children or not is a choice the poor make.

          What with us making sure that women have access to birth control and affordable abortion services, so that poor people never have to raise children that they can’t afford.

          Or, are you just going to say that poor people shouldn’t have sex?

          1. Yes! They are a bunch of perverts who want to control the sex lives of people they feel are inferior to them. They are the Puritans of the 21st century who are still so completely uncomfortable with the act they think it’s their duty to impose cultural restrictions on it.

        77. yeah - we should just get them to dump the babies they already have……..

          or perhaps what you just said is equally as stupid

        78. Oh really Kevin? What about single mothers with a deadbeat dad? You know, the kind that runs off with a tramp? Or are people supposed to have the ability to see the future? People with an attitude like yours make me sick. Thank God your kind is slowly being outnumbered by people who are actually decent.

        79. I believe the word is Shit Happens. rejecting single family scenarios is pointless, because they do in fact exist. Wile I feel that having a child both parents should be together, that is not always the case.

          1. That’s what child support [laws] are for…

        80. Wow. So what are you going to do? Since you idiot Republicans want every girl who gets raped or molested by their dad to keep the baby? Are you going to abort these children yourself?

          Are you small government Republicans going to make sure everyone who has kids is going to go to college? Are you going to pay for it? The hypocrisy of you idiots is amazing.

          You want to force women who get pregnant to carry their babies for 9 months, but then you want to cry and have her hung when she tries to claim welfare or use foodstamps.

          You think all people who are poor are lazy and don’t want to do work, yet minimum wage is often the hardest and most demanding work and then you make fun of them? You’re the type of person who will look a homeless person in the eye and say get a job, and then go into a McDonald’s and be rude to the employees because they don’t have a good enough job.

          And most likely, like most republicans you can barely make ends meet and could probably use a raise yourself but are so stupid that Fox News has you kissing the ass of the company you work for and blaming all your problems on liberals. It’s disgusting.

        81. I guess all those single parents should just un-have their children then. The world isn’t as simple as white people surfing the net would like it to be.

        82. Okay great! So when you lose your job due to conditions that are out of your control, I’ll send CPS over to collect your kids and give them to rich people.

          1. Keeping and raising kids does not require a two bedroom. If you don’t have a two bedroom you will not lose your kids… unless you have other issues like not maintaining clean and sanitary living conditions.

        83. What if it is the child of a couple and one of the parents dies and the other parent loses their job due to the recession or the lack of ability to grieve due to our relatively terrible labor laws?

          Saying someone shouldn’t be in that situation in the first place is bull. Some situations are unavoidable.

        84. Remember the whole to-do over contraception earlier in the GOP primary? When the affordability of even basic provisions such as shelter are rendered unaffordable what does that say about cost of living?

          Plus, tuition rates at colleges are skyrocketing since the switch to a consumer society because of the steadily increasing demand to stay competitive as a nation in a globalized world. Student loans hound just about anyone well into their later years than they should and will only continue to do so as time goes on.

          So, all that, for say a female post-grad in her mid twenties means she’s one broken condom away from facing the choice of single parenthood on the street or in her parents’ house. Contraception and abortion laws are another issue, but either way, they could well be prohibitively expensive for someone in such a position.

        85. What gives you the right to judge another human being? How can you perceive the entirety of what they’ve been through?

        86. Well, it isn’t always a choice. People get separated, unexpected births (I mean, anti-conception isn’t 100% foolproof), people lose their jobs (crisis anyone), etcetera.

          Also, do people have the “right” to children? I’m simply asking.

        87. Good thinking Kevin, people with minimum wage jobs shouldn’t procreate whatsoever. Let’s leave that for the rich folk.

        88. To Kevin:
          Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Research shows that living in poverty (i.e. living in a home with a single parent that makes minimum wage) increases chances of young girls becoming pregnant as teens. Pregnant teens are less likely to get a high school diploma so they get minimum wage jobs and then their kids grow up poor and are more likely to get pregnant and continue the cycle. It’s not as simple as telling people to cut it out.

          1) In 2010, a total of 367,752 infants were born to women aged 15–19 years.

          2) Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by 22 years of age.

          3) The children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement and drop out of high school, have more health problems, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, give birth as a teenager, and face unemployment as a young adult.

          Now you might say, well then they shouldn’t get pregnant as teens. If they didn’t get pregnant as teens, they would be able to get better than minimum wage.

          1. Sorry cut off. “Now you might say, well then they shouldn’t get pregnant as teens. If they didn’t get pregnant as teens, they would be able to get better than minimum wage, but as you see there is a cycle, so minimum wage not being able to cut it in any state is really bad.

        89. like they usually have such a choice in the matter

        90. By that logic anyone who can only qualify for a minimum wage job shouldn’t be able to marry or have a baby. Of course, that doesn’t fix anything. We’re just reprimanding people for their lifestyle choices.

          1. Exactly! If you only qualify for a minimum wage job, I don’t want you breeding! Its called survival of the fittest for a reason!

          2. Hey Bill,

            Why don’t you introduce forced sterilization legislation to Congress intended for anyone whom you, Bill, don’t find worthy enough to reproduce, and see how well that flies, you son-of-a-bitch fascist.

        91. right, because EVERYONE who has EVER had a child did so on purpose, and thoroughly thought it out beforehand? you also dont know the individual situations of these people - they might have been laid off from a higher paying job and can’t find anything else and have to settle for SOMEthing.

          do not judge.

        92. Really, are you 9 years old? WTF??? Have you ever heard of divorce? death? general assholeness where one parent leaves the other? or maybe one parent loses their job? Wake up Kevin! Or are you still living at home with your mom?

        93. I agree, this is why we need to have breeding licenses.

        94. How about the reverse logic, Kevin?! A single parent shouldn’t be insulted with what our country fooolishly considers to be an acceptable mimimum wage (which hasn’t kept up with inflation). We can do better.

        95. You’re joking?? So the single mother, the daddy is dead because of cancer, or the dad walked out, or the dad becomes disabled . . . you need to watch your mouth or I will bring my bitch slapper to your house.

        96. The situation in Lilo and Stitch comes to mind… Y’know, parents die in a car crash, weird little girl has awful time acting like a normal kid and gets treated like an outcast, being raised by barely adult older sibling doing her absolute best to raise the kid…

          Yeah, some people have no business having children. People like you.

        97. Because guys don’t have any business having sex without condoms, but they do all the time. And because guys run away from their responsibilities. And because young people make mistakes that in many cases cost them the rest of their lives, you insolent bastard.

          1. Thank you for the clarification… apparently women are helpless. You insolent bastard!

        98. The better response is…

          Get a one bedroom!

          1. I’m sure you would have loved being a teenage boy sharing a 1 bedroom apartment with your mom and maybe a female sibling.

          2. Apartments typically have limitations on how many people are allowed to occupy it. For instance… Me and my three children cannot live in a one-bedroom apartment. Legally, only three people can reside in one. We must have a minimum of two bedrooms.

            In the current job market, I cannot get a job that pays more than minimum wage, despite my ten-year-old college degree.

            But, of course it is all my fault that my abusive ex-husband refuses to pay his child support… Stupid, stupid me.

          3. Sorry but even then a parent making minimum wage working 40 hours still couldn’t afford that in some area.

            Take Baltimore for instance. Minimum wage would be $7.25/hour. Given 4 weeks in a month and NOT including what the parent would lose to taxes they would earn $1,160. Given the average cost of a 1 bedroom in Baltimore will average between $600-$700/month or more then half of what they make in a month. Now, factor in utilities(gas, electric, water). For gas and electric there is ONE provider so no need for competative pricing meaning the average gas & electric bill is around $350-$400/month, possibly as low as $250 if you can get on a budget billing plan(again, without having to compete for business they can really snub you here). You’ve pretty much just accounted for their whole month’s pay and in some instances more.

            This doesn’t include money for transportation, food, child care expenses while the parent works.

            Perhaps instead of harping on the same answer over and over like you’ve solved the worlds problems you should research and THINK before spouting off.

        99. Forsooth! Tis a prophet; a man (naturally) who can tell every woman considering childbirth whether or not she will lose her job, be made redundant, have her company fold, or any of a million other vicissitudes.

          For that matter, given the GOP’s war on contraception and reproductive rights, many women are being defacto forced to bear kids when they don’t want to - should they “not be parents”? Pity they don’t get that choice.

      2. Why should two incomes be the standard for TWO BEDROOM APARTMENT? gee I cant imagine why…Pro tip to anyone who wants kids… don’t have sex if you hate who your with yes I know things change but think it out…there is no reason to have a 2 bed for a mom and a kid… plus minium wage as a mom? wouldnt ya kno want to secure a good job before the kid? oh and the excuse of an accident …. you can abort… some people dont like it but i think we can all agree its better to abort/adopt then give that kid a shit life…. just sayin

        1. 2 things: a minimum wage worker is going to be hard pressed to AFFORD an abortion, and adoption only guarantees the possibility of a shit life with strangers. Anyone who agrees with Kevin (it seems to me that you do) somehow, deep down, believes that poor people should NOT HAVE SEX. EVER. Where does this road lead? Oh yeah…women having sex for money! Brilliant!

      3. Steve, it’s all conditional. Example, the single parent factor. Don\’t be so self righteous when you don’t even have your facts straight yourself.

      4. If a single parent is unable to afford a two bedroom apartment, they can do what my mother did. She rented a one bedroom apartment, gave my sister and I the bedroom, and set the livingroom up to double as her bedroom.

        Min wage is never going to be pleasant. If you have a min wage job and some kids, maybe a two bedroom apartment isn’t living within your means.

        I’m a single parent with a two bedroom. My second bedroom belongs to my roommate, and my baby shares a room with me.

        1. This! Amen!

        2. And when your baby’s not a baby?

          Or what about when you actually want to have a sex life again? Or are you saying that sex is a privilege tat should be denied to people on minimum wage?

    2. Right. Because my 8-year-old daughter should get a full-time job to pay for half the rent.

      1. Or your partner should, or you should get a 1br apt.

        You aren’t entitled to a 2br apartment just because you have kids that you can’t afford.

        1. Does anyone think before they make these statements? A one bedroom apartment is not going to cost exactly half of a two. In my experience, you are looking only at ~20-25% less. Even a state with an 80 hour rating would still have around 60 hours required for as one bedroom. In most places, even an single bedroom is out of reach for a single parent.

          Now let’s also consider ordinary single people with no kids. I know, it’s not quite as unfortunate, but that doesn’t make it easier. I know a few who were kicked out of there home at 18 because the parents wouldn’t let an atheist live with them. Now they have no help with school either and get caught in the same downward spiral.

          I think everyone else has pointed out the typical conservative catch-22s, so I’m not going to repeat them.

          I suppose they could move to Puerto Rico. That’s a solution, right?

          1. You are actually correct, I was looking at apartments in another town (may be moving), and noticed that the price between a one bedroom and a two bedroom was actually closer than that.

            The cheaper apartments, that were one bedroom, were typically around the 600 dollar range and the cheaper two bedrooms at the same complexes were only one hundred dollars more.

        2. The point is not that someone is entitled to a 2br. apartment. It’s that 30 years ago that same person could rent a 2br. apartment no problem. For years now our cost of living have increased while our pay has remanded about the same. If we continue down our current path you will see the poor rip this country apart at the seams, cause what do they have to lose.

    3. Huh? Are you saying that in order for this study to be valid, you have to be with someone? Some adults are perfectly fine living in a place on their own so why shouldn’t the study of a single income count?

