In the book Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich, she discovers what it is like to live with a minimum wage paying job. She discovers many different struggles during this time, but in this blog I am focusing on her deffiniton of poverty. According to the U.S. census in 2015 the amount of money made by one person to determine if they were poor or beneath the poverty line was 12,331 dollars (census.gov). This is not a lot of money even to be considered poor.
As Barbara Ehrenreich finds out, it is almost impossible to live your life with a minimum wage job, but that is not the only thing that she feels comes with being poor. She finds that's she is constantly struggling with many things. The one that she brings up most constantly is pain. She is always sore and has to take a ton of pain drugs to help her get through the he day: "I start tossing back drugstore-brand ibuprofens as if they were vitamin C" (33). She is always feeling down, but knows she has to battle through it in order to keep living paycheck to paycheck. It's not only the physical pain, but also the mental pain. She never gets a rest and that wears her down mentally as well. At the end of her time working in Florida she just leaves her job: "I leave. I don't walk out, I just leave" (48). At this point she can't take it anymore and has to just walk away she is so burned out. So not only is it almost impossible to live on a minimum wage job, but it is almost impossible to cope with the struggles of everyday life and that is what she adds to her definition of being poor.