Poverty – 30 Days: Living on Minimum Wage
The television show 30 Days: Living on Minimum Wage is a heart-wrenching peek into
the life that millions of Americans experience everyday. You will learn how difficult it
is, not only financially, but also emotionally and physically to live on minimum wage.
Watch the show as a group.
Submit written answers, totaling to two pages, to two of the questions. Credit will be given
based on a clear demonstration of effort and thoughtfulness. Be prepared to talk about all
1. Discuss how Morgan and Alex’s outlook on the possibilities of earning the needed
$1,000 per month changed as the show progressed.
2. What would it feel like to not have enough money to be able to eat whenever you
wanted to? How would you handle the stress of living on minimum wage? How do you think
you would feel if you could not go to the doctor when you were sick? Or someone you love
could not get the medicine they need to get better?
3. What were the three points that Senator Kennedy was trying to make about the
benefits of increasing the minimum wage?
4. How did you feel when you saw that the minimum wage has not gone up since 1997,
but Congress has given themselves $27,000 in raises since that time? On your own do some
research to find what’s happened to the minimum wage since 1997.
5. Discuss options for people living on minimum wage in <community>- where can
they go for help?
6. What effect does working such long, exhausting hours have on Morgan’s and Alex’s
7. Discuss the stresses that are prevalent in working poor families:
Lack of healthcare services
Unsafe housing for family
Arguments about money and spending habits
8. How did it feel for Alex when she discussed feeling so alone and isolated from the
world around her?