Wanda - Emily Leung Alma Castro/Veronica Johnson Friday...

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Emily Leung Alma Castro/Veronica Johnson Friday Section 4 (11:15-12:05) Low-Wage Living “One out of every four families in America is considered low-income, living paycheck to paycheck, often without health care or a real opportunity for advancement.” (Weisberg). A clear example of a family struggling because of her income is the nursing assistant, Wanda. Wanda is a single mother who has two children, and is working around thirty-two hours per week at an hourly wage of ten dollars for fifty-two weeks. On weekends, she is working sixteen hours for an additional dollar fifty. Through all of the calculations, Wanda gets to take home $15,564 out of the $17,264 dollars she makes. After some more calculations, her monthly balance is $1,297; her bill payment is roughly around $2,000, and for Wanda to fulfill some goals she would need to make about $3,000 per month. From Wanda’s perspective her agency, the ability to make choices, is conflicted with her social structure. Therefore it is hard for Wanda to improve her overall situation, but it is not impossible to get out and reach the “American dream”. There are many different ways one can make a living situation better, and for Wanda it varies. Based on the book, Nickel and Dimed: on (not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich, it demonstrates the difficulties to survive on a minimum-wage income in different locations such as Florida, Maine, and Minnesota. But even living on a minimum wage Ehrenreich started off with more than the average person.
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Ehrenreich had start up money, a vehicle, and a college education. Unfortunately for Wanda, she does not have that privilege or luxury. In Wanda’s situation she can barely afford treating her two children to Friendly’s once a month (Clawson 2009). However, there are some possible paths Wanda can try to improve her situation. Based on an in class discussion about Wanda’s budget, the total of her expenses were well over her monthly income. The most expensive cost in Wanda’s situation was housing, and
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Wanda - Emily Leung Alma Castro/Veronica Johnson Friday...

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