Saturday, August 21, 2010

After watching a documentary...

about the evils of Wal-Mart - it was a preaching to the choir documentary though I was glad to see they represented various sides of the socio/economic/political spectrum - I decided to figure something out;  How much can a person - namely me - working 40 hours a week at minimum wage - $7.25 make ends meet?  I'm not going to factor in what I get in grants and loans from the government for going to school and work study, I'm going to pretend that I only have a $7.25 an hour job and look at how that pay covers my monthly expenses if I lived without any bells or whistles - i.e. beer & smokes, cable internet, Jack in the Box, XBOX Live, Netflix, etc. I am going to - for argument's sake  - pretend I have health insurance.

  • Rent:  $500 (Moxie doesn't chip in for rent)
  • Electricity: $100 avg
  • Cell phone: $40
  • Groceries (for me and Moxie):  $200 (I know it seems like a lot but this is all of my meals for the month...assuming I three square a day it at home)
  • Utilities: $20
  • Credit card minimum payment: $150
  • Health insurance: $100
Now if I work a full 40 hours a week at $7.25 my monthly take home pay (80 hours minus 20% for misc taxes and Social Security) is roughly $928.00.  My monthly expenses are $1110.  Hmmm...seems like I'm $182 short. Well...huh.  I could stop paying my credit card debt.  Shit, I'm still $32 short.  Huh.  Well, I never really get sick so...look I have an "extra" $68 by cancelling health insurance!  Boo-yah Jack in the Box here I come!

I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this exercise (besides being depressing).  I guess over the last few years my opinions and viewpoints have shifted - some greatly, some not so much.  I used to soapbox about exploiters of welfare and the damned lazy poor, etc. etc. but well I'm pretty much living my life on government handouts.  Sure I could be smart and tighten my belt and budget and pull myself up by my bootstraps.  It might not be a bad thing if I didn't have the internet or a phone, I might read a book or spend more time in the library (on the internet) or I might be a better person and spend my time helping those who are worse off than me.  All of this is something I've had on my mind and it has played into my - admittedly ignorant - political views.  I'm still thinking about stuff so please don't go troll on this post but I would love to hear some of your thoughts.

Hope you and yours are well, safe, happy, and had something good to eat today.

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