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Summary: This is the first episode of Morgan Spurlock's (creator of Supersize Me) show, 30 Days. In this epdisode, Spurlock and his fiancee spend 30 days living on minimum wage. They begin the experience with a week's pay ($178 in 2005 dollars, after taxes) and start looking for an apartment (they find a dilapidated apartment in a bad neighborhood) and jobs. The show covers their experiences on minimum wage, including battling hunger, navigating the unreliable bus system, issues of neighborhood safety, the physical and emotional stresses of minimum wage work, difficult budgeting decisions, dealing with no health insurance, the hidden costs of poverty (e.g. paying deposits not charged to others), and challenges finding affordable activities for kids and family. Throughout the video, it also briefly explores the structural conditions shaping these experiences: the meaning behind the minimum wage, debates around increasing the minimum wage, programs for the working poor, and the relationship between family structure and poverty. When using this in class, you may note that the minimum wage has increased since the filming of this video.
Submitted By: Paul Dean