By: Anna Gomenyuk
Take a few minutes to put yourself in these shoes: you’re working a full time job, more than 40 hours a week, getting paid minimum wage. You go grocery shopping buying the cheaper items and using coupons because you cannot afford to spend a lot, but need to put food on the table for your family. All bills and rent must be paid. By the end of the week, you know that you will have no money left in your bank account until the next paycheck comes, which will again be used to pay for something else. It’s a struggle to make ends meet. Unfortunately, this is the reality for millions of Americans today.
Above is a chart showing the Poverty Line for 2009-2010. For anyone with an income below the guidelines is considered poor. However, people having an income above the poverty guideline are struggling just as much and receive no help from the government. They work from pay check to pay check in order to support themselves and their families. Studies show that one out of every three families is low-income. The sad thing is that America is only increasing in the number of working poor. Since the recession began in 2007, millions of Americans have been laid off, received cut in pay, reduction in hours and were replaced as part time workers at their full time jobs.
There are many misconceptions that the working poor are not trying hard enough or are lazy. However, that is not the case. They work very hard to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table. The government needs to understand that these people need financial help and things must change for them.