      1. If they’re on their own they only need one bedroom duh…

        1. They may work out of home. They may babysit for family members. They may have a hobby that they want to turn into a job (photography, painting, carpentry, etc). They may have split a place with a friend who bailed. Besides, a second bedroom doesn’t mean “double the rent of a single bedroom apartment.” A second bedroom is only a couple hundred dollars more at most. So, still, if we assume that a single bedroom is 75% the cost of a two bedroom, it’s still a shortfall.
          Also, most places that have two bedroom apartments will have laundry hookups while most one bedroom apartments will not. A laundry hook up means more self sufficiency and that was the point of the study… what is the cost of self-sufficiency.

          1. If they work out of home and are keeping a minimum paying job… I won’t say it…

    4. Oohhh, wait. I get it now! Two bedrooms assuming that you’re looking at a two bedroom place for a child. But what if an individual who was single, wanted to use the second room for office space or a lab, or studio or some sort?

      1. WAH WAH WAH. life isn’t fair. that’s just common sense isn’t it? survival of the fittest and all….let’s be very honest - you want something bad enough, you bust your ass to get there. you want a 2 bedroom, then you bust your ass to get there.

      2. Having an “office” is hardly a necessity, and shouldn’t be factored into what minimum wage can and can’t afford. I agree that there is something very wrong with the wage scale in our country, as indicated by the graphic, but statements like this distract from the message and make easy targets for people that want to maintain the status quo.

      3. thats actually my problem right now, I work freelance and I actually make more then minimum wage in my state and I still can’t afford a place with an office separate from my bedrrom

    5. “How about you compare the rate of a TWO bedroom unit with TWO minimum wage jobs.”

      Okay: double the income means that the rate shown would be halved. Take the number you’re looking at and divide it by two. You now know how many hours two people working a minimum wage job a week would need to pay rent. When you do this, don’t forget: They haven’t paid for food, water, electricity, transportation, garbage, medical coverage, or insurance. Washington for instance requires 80 hours a week to be paid for. Split that into two and that’s two people working full time 40 hour weeks and not being able to afford anything but a place to live. No food, no electricity in the house, no running water.

      1. notsureifsrs.

        A 1 bedroom apartment is less than half the price of a 2 bedroom apartment.

        1. Um… No, no it’s not. In my city, you can get a 1 BR for $1,000 if you’re really lucky, a 2 BR for $1,400, a 3 BR for $1.800. That’s why single people get roommmates and share 2- and 3- bedroom places.

        2. I cannot speak for the entire country, only cities in the northeast, but a 1 bedroom apartment is much more than half a 2 bedroom apartment around here.

          If this was not the case, then what would be the sense of a 2 bedroom apartment when each person could live more cheaply in their own 1 bedroom place (not considering heating costs, which tend to be included in rent or still a smaller percentage of cost than rent)?

        3. Great! So a couple earning minimum wage can afford an apartment for their family as long as they sleep in the same bedroom as their children.

        4. Where do you live? I have never encountered a place where 2BR is double the cost of 1BR - usually it’s just a $100-$250 increase.

        5. In my city, a one bedroom is about 495 a month, or therabouts, with a two-bedroom coming in at about 550-600. Less than half, heh. Sure you can get a studio for about 395 or 400, but still, that’s 2/3rds of a two bedroom.

      2. Don’t forget to add to that the student debt some many have. Those who were victims of predatory lending and who were promised jobs to find out that they didn’t exist. This is easily 25% of a minimum wage job.

    6. Er, what about single parents, which are increasing? Also, you conveniently ignore other expenses such as food and utilities. Facts do matter my friend, but you can’t ignore the ones that don’t support your argument!

      1. Single moms are also the largest growing group in the United States, we can easily say don’t do that, but that simply ignores that this is a fact.

    7. I’m a single mom. One job. I can not get anything smaller then a 2 bedroom due to legal requirments in my state. My ex won’t pay child support and I work full time. So yes, considering there are a lot of single parents, or stay home parents, this makes perfect sense.

    8. Nate this is exluding the stas on the plight of single people, but …. are you claiming both parents must or should work ? or a single mom or dad hold 2 jobs? who raises the kids? who cleans the house ,cooks, washes the clothes gets the kids to school, helps with homework?

      It’s my guess that the same % of income for rent standard was used in all states. What makes you assume differently?

      1. excluding the stats

    9. OK, so using your criteria of TWO minimum-wager earners, they would each have to work 65 hours a week MINIMUM for the apartment in California.

      Yep, huge improvement.
      Of course, if it’s a married family with kids, you can always get the kids jobs….oh, wait, child labor laws prohibit that nowadays.

      Tsk Tsk.

    10. Honestly, where I live, the price of a two bedroom unit and a single bedroom unit is about the same. I learned that relatively quickly when I was looking for a place to stay. The biggest difference between a single bedroom unit and a two bedroom unit was about a hundred dollars, which isn’t very much.

    11. You should have study harder in school and learn something that you can make money at. A minimum wage job should be for high school kids or losers. Need to make something of yourself and then get a job that pays over $ 20 and hour. I went to college double majored in Math and Chemistry and got out in 3 years.

      1. There was a time when getting an education was about becoming a well-rounded, rational, deliberate, and all around thoughtful person, and less about money.

      2. Who paid for your college?

      3. What a nice, privileged little “reality” you must live in. Do you have any idea how many college graduates are working low-paying jobs right now? What are they supposed to do, magically pull jobs out of the air? People as out-of-touch as you make me sick. I’m curious as to what you would do if you lost your $20-an-hour job and wound up in the kind of dire straits so many are facing. For someone who claims to be intelligent, you sure do sound like an idiot.

    12. Just to add, it’s not just fathers that walk out. My mother left my dad and me when I was 4 years old. I saw her from time to time after that, but my father had a stable job and also wasn’t the person with a problem.
      It was rough for him, but that was just the 90s, and he barely made it through with me.
      When I was born, they were together, but wen she left, he was not just going to lie down and give up.

      This is a major problem that I myself am facing coming out of college… finding a means of living somewhere on the little money I make!

    13. You are a joke right?

      A single income used to be able to support an entire family, today two people don’t make as much a 1 used too.

    14. Nate,

      Fine. Let’s play by your rules.

      In 22 States, TWO people working full-time, minimum-wage jobs can’t even afford the rent on a two-bedroom apartment.

      This is ignoring the single parents who want their kid to actually have a bedroom rather than sleeping on the couch (I know, I know, greedy welfare queens all), the fact that people do not live on rent alone, but from the use of power, water, food, etc. etc. (But surely this will appear out of thin air when the Free Market Fairy is allowed to provide) and the fact that this amount of rent is about the minimum you can expect to pay for a dingy, flea-ridden, drafty POS apartment.

      But I know, none of these things are relevant to a right-wing troll - the only thing these people exist for is to pay their greedy landlords everything they earn in rent.

    15. Okay, I’ll give an example of a family that needs at least a two-bedroom apartment on one income:
      Say you have a family, the husband is a surgeon, so he’s amply compensated for his work. They never needed a second income, so the wife stayed home with the kids and, once they got older and started school, she took up volunteering, reading to children at the library, rather than take up paying work. They are in their late 30s, and they just bought a new house, so their savings are somewhat depleted (and, being that he’d only been about 10 years into his career, they weren’t that huge to begin with). They have two children, a 12-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl.

      Then the husband suddenly dies, and the wife has to take a minimum-wage job to survive, as she hasn’t had paying work in a decade, and what experience she does have is in a now-defunct profession. Are you really going to say that that woman should share a single bedroom with her 12-year-old son AND her 10-year-old daughter? Or are you saying the 12-year-old should get a job?

  2. Let’s see, you can get a 2 bedroom in newark, 20 mins outside manhatten for $725/mo. Min wage of $7.25/hr, you’re still bringing home $880. (go to, i’d post the URL but it’s pretty killer and can’t be bothered with making a tinyurl)

    You have 2 bedrooms for a reason, married with kids or room mate. either case, you should now have atleast $1340 (spouse working part-time) or $1760 (with full time spouse or roommate)

    -$725 (rent)
    -$365 (utilities)
    =$250 for food and whatever else

    while it is great to have a phone, go to movies, watch television or take a bus, you don’t have the RIGHT to them.

    people surived in america for over a century without them, you can too. maybe you can spend the time walking and thinking of better ways to earn money instead of expecting the rest of us to support your lazy butt.

    1. The FMR is the determination. Not what you can find on
      Where are taxes in this equation anyhow?

      1. The taxes in that equation are $7.25 * 40 * 4 (weeks) does NOT equal $880…he included taxes by taking it out of the wages.

    2. “Take a bus” - Are you suggesting that they have cars. Most likely they’re using public transport to get to and from work.

      “Phones” - These days, cell phones are practically a need.

      And guess what mate, the only way to live without movies, watch television is to commit social suicide. They will as a social freak.

      Real question: Do you have a job and if so, how much you get paid per month?

      1. You’re kidding right? I don’t watch TV ever. I watch 1 show per week and that is Game of Thrones at my friends house. You DO NOT need cable television. Instead I choose to spend my time reading and making myself smarter or meeting with friends for bike rides/picnics/whatever.

      2. I use pubtrans/walk/bike to get to work, have a prepaid cell phone and use Google Voice for free at home, and don’t remember when I last paid for a movie or turned on the TV for television (and not games). Yet I had 30 people over at my place for a bbq yesterday and maintain leadership positions in prof. societies, so don’t think I’m much of a “freak”, as if social need were something people would sacrifice food for, as your post implies people should.

        1. That’s nice that you can afford a bicycle. Google Voice is cool, too. Good thing you can pay your monthly wireless internet fee so you can use it. And wow, it’s especially awesome that you can fit 30 people into your place… and that you own a grill so you can feed them all.

    3. You say that we shouldn’t have to support somebody’s lazy butt, and I agree with that. However these people are working, in what way does that make them lazy. Even if somebody goes to school this does not guarantee them a high paying salary job.

      Also these people are the ones that are serving your food, cleaning up your restaurants, and doing other menial tasks that I’m sure you look down upon. This is no longer the time of nobility where people should be looked down upon for the jobs they do. These jobs must be done and these are the people doing them. If they decided one day not to, I’m sure you might notice then.

      Furthermore people have survived in America for hundreds of years with far less than we have now, that’s true. Does that mean we should expect people to live in the modern world, but be stuck in the early 1900′s. At some point we have to admit that a small fraction of our luxuries are human rights. That isn’t to say that everybody needs a nice car or an iPhone, but they should have a phone for safety/communication and access to the internet. Turning off the internet on people in the middle east was condemned, but yet you accept here in our own soil?

      Lastly you assume that every person who has a child and is married. That’s just not statistically accurate anymore. Many people grow up a product of divorce or broken home. Hell if you have a problem with any of those people maybe their father/mother died for our freedoms. We can’t know the circumstances and can’t assume how people live.

      Everything you said shows that you have a very narrow view of the world that you live in. We can agree that people should work for what they get, but that doesn’t mean they should have to suffer for doing jobs nobody else wants. If America is going to claim the spot as the greatest nation in the world, then we need to better. There are already a number of countries doing better than we are. Supposedly we are the pillar for the rest of the world. Maybe it’s time we started acting like it.

    4. Two words: medical emergency. You are now in debt for tens of thousands of dollars because you couldn’t afford health care.

      1. Amen.

        Even with health insurance, I had a medical emergency that required two brain surgeries. In the end, I’m over $15k in debt.

        Oh, and as a result, I lost my job.

        (no to the commenter I’m replying to) How am I supposed to pay all these bills again?

    5. No taxes or health insurance in your “budget?” Shows how little you understand about this issue. Let the adults with actual experience discuss it, please.

      1. If there is need for a two bedroom, then there are children. Therefore there will be foodstamps which are tax free, medical card which is tax free, and most likely housing assistance at some point which is tax free.

        You’re right, let the adults talk about taxes. Those of us who pay and those of us who don’t pay anything…

        1. If you have two minimum wage full time jobs, then congratulations you’ve now exceeded the income limits for food stamps for a family of 4. So, no, there are no food stamps.

