DFL Rep. Jason Metsa seeks to understand poverty by living on minimum wage... for a week
Rep. Metsa is preparing to endure "an economic situation most of us have never been exposed to" -- namely, being broke for a week.
As the legislature considers raising Minnesota's minimum wage, Rep. Jason Metsa, D-Virginia, wants to better understand what life is like for the working poor. So he's pledged to live on the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour... for a whole week.
That should be just enough time to get mildly sick of Hot Pockets, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and, if he's got enough dough left over to treat himself, the McDonald's dollar menu.
In a Working America press release about Metsa's acceptance of the "Minimum Wage Challenge," he says: "I can't possibly know the reality of the day-to-day struggles faced by people living on minimum wage... But as [a minimum wage increase] is considered by my fellow lawmakers, this is an attempt to better understand an economic situation most of us have never been exposed to."
The release also provides some specifics about the challenge:
Using the JOBS NOW Coalition's cost-of-living expenses breakdown for an individual with no children living on minimum wage, Metsa will spend the week going to work, planning a budget, grocery shopping, meeting with constituents and figuring out how to budget his transportation costs. His experiences will be documented through regular updates on social media and elsewhere.
In other words, he'll be riding the bus (maybe) and eating cheap food. Welcome to my world, dude.
But in all seriousness, we applaud any attempt made by a legislator to better understand the plight of the working poor, even when they are somewhat half-assed.
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