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Overheard at a Coffee Shop: A Realistic View of the Quality of Jobs Available in America

Today I was sitting at a coffee shop and sadly overheard this from a fellow coffee shop patron today: “I keep hearing on the news about all these new jobs that have been created. I know all about that. I have THREE of those jobs and need all three of them just to keep my apartment.” The middle aged man went on to discuss how difficult getting ahead is with the wages available to him and how he wishes he only had to have “one of those jobs.”

It is a sad testament to the fact that one job is not enough. It brings me back to a Belgian man studying at Columbia University who I met circa 2009. He asked what I could possibly mean when I referred to “the working poor” in my presentation. This was a foreign concept to him.

Understandably as, indeed, it is quite an oxymoron. If you work full time, it should be enough to feed, clothe and house your family.

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