          1. If you are a single mother working full-time minimum wage with one kid you have also exceeded the income limit for food stamps.

        2. @Blue

          You’re kidding me, right? Obviously you have no idea how difficult it is to get medicaid or food stamps, especially with so many budget cuts. And poor people aren’t exempt from taxes, you utter tool. Obviously you’ve led a very privileged life.

    6. What about health insurance? which includes dental or eye? Taxes? Debt? Unfortunately, not every place has public transportation or even good public transportation. A bike? Good luck getting one if you don’t have one already with “$250 in disposable income.” You’re absolutely an idiot for calling someone lazy if they HAVE A JOB but just aren’t GETTING PAID WELL. You are probably white, so you wouldn’t know much about that.

      1. Yes, because none of us white people are poor and have financial issues.

        I agree with you, except the part where you decided to be racist.

    7. What about transportation, clothing, medical bills, and when food prices are rising and taking 25% of an income, I think you are being a little unreasonable. Also you are depending on a second income even if it is part-time, when unemployment is so high it’s difficult for both to have a wage coming in. Also what if someone is using the extra room a part of a business, or they are a single parent. This also goes beyond a two bedroom, what if it’s two incomes (with two parents) but have more than one child. Also if you never read a book about American history people survived part of the century by sending their 8 year old child to work. Or did you never here about child labor happening in America?? How long has it been since you had to look for a job, or couldn’t go to hospital when you were sick because you would go hungry the next month? Normally when people make these comments about others being lazy and having to pay for them is because they have a secure job and are very well taken care of and out of touch with the current problems in the world.

    8. Right, obviously everyone who has children has a spouse or significant other who could work part time. Right. That’s the only possible scenario. *cough singl parents cough*

      Man, my throat is dry.

    9. If you’re counting a couple with a child, you’re also forgetting to factor in the nearly $500 a month they’ll be paying in child care while both parents are working a full time job.

    10. If we’re talking about a couple with a child, like you said, you’re forgetting to factor in the almost $500 a month in child care they’ll have to pay while both parents are working a full time job.

    11. Why? They are supporting your lazy butt by doing the menial jobs you don’t want to do for a pittance. Just because you are higher up on the employment pyramid doesn’t mean you are better.

      There are numerous reasons why people end up at the bottom of the wage scale and assuming it is laziness implies a great deal of ignorance. Let’s hope you don’t have to experience it personally.

      1. No, let’s hope they DO have to experience it personally. It’s the only way to shut them up.

    12. You never deducted taxes…

    13. No kidding? How about all the money you have to pay for income tax? Property tax? FICA? Social Security? You realize that a minimum wage of $7.25 is BEFORE TAXES, right? Jesus…. People like you are the reason I’m moving to England. They’ve got common sense there.

    14. Times have changed. A phone is NEEDED. Please, riddle me this, Batman…how are you going to land a job without a phone? Are you going to give a payphone number? Being a mother, I need a phone just to make sure my child is okay. Oh - and for the above person that factored in ALL of my bills somehow …you forgot daycare. Something that’s needed for my “lazy butt” to have a job. My daughters daycare = $800 that my $7.25p/h job pays for. (Mind you, I run my own business so this doesnt apply to me..but I’m sure it applies to others).

    15. Lol you spend $250 on food per MONTH?

      I am a student eating cereal and sandwiches and that is not what food costs my friend.

    16. Try getting any job without a phone number for them to call.

    17. 1. The FMR is a moving average of dozens or hundreds of observations of rents. Way more accurate than whatever ghetto crib you found in Newark; twenty minutes to Manhattan you said, is that by car? Then you have to pay for parking in Newark and Manhattan, and tolls, and gas and auto insurance. And whatever the yearly title and license renewals are in Jersey.

      2. Many people who don’t live with their spouses live that way because their spouses are abusive. It’s not feasible to expect everyone to find mates to pool resources with - for one there is a small mismatch of men and women per any given age, but a much bigger problem is that singles with children are barely marketable to begin with, much less poor singles with children.

      3. Finally you are engaging in what should be a fallacy in politics: expecting everybody to be perfect model citizens. Regardless of whether the poor ‘deserve’ our help or not, many of them plainly need it by observation, and the country would run much more smoothly if they got it. The alternative is higher rates of crime and homelessness - I’d rather my Big Macs cost a buck more, so that minimum wage could be e.g. $10/hr, than pay $30,000/yr to put someone behind bars, or have to step over them on the streets.

    18. You seem to have left out a NUMBER of scenarios that would require two bedrooms and ONE income. 1) Divorcee/widow-er with kids 2) Caretaker for disabled person 3) caring for elderly parents (some of whom do NOT get enough Social Security to even cover their medications, much less contribute to the rent.) Was this oversight on purpose, or an accident? Not to mention, how is someone a ‘lazy butt’ when they are WORKING 40 hours a week and still unable to make ends meet??! Just a wild guess, but you think of yourself as a ‘conservative,’ yes? I guess this because that is their typical meme: only lazy people fail in our society; that or people who make ‘bad choices.’ Like, for example, anyone who was married to a victim of 9-11; were it not for such a stupid choice they would still be making two incomes… Here’s something else you left out of your equation: $250 for food ‘and whatever else’… when was the last time you tried to feed ONE person on $250 a MONTH, much less a kid or two? The ‘whatever else’ includes laundry soap, dishwashing detergent, toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant, clothing, diapers, formula…. those are NECESSITIES not fripperies, and the list goes on. And all of those ‘whatever else’ cuts into the FOOD budget. It is clear to ME that you have swallowed the GOP koolaid about the ‘Welfare Queen’ whole. Step away from the pitcher, and realize the truth: the poor are desperate not because they make ‘bad choices’ or wear expensive designer tennis shoes and have cell phones with all the trimmings; they are desperate because they DO NOT MAKE ENOUGH TO LIVE. I have been there; I suspect you have not. I do not wish misfortune on anyone, but I will say that a lot of you naysayers would benefit greatly from spending a month or two trying to ‘make ends meet’ by making ‘smarter choices’ with that princely $880/month.

    19. this guy probably plays golf all day. guess what? working your ass off in your twenties through early thirties in a field that society arbitrary compensates higher wages for doesn’t give you the right the be a parasite and have other people make you rich the rest of your life. I agree that people should be compensated for hard work but when you the measure the amount of work over the course of ones whole life the very rich are the most idle and least productive people. They also contribute the thought pollution of the current public discourse as demonstrated so aptly by yourself. If you really valued hard work you would pay for it and not be a rich fucking bum.

    20. Well, given that rates aren’t always accurate, also, most jobs pretty much require you to have a phone, and in my state, taking a bus as primary transportation is not really an option or viable one. So gas and car, however, for a month bus pass here (I live in a cheap area), that is another 30 a month, for two 60, and depending on the kids age it could be another 20.

      Also, 250 a month for food, with rising costs of food. 250/30 is 8.33 dollars a day for food for two people, which is less than two dollars a meal, for 3 people? That is even if you have a kid on formula that is around 100 dollars a month. Daycare, for an infant between 100-200 a week, an older kid closer to 100.

      Oh and taxes will still be taken out of your paycheck even if you live in poverty.

      Also, health insurance, for 3 people that isn’t cheap, and god forbid you get seriously ill because that will totally screw you financially.

    21. 1) You don’t take into account income tax.
      2) You did the math for a two week period, not four weeks.

      The “disposable income” does ultimately come out to around ~$250 once you take into account income tax.

      Even if you’re eating off the dollar menu at McDonalds, the amount of money left over per month after food and transportation is not enough for someone to live off of. It would take a year (or more) to save enough to be able to pay for one month rent+utilities if you lost your job. Never mind being able to buy clothes, a pair of shoes, afford medicine, or do something crazy like go back to school and pay for books!

      I’ve worked a minimum wage job. People who work shit jobs aren’t necessarily lazy. I had co-workers who worked at least two jobs to support their families. They’ll NEVER have the opportunity to advance- they can’t AFFORD to.

      These people are essentially slaves, you just don’t want to admit it.

    22. Okay, so I don’t have a phone.. now I’m walking to the grocery store I applied to a couple days ago. Oh crap, they hired someone else? I lost the job because I missed their phone call and I can’t afford to buy an answering machine because my food budget and miscellaneous expenses are $250 a month?

      I’m sure the stone age was rough and all but we live in the present.

    23. could you just post the tinyurl rather than expecting the rest of us to support your lazy butt by going there ourselves?

    24. Or how about someone like me who works freelance and needs an extra room for an office. Believe it or not I make more than minimum wage, but still can’t afford a place with an extra room (even if I’m splitting a three bedroom with another room mate) and I don’t even live in an expensive city nor do I have a cell phone bill and I spend $20 a week on being social, the rest of my money goes towards expenses

    25. 250 dollars to cover gas, car costs, food, and ‘whatever else’, (which could be quite a lot)? Yeah, makes perfect sense. Of course, a living wage is far too much to ask of our corporate overlords.

    26. Those people survived because the world around them was not bought up at every turn and developed. There is something called the standard of living, and for a nation that proclaims itself be the greatest in the world, its standard has dropped far. Very Far. If U.S. citizens could finally realize that the elections they believe to be participating in are a total farce, designed to keep the idea of control in the hands of the people, they could rise against the tyranny destroying their beloved nation. They could halt the U.S. War Machine in its tracks, and better utilize the trillions of dollars that war-mongering and war-profiting politicians and big business leaders are dumping into military technology. The money spent building machines to kill human beings could be spent to provide a home to every person in the country. AND IN THE WORLD.

    27. People in the situation you described often try to work two jobs to make ends meet. Telling a poor person the only reason they are poor is because they won’t get off their “lazy butt” is not only rude but also a poor reflection of reality.

    28. if you don’t have a phone, how do you get that minimum wage job? They can’t call you to tell you that you got it, or give you your schedule. How many minimum wage employers would tolerate that? How many would just throw out your resume? I’m talking landline, not smartphone here, naturally. Cheapest option.

    29. So, do you only use your money to pay for rent, utilities and only $250 per month for food and “whatever else”? That “whatever else” includes health insurance for TWO people (since you’re including two peoples’ wages). Most minimum wage employees are not offered health insurance through their employers and have to pay huge premiums if they want to be covered. But health insurance is just one of the many necessities that go unfulfilled on your proposed budget.
      Also, your reasoning regarding the need for 2 bedrooms completely eliminates the millions of single parents in this country. They have to use HALF of your figures to make ends meet for themselves and their children (since there is only one income).
      Furthermore, I don’t think this article mentions anywhere that the rest of us should support minimum wage workers. I think the point is that the minimum wage is actually less than the minimum amount of money needed to survive in this country.

    30. I want to know where you live that you can feed two adults (or even just two adults) and a child on $250 a month without public assistance, to say nothing of clothes and shoes for the kid, transportation costs to and from work (even if it’s only a dollar each way, that’s at least $60 a month, assuming the part-time worker works 2-3 full days a week, rather than 5 half days, in which case it’d be $80- or were you expecting these people to walk from Newark to Manhattan?), cleaning supplies and toiletries, school supplies for the kid, et cetera. Plus, especially if you have a kid, a phone is not really a luxury; what if a bee gets in the house, and the kid gets stung and starts going into anaphylaxis? Do you really want to wait to call 911 until you can get a neighbor to call for you?

  3. Seems like ‘ol Nate here fails to see the point. To be honest, minimum wage should be around $14-$16 per hour. It’s amazing how so many people advocate a race to the bottom. Sadism at its finest.

    1. Take economics bro.

      can you say hyperinflation?
      get out of your idealistic mindframe

      1. Really?

        Australia’s dollar is about at parity with the USD.

        Our minimum hourly wage is $15.51/hour.

        Our inflation rate is ~3% annually. Yours is ~1.5%.

