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11 January 2007

Oklahoma family needs: $33,000

Life at America's bottom wage
The House is to (did) vote Wednesday on a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

In an unrelated ("UNrelated, my rear-end," says Bogaulaire over my left shoulder. "Look at my sidebar, my profile, idiot!")

Okay: Two days ago. in an article unconnected to anything else posted immediately above or below in this column, The Christian Science Monitor ran staff writer Mark Trumbull's fine piece about living on the minimum wage in the US, and I quote the copyeditor in the title:

"Oklahoma family's needs: $33,000"

Oklahoma doesn't have high living costs, compared with some other states. But to cover the basic needs of a family of four here (the Hosiers, are the example) typically requires an income of more than $33,000, according to an online budget calculator created by the liberal Economic Policy Institute in Washington.

At $5.15 an hour, it would take three full-time jobs for a family to earn that much.Many minimum-wage workers, it's true, don't have children. Often they are young people on their first job.

But the Hosier family is not unusual.

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