Synthesis Essay

Topics: Poverty, Jonathan Swift, Satire Pages: 2 (623 words) Published: October 30, 2012
Minimum Wage
For years there has been disagreement over whether the minimum wage should be raised or not. Some believe that by raising the minimum wage, many Americans would be able to rise above the poverty line and have access to their dream. Others disagree saying that raising the minimum wage would only make it more difficult for businesses to pay workers and people would lose incentive to work hard. The only just choice is to raise the minimum wage so that hard working Americans can exceed the poverty line and live a less stressful life.

Many Americans work multiple jobs at minimum wage and only manage to barley scrape by. In Barbara Ehrenreich’s work of fiction called Serving in Florida, she describes the struggles of an average waitress trying to survive a minimum wage job. In this work, the speaker reveals how workers are not allowed breaks and “for six to eight hours in a row, you never sit except to pee” (pg. 3). She also talks about the physical pain she’s in from carrying trays saying “I start tossing back drugstore-brand ibuprofens as if they were vitamin C” (p.4). Even with all this painstaking work, the speaker can only afford to live in a dingy trailer park because she is working off of minimum wage. As shown by the chart titled Poverty Rate Rises, the number of people living below the poverty line in 2010 was 15.1% and it continues to increase. People are working hard as shown in Ehrenreich’s Serving in Florida, yet many are unable to rise above the poverty line because minimum wage is too low.

The gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen, and nothing helpful is being done to end this. In the satire titled “Gap Between Rich and Poor Named 8th Wonder of the World”, the author shows his disapproval of the gap through sarcasm. The author describes how many people have attempted to cross the gap but “only a small fraction have ever succeeded and many have died in the attempt” (para. 11). This sarcastic quote brings out the point...
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