        Our unemployment rate is 4.9%. Yours is 8.8%.

        Seems like it can be done - if you’re willing to cut into corporate flab (i.e., profits, obscene boardroom “compensation” etc) to do it.

        But of course, that’s “un-American” - it’s more “American” to let the poor starve and become slaves in all but name for anyone *generous* enough to put a roof over their head. Ownership society, all right - the ownership of the poor by the rich.

    2. That would just make prices on everything higher…. look at Australia for instance, compare prices there to prices here.

      1. Bullshit.

        Australian prices are about the same as those in most urban centres in America. And in terms of income (PPP) per capita, we’re only 4 places behind America.

        Yet, somehow we manage - Australia is rated as the #1 place to live in the world. 4 of the top 10 livable cities in the world are in Australia - interestingly, none are in the USA - we have the 2nd highest Human Development Index score in the world (USA ranks in at #4), and we have many, many other advantages going for us.

        So go ahead and bag Australia - but don’t forget that you’re LYING to do so.

  4. Looks like we should all move to Puerto Rico!

  5. Even if you make just enough to cover your rent, you still need to pay utilities, which are often incredibly expensive as well. And what about food, transportation, medical, etc.? The point of this article is that minimum wage in this country is too low and they’re right!

    1. True… minimum wage stinks, but it’s in the name, right? Minimum wage. It is the lowest legal amount to pay somebody. It is supposed to stink. Once you’ve obtained some work experience, then you get paid more than minimum wage.

      1. Yes, because there are clearly enough non-minimum wage jobs for everyone over 17. There’s not 8.1% unemployment or anything. Nope.

      2. … So not the case, but whatever.

      3. Let me tell you, $9.50 an hour isn’t much of an improvement. Plus, you know what? Some people are just a little slow, or unambitious, or both. They’re never going to advance much past senior fry cook at the Burger Barn. Does that mean they’re not entitled to have a family and a home?

  6. your estimate for food is grossly inadequate. where’s medical costs? where’s transportation? taxes? duh. you obviously don’t pay your own bills, ROFL.

    1. I was thinking the same thing

  7. Some of you people need a reality check with your math.. you’re acting like Rent and utilities along with peanut butter an jelly sandwiches and Ramen noodles are the only expenses hanging over somebody’s head.

    You can’t tell me people don’t need gas, car insurance, car maintenance, health care (which most making min wage don’t have and pay out of pocket), a phone which is NOT a luxury especially for a family. You forget about simple human needs like TP and soap, maybe some new shoes and things like that which I struggle to pay for each and every day and I don’t have any kids to care for or even a remotely expensive rent. I don’t waste money on things I don’t need and I don’t own things that are beyond my means.

    I simply wish to be a productive citizen who can own an acre and a small home someday for my fiance an I to live on and not have a slum lord landlord to answer to every month when he can’t even replace the broken washer machine that we pay for every month - nor can we afford to be ripped off at a laundry mat or pay the extra gas money to get there. Do I not deserve clean clothes just because I can’t get a good job? I have tons of great skills, but I never went to college and therefore I can’t find I a job in CT working much of anywhere without a college degree. I refuse to flip burgers and I make more than min wage at my current job - $12 and my girlfriend works as cocktail waitress making upwards of $20/hr most nights for a few nights a week - she found that job after searching for 14 months and can’t get more hours. We barely scrape by on WAY OVER min wage and we pay VERY LITTLE rent because her parents rent an tiny in law apartment to us cheap.
    After food, utilities, gas, and unexpected debits from the acct due to unforeseeable circumstances - we barely make it paycheck to paycheck - I can only imagine if we had or wanted kids how hard it would be!

    I don’t want handouts, but I do want FAIR. The above isn’t FAIR, and it’s nothing compared to how single parents have to live - even married ones can’t make it working normal hours.

    1. Well said Josh.
      You are an example of what the non-working classes have done to those who do the heavy lifting in America. The hard work is done by the least paid, and the best paid steal jobs from those who are just getting by. Remember, “I love being able to fire people” ?
      Be strong Josh. I put in my my years in kitchens, chicken slaughterhouses, saw mills and farms just keeping my head above water. I found that life is a lot easier abroad, so I’m doing well enough- no car, but very affordable health care, and a good job- in Asia. I’d like to come home to my three acres of trees in New York State, but that’s going to have to be a retirement option- 20 years. But the robber barons may be out of power by then.
      It’s simple math. Working class are getting less money but the richest are getting more.

      You’d have to be blind to not see that the rich are the sorry-ass lazy bums who bleed the rest of us.

    2. Well said!

  8. Pushing for higher wages is great for people who have jobs. But the job market is the worst it’s been in years.

    Of course no one wants a minimum wage job, but when you’re a young person (50% unemployment rate!) it’s better have something than nothing. Live with your parents and don’t get a 2 bedroom place.

    1. You’re assuming that single people without kids would just “like” to have a 2 bedroom apartment when there are many single parents out there. Am I supposed to share a one bedroom apartment with my 11 year old son? You’re also assuming that everybody has parents that can financially support them. Not everybody has parents, and I would venture to guess that most people don’t have parents that live comfortably enough to support their adult child.

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

    2. What if there are no jobs where your parents live?

    3. what if you don’t have parents?

  9. The fact of the matter is that everyone who believes that minimum wage is fine for those stuck at minimum wage does not have to work minimum wage themselves. Furthermore, people really are STUCK. How do you expect people to better themselves, such as by obtaining degrees, if they barely have enough money to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table?

  10. The people who are sure that boosting the minimum wage to $15/hour or more aren’t thinking things through. If you double the wage of the person flipping your burger or driving your bus, is the price of your burger or your bus fare going to magically remain the same?

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

    1. It would certainly give me peace of mind to know that giving more money for my food/bus fare is going to help a family finally be able to sustain itself.

    2. This argument only works if you’ve never left the United States and gone to another developed country.

      In the US, McDonald’s has a 99 cent menu. In Australia they have a 2 dollar value menu.

      In the US we have places like skidrow, and homeless, mentally ill people in every big city who are incapable of getting a job. People who talk to themselves.

      In Australia the homeless people usually are sane, there’s very few of them, and are usually never on the edge of starvation or dehydration.

      Everyone also has healthcare, there’s little crime (compared to the US) and that is how it is in most of the developed world.

      You want America to be the land of cheap burgers fine. But you can’t pretend that this makes us a better country than all the other developed countries in the world. The right wing wants to eliminate the middle class, and it is the middle class which makes a country first world. They want to turn America into a third world country of a very rich minority, and a working poor majority.

    3. I have to wonder if you have ever left the US before… I just spent nearly a year living in Germany and will move to Japan before the end of this year. Where I lived, the minimum wage was liveable and — here’s the shocker — produce was actually cheaper! I could afford to buy healthy fruit, meat, and vegetables.

      Going out to eat was priced a little higher, like the luxury that it should be. I never went to a fast food restaurant, so I can’t compare those prices. But, if you are a single income family, you could survive in Germany. Clearly, you could never survive in the US.

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

  11. … the issue with increasing minimum wage is that the money has to come from somewhere.. i mean i know corporations make what seems like a lot of money but it could be broken down into 100′s of dollars made on each employee they have.

    so if you increase the wage to like 14-16/ hr then the price of everything has to go up from food to gas in order for the companies to continue to make the same profit margin.

    minimum wage jobs should be a stepping stone not a career. they are for the teenagers or less educated just starting out. a 30 something working at jack in the box should be looking for ways to improve their life whether it be from free courses on the web… accessible from libraries and whatnot to just plain looking for a better job.

    if your not happy with your job then look for something better. nobody is stopping you.

    i know the job market is not the best but if you have a minimum wage job than at least you have a job while looking for something better. i have two roommates and a wife and three kids living in a 4 bedroom house with a detach garage that i remodeled into living quarters.

    we are not entitled to nice things we work for them and never give up. we make sacrifices.

    1. “if your not happy with your job then look for something better. nobody is stopping you.”
      …Do you really believe that there are no barriers to getting a better job? That it is easy to simply move up? That everyone has the time and opportunity to educate themselves to get better jobs? If college graduates can’t get jobs, why would it be as easy or easier for others to get them?

      also, *you’re.

    2. You are completely correct Jam. You raise the minimum wage, the price of everything goes up, putting people who are making the $14 minimum wage right back into the position they were in before. Not making enough to cover their expenses. This map also fails to point out government programs such as subsidized housing and government assistance that a single mother making minimum wage would no-doubt qualify for. These programs are already in place to assist with the disparity.

      Unfortunately, we live in a society that is not fair and is not equal. We are all born and we all die. That is all we are guaranteed. Everything else is up to us. Don’t want to make minimum wage? Work hard and do better. Make smart life decisions and protect yourself.

      Go into a field that has a high job demand, not the one with half a million people waiting for a call back for one perfect position. Don’t get me wrong we need all sorts of people to make this world great. But don’t complain if you can’t find a job when you have a Bachelors in English Literature. It’s not my fault you made a poor decision on your major, and I don’t think you should be making more at Starbucks to sling coffee because of it.

      1. Subsidized housing is a great idea, but the waiting list — even for a single parent — can be up to three years in some areas. There just isn’t enough to meet the need, and there hasn’t been in decades. (When I was a kid, my single mother looked into subsidized housing, and even in the 80′s there was a year-long waiting list. Fortunately, my mom had a friend who was willing to rent out her basement to us, but a lot of people aren’t that fortunate.)

    3. Free courses on the web? FREE COURSES ON THE WEB? Are you for real? You might, repeat MIGHT be able to take GED classes for free online, but if you’re talking college courses? FORGET IT. You’re talking regular college enrollment, which includes thousands of dollars in tuition, books, fees, and online course materials. Also you’re talking internet connection, at home, because let me tell you, trying to do school classes in a public (or school) library over several hours a day for several days a week? Is not logical or possible. Most libraries will kick you out after X amount of time on a computer anyway. Reality check, table one please!

    4. No one should live the way you do and be a hard worker.

      And that is exactly the problem, but you Teapublicans just don’t get it.

      You and your family works hard but you are all crammed into one house. Is this fair? Are you just lazy? Are rich people born into money better people than you?

      Is Paris Hilton a better person than you? You believe one day your hard work is going to pay off, but I have news for you, as long as the Republicans keep stripping away the minimum wage, and try to abolish the 40 hour work week and turn the clock on this country back to 1890 before hard working workers fought (and often died) for a minimum wage, 40 hour work week, overtime, social security etc.

      You take these things away and America becomes a third world country of a rich minority and a working poor majority.

    5. Free non-existant courses on the internet in library where you kids will run wild, and libraries sure do appreciate loud noises

  12. You people blow my mind. If you are making min wage above the age of 18, you “kind sir” have made the wrong choices in life. I made 8 dollars an hour my senior year changing oil at a local shop. Get off your lazy asses and find work. Min wage is for high school students not adults. Seriously have you people read the above comments?

    [email protected]

    1. Awesome. Because I live in a small college town, the only work I was able to find was a minimum wage job as a cashier at a restaurant. I filled out application after application. Even the place that a) I KNEW was hiring and b) my friend worked at (in good standing, and able to put in a word for me) I didn’t get hired.

      It’s not a matter of “getting off your lazy asses and finding work”. It’s a matter of who’s hiring, and where. The fact is, minimum wage jobs are the only ones consistently hiring right now. So that’s what people get.

      By the way, I just graduated college. So now I’m going to be attempting to pay off 23K in student loan debt on 7.25 an hour. Yay! And yes, I know I’m getting off light.

    2. Well excuse me, but some of us aren’t in an area that\’s so generous with jobs. I wasn’t able to get a job in high school since there simply wasn’t any. Things are tight for everyone and now that i\’m in college, I count myself lucky to have a min wage job. Open your eyes and realize everyone isn’t or wasn’t as lucky as you, especially not in today’s world. I\’d consider yourself fortunate, unfortunately, so of us are not so lucky and by no fault of our own.

