American Public Media’s Marketplace segment yesterday, High Rents, Low Income, included a succinct segment describing the gap between what is an acceptable hourly wage in the US compared to monthly rent rates. The two don’t match up, and something has to give. The options individuals and families are left with include skimping on essentials like health insurance and healthy food, or as a last resort, homelessness. At the community level, businesses and lawmakers should take note of who is leaving and when, taking with them their contribution to the local economy as well as the social fabric.
Some may argue that such problems are a result of laziness, but as the map above shows, 8 days a week still wouldn’t be enough to cover the rent at minimum wage in any state.