    3. It really is astonishing to see adults in the 21st century in a nation in which education is free up to age 18 make these kinds of statements.

      Is it really okay for the children of a worker who you say, made the wrong choices in life, to suffer the lack of health care, clothing, etc so you can get the satisfaction of knowing that parent is being punished for making a bad choice?

      1. Yes! They love to see people suffering! It makes them feel better about themselves. They still think wealth in this life predicts rewards in the afterlife, so they assume if you’re making minimum wage you’re also going to hell, I guess because you aren’t smart enough to get to heaven?

        Oddly, their religion actually very clearly states the exact opposite, but oh well.

        Also, I find it super awesome that posters, in the very same sentence; mind you, can advise adults working minimum wage jobs to “get off their lazy asses and find jobs,” and see no hypocrisy at all in that statement, as if whatever minimum wage employment they do isn’t work at all, and they’re out there just doing it for the fun of it.

    4. You blow MY mind. Apparently on Planet Jeep there are no inconvenient things like a crushed economy, unemployment or underemployment, divorces leaving people scrambling to cover the bills, loss of income earner due to accident, injury or death, etc. What a nice place Planet Jeep must be. Well, of course except for the fact of having to live with a fatuous know it all who is big on bragging and small on reality to rule the place… “Minimum wage is for high school students”… or for ex-corporate employees whose companies were destroyed as Wall St rushed to turn Main St into Skid Row; many of those people are happy to take one of those minimum wage jobs after struggling to find ANYthing.. and failing… for MONTHS. Seriously have you read the PAPERS at all since 2008???

    5. Whoa, whoa. My wife graduated with a bachelors in health education right about the time that all the health education workers got laid off. She had 2.5 years of internship working with United Way. She applied to literally hundreds of jobs over the course of 16 months. With each job she applied to, she received a response back telling her that hundreds of people applied to this job and she may or may not hear back. Several jobs had over 725 applicants. She needed at least 5 years of experience to be a strong candidate. There is a paradox here though. How does one get 5 years of experience if one can’t ever get hired in that field.

      My point is: She finally found a minimum wage job at Ross where she still works part time. She has had 3 jobs at once and works her butt of to help put me through school. So YOU have obviously not had to job search recently. She accepts her minimum wage job and we are thankful for it. She finally landed a part time job in her field and makes a lot more than minimum wage, but she still works her minimum wage job because minimum is not just for high school students.

    6. Are you kidding? Minimum-wage jobs that were once filled by teenagers are now mostly filled by adults, because THERE IS NOTHING ELSE. There are far more people than there are jobs that pay decent wages, and have been for years. And the fact that you’re calling minimum-wage workers who work their asses off ‘lazy’ just tells me you’re completely out-of-touch with reality. Must be nice to be so privileged and sheltered.

  13. Hey there,
    I’m completely with you, but I’d like to point out that this graphic isn’t COMPLETELY accurate. It assumes that rent is exactly the same over the entire state. It isn’t.

    For example, I used to live in Allen County, Indiana, a couple years ago. Minimum wage in Indiana is currently $7.25- about 986 after 15% tax (I don’t remember what tax rate I was paying at the time, and am too lazy right now to google it). A 2-br apartment, according to that website, is $634. Pretty right on, for sure. My utilities for a 2-br apartment in that area were $85ish, before internet (never bothered with cable, I could watch whatever I wanted online), which was about $25. So, you’d have $242 left over for food and car. If you’re living on minimum wage, you’re not driving a Mercedes… my 1987 Chevy cost me $100 a month, plus $30 insurance. $112 (or thereabouts) is tough to eat on, and you don’t have heath insurance at that point, so it is tough. But it is surviving.

    However, head over to East of Chicago (Lake County) area, and you’re screwed. Apartments run about $800 for 2-br, so that website you linked was pretty close, once again. But you’d definitely have to have more than one income to afford an apartment there.

    1. Exactly. So tell me, who busses the tables and pumps the gas in Lake County? Remember, people employed in those positions cannot AFFORD to drive long distances to find work. That is the point of the graphic. It is easy to say move somewhere cheaper. Harder to do when you have nothing to pay the rental truck to move your stuff, nothing to pay the first/last month’s rent on a new place to live when you get there, etc etc. People are just full of helpful solutions to the plight of the poor, but often these suggestions fail on further study. Of course,these failures will be blamed off as ‘rationalizing’ on the part of the poor because they don’t try hard enough.

  14. Increasing the minimum wage will do nothing at all. All it will do is drive the costs of rent, food, and utilities higher. Its simple supply and demand when more people demand something supply gets tight therefore prices go higher. As long as people are willing to work for a minimum wage this problem will always exist please point me to just one example in history where this wasn’t the problem. Thanks.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

    1. Of course people are willing to work for minimum wage if they have no other options. People in minimum-wage jobs are often trapped there because there are no openings to be found for anything with better pay.

  15. Not that it takes away from what is a legitimate issue, but is this assuming the federal minimum wage or does it take into account each state’s minimum wage? For instance, California’s minimum wage is slightly higher than the federal minimum wage. Not nearly enough, but it is. Also, rent prices change drastically in different parts of the state, even from neighborhood to neighborhood. Does anyone know how Fair Market Rent is calculated for an entire state? Is it an accumulated average of smaller geographic units?

    In any case, I’m not sure what a practical solution to this problem is. As a previous commenter pointed out, in a time where we have rampant unemployment is it rational to expect businesses (especially small businesses) to increase wages AND increase employment? Can we expect prices for common goods to stay to remain stagnant despite increases in disposable income?

    The fix can’t be a simple boost to the minimum wage. There’s some institutional, systematic change in our approach to the economy and social welfare that needs to take place for this problem to properly addressed.

  16. Increasing the minimum wage means less jobs.

    A majority of minimum-wage workers are the 3rd or 4th income earners in a household. Very few “heads of households” work minimum wage jobs.

    Take a basic economics class

    1. Increasing the minimum wage doesn’t have to mean fewer jobs or more expensive products. It could simply mean slightly less exorbitant profits for companies and owners.

      1. but as an example when you raise taxes on companies THEY don’t pay the extra taxes. they increase the price to accommodate. ;) rich people feel the need to stay rich. i am not endorsing it but thats the way it works.

        1. And by increasing prices that company would also be at the mercy of other economic forces. Some of the expense of raising wages might indeed be passed down to the consumer, but not enough to jeopardize the company’s position relative to its competitors. So the upper execs and the owners would indeed be assuming some of the cost of the raise, and it’s about time they did so.

        2. If that were true, there’d be no such thing as loss-lead sales. Companies routinely cut prices to grow market share, even if it means less profit per item.

          Not that that would necessarily happen in this instance, but it does occur.

      2. But those higher wages will mean fewer jobs. How do you expect a Mom & Pop shop to hire someone at $14/hour to help them when they aren’t even making those kind of profits?

        It’s not just corporations that suffer.

        1. Except there aren’t any more Mom & Pop’s.

      3. Please take a few minutes and visit the following web sites. They may change e entire debate. The forward to the following book has been written by James Galbraith, associate Proffesor of Economics at the University of Texas, Austin

        And the following web site represents the blogging of the Economics Department of the University of Missouri Kansas City

      4. do idealistic.

        take economics, and think with common sense.

        What would you do if you were a business owner? “Well, screw it, I didn’t want the extra cash anyways.” or “I’ll raise the price and make same ROI.”


      “What’s more, giving Walmart employees a living wage ($12) would barely impact consumers. We found that even if Walmart passed the entire cost of the wage increases directly to consumers, the store’s bargain shoppers would pay less than $12.50 more per year, about 46 cents per shopping trip. That’s less than half the cost of a pack of gum per shopping trip, or a pack of socks each year — even at Walmart prices. If the company took on the cost directly, raising the hourly wage would cost about one percent of its annual sales of $305 billion.”

      Not to mention if businesses paid its workers more, that would be less welfare said worker would need.

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

    3. Correction: very few heads of household IN YOUR EXPERIENCE work minimum wage jobs. I know DOZENS. Take a basic tour around your city’s poor side.

  17. If they have children, then they qualify for the earned income tax credit, food stamps and free health care at least. And free health care. Did you include these in your calculation

    Minimum wage jobs are for young single people learning a skill or trade. If you can’t earn more than minimum wage, you shouldn’t have a family.

    1. Actually, working full-time minimum wage does not mean that you are below the poverty level and qualify for all of those programs. In fact minimum wage, full-time, pushes you just over the poverty line, and causes you to be disqualified for most of those programs.

      Also, unfortunately, some people don’t get the luxury of choosing things like getting laid off and being stuck at working minimum wage. Stuff happens.

      1. This. Plus, only your child is going to get subsidized health care (which, by the way, is not ‘free’). I love how rich people have such an idealistic belief of how social services work…they ought to be forced to deal with the system themselves. It was broken even before the economy crashed, and it’s all but shattered now.

        And how nice of her to say the poor shouldn’t have families. The blind idiocy of some people just astonishes me.

    2. If you can’t see how it could happen, especially these days, that families often have to scrape by on minimum wage, with children, then it’s YOU, dear, who shouldn’t have a family. You’re not bright enough, you have no foresight, and you do not have the compassion raising children requires.

  18. So this is a terrible comparison. This is a measure of the average rent in a state. Someone earning minimum wage has earned a right to a minimum apartment. This is comparing apples to oranges. If you work 40 full time hours at minimum wage it is enough to support a minimal living. I’ve lived on $20,000 a year for 4 years. I don’t get vacations, I don’t have a spectacular car and I have 3 roommates. I’ve made many sacrifices and I don’t want a handout. I’ve made my way through school and have a great job now. The money it would take to raise minimum wage would come from somewhere and eventually make it’s way to raise the costs across the board.

    This is someone who messed with statistics to create a controversy. There are so many confounding variables that it will do nothing but confuse the readers.

  19. Sure. Bump the minimum wage up $15.00 per hour. I’m sure companies won’t either A) raise prices to make up lost revenue or B) cut their workforce to make up lost revenue. The money has to come from somewhere. The number of idiotic ideas this infographic has produced is mind-numbing. The real question you need to be asking is why does minimum wage not buy what it did 10 years ago? Because Obama/Romney/Bush and friends have been destroying the dollar at an alarming rate. Barack Hussein Bush v3.0 calls up The Bernanke every other day to print some more money to fund his endless drone bombing of the world and what do you know, the next day the little money you do take home has been diluted even further. Better yourself and make more money or don’t put corporate shills like Obama/Bush/Romney in the Whitehouse.

  20. I work a minimum wage job and afford a two bedroom apartment. My rent is $ 500 a month. I also work with an 18 year old girl, still attending high school and has her own apartment. It’s not easy but it is possible.

    1. Where on Earth do you live, that you can get an apartment for $500 a month? Out where I am, even a studio apartment is close to a grand a month.

  21. lol, gotta love America. Average CEO pay is over $2 MIL a year, go figure!

  22. I think EVERYONE is missing the point here. Minimum wage is not meant to be a living wage. Its a base point. It’s what you work hard to get away from. Most minimum wage jobs are part time for students or people who already have a spouse employed full time. Most places that pay minimum wage cant afford to pay employees double. It is absolutely not a living wage because I dont believe it is meant to be one. People certainly have unforseen circumstance that may put them back at that starting point but nobody is supposed to work for $7 an hr their whole life.

    1. It’s not meant to be, no, but for a dismaying amount of people, it’s all that’s out there. Plenty of college-educated people are trapped in entrance-level, poorly-paid jobs because those that could actually support a person are already filled by people who definitely aren’t about to quit. If we stopped outsourcing everything, maybe they’d have a better chance.

  23. I’ve taken both Marco and Micro economics. The minimum wage job killer is a theory, not fact. It’s not your basic supply and demand chart where a price floor above market equilibrium makes a shortage. It’s much more complicated then that.

  24. wouldbroad would you believe that the Governement doesn’t need taxes to fund it’s operations. Probably not but it is actually the way it works

    Check out these two blogs

  25. We don’t live to work. We work to live.

  26. A 2-bedroom apartment is more than anyone needs. Take a look at China or any other 3rd-world country and you’ll see four generations of people living in one-room shacks all over the place. It’s unbelievable that people feel entitled to a first-world middle-class+ existence (essentially equivalent to a King’s lifestyle in the middle ages).

    In any case, increasing the state-mandated minimum wage merely decreases the number of jobs out there. If I’m willing to offer a job that earns my business $8/hour but minimum wage is raised to $10, I will no longer offer the job - it’s that simple. Cyclical unemployment only exists when the government puts requirements like minimum wage in place to begin with.

    And the companies with the “obscene” profits to begin with are not the primary ones offering minimum wage jobs. It’s the companies that can’t afford to pay more.

    1. That’s incorrect. Many people NEED 2 or even 3 bedroom apartments. My husband’s uncle is unable to get cutody of his children because he can’t afford a 3 bed. place. State law says that opposite sex child over age 6 must have separate sleeping quarters (that means 2 bedrooms). It also says that any communal part of the home (living room) may not be used as permanent sleeping quarters. In short, if he wants his kids, he MUST have 3 bedrooms.

      1. See this is another example of the government making arbitrary rules and regulations to control the lives of it’s citizens. Simple solution. Get rid of that law and it is no longer a problem.

    2. “Take a look at China or any other 3rd-world country\” because you know, America is a third world country. Also, there is a lot of issues with this like sanitation for one.

    3. Uh, we live in a first-world country, not some third-world slum. Besides, obviously you’ve never heard of the ‘maximum occupancy’ rules virtually every apartment in this nation has. Would you be willing to live in a ‘shack’ with four generations of your family? I think not. This is not a third-world country, this is America, which in theory prides itself on the standard of living it offers. Wanting decent housing for yourself and your children does not mean one feels ‘entitled’: it means they want a decent standard of living. Good grief.

  27. According to the government’s own statistics:
    • Only about 2% of the labor force is employed at minimum wage, and half of them are below the age of 25.
    • Nearly 90% of minimum-wage workers have never been married.
    • Nearly 90% of minimum-wage workers work part-time.
    • About half of minimum-wage workers work in restaurants and other food services, so they get tips to supplement.
    • Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas have the most minimum-wage earners. They also have comparatively low cost-of-living.


  28. It is so disappointing to see data misrepresented to support someone’s agenda – it calls into question the credibility of what you say and what you believe in. This study compares the low end of the curve, minimum wage earners, with the average prices which are by definition, the middle of the curve - of course there is a gap. Beyond the pure farse this data represents, the author forgot a few convenient facts:

    1) I don’t know the number, but only a fraction of the workforce gets paid minimum wage and many are students or part-timers with multiple jobs. I own a small business and we pay way above minimum wage for all our positions because of supply and demand, not because of laws mandating wages.

    2) Back in the day when I made minimum wage, $5/hr, I lived with 3 roommates which made it much more affordable - I didn’t expect to live in a two bedroom house or condo by myself.

    3) If someone is making minimum wage and they have a child or two, they are eligible for government assistance from multiple programs including school lunches, daycare, food stamps, Medicaid, etc. The redistribution of wages from the rich to the poor need to be included in these calculations.

    4) Finally, there are tons of rent-controlled buildings and properties available – there is no way these rent prices were factored into this study. I recently looked at purchasing a 1 besroom condo and at least 60% of the properties available where rent/price controlled units.

  29. quote: You have 2 bedrooms for a reason, married with kids or room mate. either case, you should now have atleast $1340 (spouse working part-time) or $1760 (with full time spouse or roommate)

    -$725 (rent)
    -$365 (utilities)
    =$250 for food and whatever else

    30 days in a month, that means you expect food for one person for AN ENTIRE DAY to only cost $8.33 oh no wait, thats for two people, so $4.16 yeah. thats gonna happen. try to live off under ten dollars a day for food, raman and mac and cheese are like all you could eat which would result in no nutrition.

    1. $365 in utilities?!?! What on earth are you talking about. I live in Michigan and my winter utilities barely reach that in a 85 year old two story home.

      Utilities in an apartment building will run at best $150 a month.

  30. Well if $7.50 minimum wage is too low, and $15 is better, why not make it $50!! That would be great right??

  31. Because raising the minimum wage will fix everything!!!! Learn economics.

  32. This is both shocking and sad. Clearly the min wage needs to go up.

    The downside is that this will cause the cost of goods to go up as well which will lead to more inflation and an even higher cost of living.

    This system, unfortunately, is one where the lifestyles of some people are supporting by the suffering / lower quality lives of others.

    This is the problem and the dilemma.

  33. Despite the common wisdom that raising the minimum wage will result in higher costs, there’s enough data now to analyze that claim. Even the more pessimistic models suggest that the effects are relatively modest — a 10% increase in the minimum wage yields about a 1% rise in costs. A greater concern is with models that suggest that same 10% increase might yield a 2-3% decrease in employment, although that’s actually somewhat more contentious; other models suggest that an increase in the minimum wage has a negligible effect on employment, as the “low-skill” markets that pay minimum wage actually aren’t that competitive. (Put bluntly, McDonald’s is going to need somebody slapping together those Big Macs regardless of whether they’re paying them $7/hr or $8/hr.) And, at least one recent study concluded that raising the minimum wage by $1/hr would boost consumer spending in the affected household by $2800 over the course of a year.

    In short, the upsides would certainly seem to outweigh the downsides.

  34. I cannot understand how these words like “intitutional, systematic change” becoming commonplace in a country where freedom was supposed to be a paramount. I am not heartless, I understand strife as well as the next. However, money will not come out of no where. If one does not have skills someone finds worth paying for than when does it become the problem of anyone but themselves. I feel for children brought into that situatiion. It is the greatest of tragidies, that aside who can be blamed if someone can not make ends meat. If i were a wolf and I chose never to hunt. To let my skills dull where wiil i be when my stomach is empty. Nature does not have the compasion we have as humans. I ask where does it end? I know that by raising mininum wage it will hurt the economy, I also think it hurts the principle that I will now be paying someone more than their work is worth to me. This shortchange will be passed on again, In the end every man who carries his own weight will carry the slack of someone he never met, who was too lazy or inept to carry it himself. At that point we might as well begin calling eachother comrade, because the line there will have become too blurry. Alas I come to soon.

    1. Might I suggest you sharpen your spelling skills; they seem to have dulled, comrade.

      And who are all these posting Darwinists? Are they the same people who want Creation taught in biology class?

  35. The comments on this post are ridiculous. Those people saying that minimum wage jobs are for high school students and young adults, are idiots. When the unemployment rate is high, and the only jobs that are available are minimum wage, that’s all you are going to find if you are unemployed, or get laid off from a non-minimum wage job. Then the people who say that the minimum wagers are lazy or need to make better life choices are ignorant. How can someone who hasn’t gone to college or whatever the reason for their lack of job skills/degrees, how are they going to find a job? The upper class jobs are not going to hire some shmuck who learned a few things from the internet or library. Just think about how stupid those comments are. “Hey dumbass, go read a book and you can make $25/hr programming computer applications.” Bullshit, i’m pretty sure that a majority of business aren’t going to hire anyone without a college degree.

  36. Liberals are too funny!
    Every one is entitled to their own opinion, no one is entitled to their own facts.

    Here is a fact. What is the average household income for a minmum wage worker in America? (at $5.15 per hr)

    Answer: $49,885

    Below 24 years of age it goes to:
    yep - $64,273

    Look it up!

    1. …. Where on earth are you getting $49,885? $5.15 x 40 x 52 is just over $10,000. It’s called math.

      And no, I’m not a liberal.

      1. average household income - compute?

      2. follow the link in the post below

  37. This thing is fairly inaccurate as a judge to how minimum wage factors into rent. What most of you fail to understand is that the FMR is a number brought around by the averages… that means HIGHS and lows… for the government to determine how much money to give towards people under section 8. If you look, you can find cheap places to live that will leave you plenty of money left over to cover utilities, food, car, insurance and still have money left over for the extra fluff. Sure, might not be in the best neighborhood, but at least you can afford it.

  38. Our technology has advanced in such a way that we (The World Collectively) have enough resources to feed, clothe and shelter everyone on the planet. Our technology has become so advanced that communication is extremely simple and information is easily obtainable. I don\’t think more MONEY is the solution. I think MONEY is the problem.

    Awaiting Negative Comments

  39. Someone said 250 isn’t enough for food in a month? What? If you’re single and don’t have kids you can easily get enough food for 30 dollars a week. And I also agree that it is stupid to not divide the rent in half. A two bedroom apartment is for two people. If you are a single parent, you should have thought about getting a good job before having kids. I live in a three bedroom apartment and I pay 450 per month and my roommates pay their share. Easy. Feels good man. I am also in college and pay for everything myself.

    1. Even though many others have pointed out the obvious to other people, I’ll do so here:

      It’s not uncommon for someone in a good position in life to have a child, and then later lose that good position. A single parent with a child is not a guarantee that person somehow made bad decisions. Sometimes one of the parents unexpectedly bails, leaving the one who stayed to try and piece together their lives. People lose their jobs. This isn’t an every-once-in-a-while situation. It’s very common. My mother had four children, no college degree, and an at-home hobby that took in money when my father deserted us for drugs, later ending up in jail. Do you know how much child support a woman in that situation gets? If the father is living on the streets, and/or in jail = none, or close to none. We lucked out being surrounded with family more than willing to help, and my mom just happens to be savvy enough to turn that hobby into an actual business, but not without a ton of help from her parents. Those who don’t have the familial support system (which can’t be their fault) or don’t have the immediate ability to start making money elsewhere, I feel for. You can be a perfectly responsible person, and then life slaps you upside the face and suddenly you’re struggling to keep your kids with a roof over their head in a minimum-wage job.

      Maybe something like that will happen to you one day, and you’ll look back on when you didn’t know any better and wish you hadn’t been so hard on the people who didn’t deserve their station in life but still fought really hard to care for themselves.

      1. Sadly, it’s useless to argue with him, Charlotte. He’d just blame your mother for marrying your father in the first place, when she obviously should have known better.

        The blame game is so much easier than actually solving problems.

  40. in fact, I just did the math for my state. If I worked 88 hours a month like the image says I “have to,” I would have 2000 dollars left after paying rent every month. Sorry but that’s just ridiculous.

    1. Try 88 hours a week, pal. You want to work a 12 hour day every day of the week, go for it. Some of us don’t think that should be necessary just to pay the bills.

  41. Ok, New Mexico was listed as one of the best states to live in per capita to hour ratio. I own my house, and I pay 675 a month on a 30 year loan in an artificially inflated price market due to high income foreign nationals that live here. However if I travel 35 minutes east, my house would cost me 1200 a month. If I travel 35 minutes south it would be 400 a month. If I travel an hour north-west, it would be about 500, and north east 1500. The cost of a house in a given area is directly proportional to the location, amenities, school systems, and available healthcare.
    With that being said, The economic factor of increasing the pay of an uneducated minimum wage worker because it is “fair” will only increase the cost of the services they provide to account for the increase cost to maintain them as employees. Yes, healthcare is normally not provided to these individuals, or if it is, a low employer match is usually involved.
    I am an educated professional, with two degrees that I had to work full time, and go to school full time to acquire. I spent years away from my family and friends to make this happen because success does not happen overnight. As an example both sides of my family, my great-grandfathers went in the great depression with next to nothing. One came out a millionaire by recycling and re-upholstering furniture (which was divided among his 13 children), The other created a company that is nearly 100 years old, and on its 5th generation.
    If you want to be successful, you must work at it. It is sacrifices, and struggles, and sometimes it is eating Ramen Noodles for a week so you can pay the bills. But in most other countries, you don’t leave home, several generations of families live together. We as a nation once a great production capital have relegated ourselves to a service industry because of the inherent laziness of our society. My hometown, once a production Mecca for the car industry, is a shell of its former glory. Because the Unions in the town would not budge on a $5 dollar more co-pay for medicine. What once had a population of 95,000 and an average income of $60,000 in the 80’s declined to 42,000 with an average of $38,000 today. We want to be handed life on a silver platter with the least amount of effort we can give. Make the change, stand up and don’t be one of the 99%.

    1. I hate to point out the obvious here, but from your own admission, you come from a well-to-do family. You say you spent time away from your family in order to earn what you have, but I have to ask, who financed your education?

      I agree that there are people who won’t work as hard as necessary. Those people absolutely exist, and probably too many of them exist. But it’s also true that somebody’s situation in life is a good indicator of what and whether they are going to accomplish. Those who will work really hard deserve what they have. But how many people with family money behind them “accomplish” things simply by being mediocre? If a poor person treated their life the exact same way, would they end up doing alright in life? Equality is the right for the choice to be mediocre and have mediocre results. As it stands now, mediocrity abounds within the children of the wealthy with no repercussions because their parents can soften the blow. To expect everyone who can’t cushion their own blow to just deal with the effects of not being the rare person who can fight their way to their top (not everyone can be on top, that should be obvious) is a little cruel when the same isn’t expected of the wealthy.

    2. You obviously learned nothing in school. Hope those degrees didn’t cost you too much.

  42. Seriously?? Living in Pittsburgh, working about 37 hrs/wk on minimum wage, I was able to rent a two bedroom house in a safe, middle class neighborhood. And that includes being able to afford paying my bills and my dog’s expenses. I don’t believe this graph at all.

    I get that it’s different for single parents, because their kids have a lot of expenses that need to be provided for. But this graph is suggesting that just a single person living alone would have to work that much. I’m not buying it. At least for Pennsylvania.

    1. When was this? 1982? Do you have 10 roommates? By Pittsburgh, do you really mean New Castle or Ellwood City?? Give me a break.
      Come to Philadelphia, you know, also in Pennsylvania, and see how well you and your dog do on minimum wage. Have fun taking him for walks at night in your super safe new neighborhood.

  43. 1/2 the children in the US are raised in single parent homes. Most of them are raised by women. Many of those don’t recieve child support. That’s why this is so important.

    1. But raising the minimum wage is not the solution to that problem.

  44. I make $100K per year and live in a 1 bedroom apartment. Why should 2-bedroom be the minimum requirement?

  45. This is absolutely true. Let’s not forget that you must have a near perfect credit score to obtain said apartment, especially in a decent neighborhood. Those of you speaking differently have never been in a situation like this, will never, and are speaking out of turn. It seems only more likely to live in the south, where housing is cheaper, but we’re still lacking in the job market. We are STILL the richest country, but we never want to take care of each other and still look for excuses not to help a fellow man in need. Working poor is real, always will be- those people don’t look for handouts. You should NEVER speak about someone else’s situation unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

  46. Do the following words enter your minds when you think of occupants of a two bedroom apt?
    Laid off
    Job Market
    Get off the single parent’s back. This not about her/him.

  47. If this is true, it really is sad.

  48. Hey Republicans and baggers… try dealing with things AS THEY ARE rather than constantly saying how things SHOULD be (by your standard).

    This means comments like “a single minimum wage earner shouldn’t have kids” are completely useless as it doesn’t deal with reality.

    Oh and another thing… EVERYONE IS NOT YOU! That means everyone doesn’t have your advantages, family, talent, luck and “education”. Try accepting people as they are rather than demanding everyone be just like you.

    I know reality has a liberal bias but you’re going to have to deal with it.

    1. I am sorry for you to go through life with liberal colored glasses. Life has an objective bias really. If someone needs food, housing, clothing they either need to create these things with thier own two hands or do something someone finds worth paying for. I am sorry the reality of the situation does not please liberal colored glasses, but I am lost to how the inadequacies of a stranger entitle him to the sweat of my brow. Which is what every social reform or government handout really is, which is what raising min wage or altering aspects of the apt marker would be. My friend please watch the road you walk, any freedom you hold dear might be at stake in that path.

      1. Rose colored glasses huh? Ok you cut off all support to 1/3 of our population and see what happens to you in your nice, safe, rich neighborhood.

        THAT’S reality.

      2. …Tell me you’re trolling. “Create housing with their own hands”? Really? Where are they supposed to build that house, and grow that food? A parking lot? Or are they just supposed to find some open land and turn into squatters? You have no idea what the price of property is, do you? Good GRIEF.

        As for “do something someone finds worth paying for”…that doesn’t even make sense. If you mean open a small business, you’re dreaming: small businesses have been going under for a decade now. As for what affordable housing has to do with “the sweat of your brow”, you’ve entirely lost me. You’re implying that minimum-wage workers all expect handouts from the government, which is complete B.S.

        I don’t know what kind of fantasy world you live in, but it must be nice there. The problem is that it’s just that: a fantasy.

  49. Let’s not debate things that require no debate, please.

    Minimum wage laws are a ploy that place on the lower classes making them believe that their respective politican is doing aomething in their favor. All they do is drive up prices as the market corrects itself.

    If one is unskilled enought o be working for minimum wage, then one should not have the need for a 2-bedroom. Nor a 1. They need a nice fancy studio. What’s that? You spawned a litter of children who can’t fit comfortably in a studio? Shouldn’t have made them!

    Burden not Columbia with thy chafe.

    1. I don’t even know how to enumerate all the things wrong with that statement. You, my friend, are a fool, and a privileged fool at that. I wonder what you would do if you were laid off and had no recourse but to find a minimum-wage job.

  50. To get away from the child debate for a moment - it’s not as if one bedroom apartments are half the cost. In most cases they are only marginally cheaper (and harder to find). Most apartment buildings are 90% two bedroom and 10% one bedroom or efficiency so there are more 2 bedroom units for rent. In my area a 2 bedroom goes for 950/mo and the singles are a paltry 875/mo. In either case working a 40 hour week (without the loss of taxes) at minimum wage requires over 2 weeks of pay. In today’s economy the companies that were paying 10-12 an hour have found they can hire people for 8-9 because there are no jobs.

  51. More Americans trying to live outside of their means

  52. Jason, $5.15/hour x 40 hrs/week x 52 weeks a year is $10,712.

    Your “average household income of a minimum wage worker” is an entirely different situation. To have an income of 40-50K, there is another wage earner: someone who is making a lot of money; a parent, a spouse.

    NOT the single wage-earner of the article.

    1. Federal minimum wage is $7.25. That’s another $84 a week, which totals to an additional $4368 a year.

      Furthermore, if you can’t find a decently paying job in your area…look elsewhere. We have cars, buses, planes…plenty of ways to move across the country. These arguments about how people have it hard make me livid because the reality is…it’s easy. Too easy, in fact, because people have reached the point at which they think it should be even easier.

  53. Good lord Steve! The narrow minded judgmental comments on this thread are incredibly steeped in stupidity!

    Perhaps the holders of such opinions cling to their mindsets as justification behavior to disregard the obvious.

    Kudos to you and this site for all you do!

  54. If you say that a low minimum wage is fine because it is for kids and beginners — do you realize that follows Marxist theory? “To each according to his needs”.
    It only works if you have a corresponding mechanism to create raises as the person gets more experience and/or has more need.
    And that runs afoul of the other principle, “equal pay for equal work”.

  55. Sorry, but in my opinion, if you have a minimum wage job and a child and you remain at that minimum wage job with no raises and haven’t found another job that pays better for an extended period of time, you’re to blame, not the system.

    Maybe you just got laid off because of “the economy” and your husband/wife walked out on you and left you with a kid. This is an extreme situation and you should seek help from friends or family, it is not the job of the government to ensure that every unlucky person is able to afford a two bedroom apartment. More likely, the situation is a result of poor planning/saving, and the generally fault lies in your own lap. I am sorry if this is your situation, I really am, but I am in no way responsible to fix it.

    1. You’re overlooking the fact that a great number of people don’t have family to seek help from. A situation so common can’t be called extreme, not anymore. As for saying a poor person’s situation falls in their own lap…you’ve got to be kidding me. How can you save money if you make so little? And it’s very, very easy to run through your savings if you lose your decent-paying job. You’ve obviously never been poor before: it’s a very vicious cycle that’s incredibly hard to break.

      Many of these minimum-wage jobs have little to no opportunity for promotion, but people are trapped in them because it’s so hard to find anything else. That you can claim it’s likely someone’s situation is their own fault tells me you’re extremely privileged and frankly somewhat ignorant about the real world.

  56. [...] “The We Party,” as far as I can tell, this seems pretty accurate. The point of this graphic is to highlight [...]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP ( doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP ( and so is spam.

  57. wow all of you need to shut up. the real issue here is that the working class do not make enough. the corporations keep getting greedier, the federal reserve keeps printing more money to make up for raised prices, and the gov can only do so much with out removing all of our rights and it becoming a communistic society. You want to fix things so your money is worth more ?

    then freakin evolve as a consumer and customer. and stop expecting the government to make prices cheaper or stop companies from charging more and driving up the inflation. It is YOUR job to tell the companies what you will and will not spend for their products!

    the fact that the minimum wage can afford so little reflects on all other wage brackets not being as much as the skills and abilities of the people who earn those wages. we all should be getting paid more, or stuff should be cheaper. but companies are always trying to push the boundaries, raising the prices of their products while trying to find ways to justify paying the people who make those products less and less.

    Just say no and opt out.

    1. I wouldn’t go as far as “communistic society,” but I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head.
      Trickle-down only works in the middle class, not for mega-corporations. Corporate welfare is the reason for welfare. Monopolies (which are created with assistance from the state) create poverty.
      We should be holding the government just as accountable as the global conglomerates. The more public sector money that is flushed away in bureaucracy and discreetly funneled into the largest corporate entities, the less we have for an efficient (non-monopolized) private sector where people can more easily earn what they need.
      Vote with your dollars, vote locally, and protest/boycott the centralization of power that shelters the greedy.

  58. The narrow minds taking what is a clear issue in this country and turning it into any other subject than the one at hand is standard radical conservative deflection.

    Just imagine what it will be like for those currently stuck at minimum wage because of massive job losses due to intentional mismanagement of the country by “Bubya”, and the effort of Republican pinheads trying to eliminate minimum wage (and child labor laws).

    The wheels are coming off the conservative juggernaut that began in the late 70′s as people realize just how radical they are and how bad they are for a 1st world country.

    In the meantime just chalk these clowns up to ignorant, Foxified, zombie race-baiters (if not racists). All they do is spew the same ol’ green-goo like a bad scene out of the Exorcist.

  59. I just find it funny how people have a hard time making money. If you work hard, do your job well, and act in a sociable manner, promotions and second jobs are easier to get.

    “Oh no, I have to work TWO jobs to pay my bills?” Suck it up, sweetheart. This is the real world that you live in, not some hand-holding planet of peace, love, and prosperity. It blows my mind that we have it SO MUCH EASIER than basically every generation before us, but we still manage to complain about how hard life is this much.

    Seriously, people…be adults, and stop thinking other people are going to care about your problems.

    1. Promotions are easier to get? Only if you are fortunate enough to work for a very good company. Most corporations treat their lower-level employees like shit, and do everything they can to keep wage costs down. It’s corporate greed.

  60. Everyone is focusing on the wage, but the other part of this equation is rent. Rent is poor people’s money going to rich property owners. With so many foreclosures, more people need to rent and rents have gone UP, despite people’s inability to pay. We need to look for solutions here. Does your city allow cooperative housing to be built? Can unrelated people buy a house together? Are there programs to help people find shared housing? Expanding households, and the definition of a household, can have positive effects but often cities create artificial barriers to shared living arrangements.

  61. What? 175 hours for a two-bedroom apartment in Hawaii? There are only 168 hours in a week. . . .

  62. That’s what you get for your unconditional support of the two corporate-funded parties.

    The Green Party is the non-corporate alternative. They don’t accept corporate money and they represent the 99%.

    Your Green vote sends a message to the corporate politicians that selling out the people to the 1% will cost them votes.

    And this message is sent even if the Green you vote for loses.


  63. THIS is why you have so many people on section 8, welfare, foodstamps…it\’s easier to let the government pay and stay home with your children than to work your ass off, have to pay for childcare in the case of the single parent, and NOT see your children. In my area, I am making more than the 80% average according to statistics. Factor in the loans I had to get for my education, being a single parent who gets NO child support of any kind, and having to start over from a divorce, even *I* struggle at times and cannot believe there are people living off minimum wage.

  64. Any time the conversation turns to economics, you see hostility directed at people who have the audacity to make a case for their own value and advocate for their own best interests. Apparently we are supposed to just blindly and gratefully accept whatever value and working conditions the Holy Free Market chooses to bestow upon us. But how about this: If the Holy Free Market hasn’t bestowed enough success upon a business to enable it to pay a living wage, it has no business hiring and expecting employees to subsidize its underperformance.

  65. Another problem a lot of you are overlooking is that people who have to work 80 hours a week just to afford basic needs aren’t spending their money on anything else such as luxury goods.

    businesses can’t stay afloat for very long if nobody can afford to buy their goods. The more people that have spending power, the better the economy will become.

  66. Has no one thought that maybe getting the economy on the right track again and moving jobs and money back into the private sector could maybe lower housing costs? Minimum wage raises will provide more tax revenue as goods and services continue to rise (due to more taxes) and people will become even more dependent on entitlements, it would seem to me. That wouldn’t be bad, necessarily, as long as it’s efficiently run, but… just sayin…

  67. 160 hours a month at minimum wage is easily enough for a cheap 2 bedroom apartment here. These scientists need to check their hypotenuses.

    1. The chart reflects average priced apts, not cheap ones. It’s without logic.

  68. [...] Work Week Enough to Afford a 2-Bdr Apartment Posted at 10:15 on May 30, 2012 by Via “The We Party,” as far as I can tell, this seems pretty accurate. The point of this graphic [...]

  69. [...] on rent affordability, the National Low Income Housing Coalition released a chart that’s been floating around the Internet. It shows that there isn’t a single state in the country where it’s possible to work 40 hours [...]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP ( doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP ( and so is spam.

  70. The chart is wrong, and intentionally skewed to a biased. And only a few here have looked past all the rhetoric to see it.

    FMR is an average of ALL properties surveyed. What this means is that, the average renter, requiring a two bedroom unit, should be a le to afford it. The charts creator chooses, instead, to apply the lowest 10% of the workforce to the middle 50% of rental units.

    It is a Liberally skewed graphic, posted on a Liberally skewed website. The creator has a political agenda. I do not say this because I am a conservative (because I’m not, I’m a moderate) I am simply stating FACT. As someone above stated, the chart compares apples to oranges.

    You guys and girls can argue all you want over minimum wage, social programs, hard work or whatever else floats your boats. I’m not going to get involved. But don’t follow ANYONE’S agenda on blind faith alone. Look at both sides, do your own research and THINK for yourself instead of following any of these organizations that clearly have a bias and agenda. This is how this once great nation has become so polarized and disfunctional.

    1. You just debunked the chart. Thanks to you and shame on people that uncritically swallowed it whole.

    2. You said that much better than I did. Agreed.

  71. You can’t afford a two-bedroom apartment on a single minimum wage, 40-hour-per week income?

    No problem. You have several great options:

    1. Work more than 40 hours per week.
    2. Get a higher-paying job.
    3. Get a 1 bedroom apartment.
    4. Get a roommate.
    5. Get married/dual income
    6. Hope ‘n’ change
    7. Other

    Why should we necessarily expect a solitary minimum wage, 40-hour-per week income to make a 2-bedroom apartment easily affordable?

  72. it would be advantageous for all if so many would come to the realization that the world doesn’t owe them anything, certainly not a living or a 2 bedroom apartment.

  73. In other news, in no state is a 40 hour, minimum-wage work week enough to afford a Lamborghini.

  74. [...] “The We Party,” Minimum wage is not enough for a person to live on in this country, let alone a [...]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP ( doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP ( and so is spam.

  75. [...] = $638.00 (source: HUD via the We Party Patriots and Top 200 US Cities Rental [...]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP ( doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP ( and so is spam.

  76. Up to 4 Million+ EUC08 Claimants Nationwide have been hurt due to the Department of Labor Published EUC08 Guideline Errors that affect the $40 Billion+ Unemployment Trust Fund:​investigatetheeuc08errors

    Whether the Ui Rate rises or falls…The President and Congress really screwed the unemployed by watering down the benefits too early, so the Ui numbers and rate LOOK GOOD before the election this Fall. It is no coincidence that the numbers keep dropping and are designed to do so to make it look like a neat little resolved “problem” that wrapped up just as Mr. Hope and Change finishes out the term. This works well because people have RUN OUT of AID and are no longer counted, as unemployed even though they are out of work, The BLS does not count you as UNEMPLOYED, if you are a “discouraged worker”. Really?

    Put that information together with the published DOL ERRORS in EUC08 Implementation, that force claimants to serve out older and terminated EUC Accounts until full exhaustion before being “allowed” to be eligible for the most recent benefit years claim, and you can see that the Feds are really doing a number on the people suffering the most from the global economic mess THEY CREATED. The US Government refuses to investigate a historic “policy” mistake that THEY made in 2008. THEY expect people to appeal this problem away themselves, despite clear evidence that this affects the Adjudication Process as well (the ERRORS).

    This is why I started this page to try to EXPOSE the ERRORS that the US Government is using to harm and control the unemployed while subverting the Recovery Act to make sure Struggling Workers and Families get LESS ARRA MONEY than they are owed by LAW. The Evidence PROVING this is found here, based on an appeal case I won that exposed this problem (CUIAB A0-265448):​investigatetheeuc08errors

  77. Why would a ‘minimum’ wage worker be able to afford a ‘median’ priced apartment?
    The minimum wage is too low, but this graphic follows no logic. I bet in almost every state a ‘minimum’ wage worker can afford an apt at the ‘minimum’ market rent in that area. It’s like saying middle class workers cannot afford to have houses in gated communities with a golf course and a pool in the back yard. Being disingenuous does not help to solve the problem, it just gives fuel to the idiots that want to keep the poor, poor.

  78. I have worked two jobs (about 60 hours a week) while going to college full time. I was getting about five hours of sleep a night, my grades started to slip, and I never saw my daughter when she was awake. So, I quit one job to work at one full time. We have to make due with less but it works.

    I live with my partner and 18 month daughter near a major university which my partner is attending full time. I A decent two bedroom is $750 a month and you usually have to at least pay electric. We pay $200 a month for the lease on our car. Daycare was $125 a week before we managed to get vouchers after waiting for over a year. Thankfully the city bus is free to students with current college ID… which is how I get around. A full tank of gas in our car usually costs around $40 and lasts a week if we’re lucky. My yearly income falls right around what is considered the “poverty line” every year.

    My partner and I are trying to get an education and improve our lives while raising our daughter… which is not uncommon for a lot of students in the US. However, raising the minimum wage won’t do anything to improve my life. My employer will either fire people to cover the extra expense or raise prices and potentially drive customers away.

  79. @RightKlik’s “Get a higher-paying job”… Thanks for the advice. I’ll get right on that. Unfortunately you need a college education to do that… wait… nevermind… I know people that do have college degrees in varying majors from a major university who can\’t find “higher-paying jobs” and are stuck working at or slightly above minimum wage.

    It must be nice to live in a bubble where the complex aspects of human survival are easily summed up in a simple list. Those of us living in the real world don’t have that luxury. We’re busy working two jobs and sleeping for a few hours so that we’re fresh for our next forty hours of work in three days to make such unrealistic and egotistical lists.

    1. well just train for a real job,, one that actually builds or fixes something tangible, not ethereal. As a general contractor i am amazed at how many of the trades for home repair, maintenance, etc is only filled by illegals. their only qualification is that no one legal is willing to learn or do the work. sad to say but making money actually requires sweat, and i know that terrifies you libtards and their offspring. just remember there is always foodstamps and housing

  80. [...] on rent affordability, the National Low Income Housing Coalition released a chart that’s been floating around the Internet. It shows that there isn’t a single state in the country where it’s possible to work 40 hours [...]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP ( doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP ( and so is spam.

  81. Everyone who argues against this is a Republican, a Tea-Party member, or a fool.
    You pass laws to protect the embryo than do nothing after it survives and needs help. Bible thumping hypocrites.

  82. I had the same problem in the 1970′s. and in the 1980′s and the 1990′s. Rent has ALWAYS been more than twice the amount of minimum wage.

    Glad the young have finally complained en masse.

    Remember this: The seniors support Occupy!

  83. You’d have to go all the way back to the reign of Augustus to find an instance when conservatives were on the right side of history — and even that’s stretching it.

    So why do we ever pay any attention to anything they say?

  84. I would be very interested to know how many of the dark blue states are Democratic controlled,and what the ratio of welfare recipients iss in those states is.

  85. Utterly stupid argument. First of all, I doubt there’s ever been a time at which a person with a minimum wage job could afford a two bedroom apartment. Back when I had minimum-wage jobs, we had this technique called “roommates” that let two people with minimum-wage jobs share a two-bedroom apartment.

    Second, and more importantly, make jobs more expensive and there are fewer of them. If there’s anything that makes it even harder to afford a two-bedroom apartment, it’s unemployment.

  86. first off things happen such as deaths and divorce causing single parent homes second if the government would halt all illegal immigrants and giving them all our housing away free to them taken from us American Citizens as well as our jobs or sending our jobs over seas then maybe things would be different. everything is going up such as housing,food clothing,medical,dental.andetc BUT NOT the Minimum wages why? the banks steel from the american citizens and the government wont put a stop to it apartments being sold as condos slumlords getting federal funding such as hud housing they don’t care as long as they get the money to put into their own pockets they could care less if we have more and more homeless. stop wasting the funding on such as hud housing!! stop with Illegal immigrants stop with selling apartments as condos we need rent control and higher wages

  87. I fail to see how the information presented by the author supports the author’s conclusion that the minimum wage is too low.

    With few execptions, people who work in minimum wage jobs are not homeless. They may not have a two bedroom apartment of their own, but they have places to live. It seems arbitrary to choose a two-bedroom apartment as the standard.

    Also note that there is a slight positive corelation between the minimum wage of a state and the number of hours needed to rent a two bedroom apartment. Generally, the higher the minimum wage, the more hours needed to rent a two bedroom apartment in that state. Again, the information presented by the author does not support the conclusion.

    Wages need to reflect the value the employee bring to the organization where they work. Their wage rate should not be based on how many kids they have, how many bedrooms they need or want, their parental status, or their marital status. It should reflect the value and benefit their skills provide their empolyer.

  88. Minimum wage was never meant to raise a family on. It’s the bare minimum. It’s meant for high school teens and college students. If you don’t like minimum wage don’t take the job.

  89. [...] headline is eyecatching: “WOW: In No State Is a 40-Hour, Minimum Wage Work Week Enough to Afford a Two-Bedroom [...]

Leave a Reply

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image