By Allison Linn, Staff Writer, NBC News
Crystal Dupont knows what it’s like to try to live on the federal minimum wage.
Dupont has no health insurance, so she hasn’t seen a doctor in two years. She’s behind on her car payments and has taken out pawn shop and payday loans to cover other monthly expenses. She eats beans and oatmeal when her food budget gets low.
When she got her tax refund recently, she used the money to get ahead on her light bill.
“I try to live within my means, but sometimes you just can’t,” said Dupont, 25. The Houston resident works 30 to 40 hours a week taking customer service calls, earning between $7.25 and $8 an hour. That came to about $15,000 last year.
It’s a wage she’s lived on for a while now, but just barely.
About 3.6 million Americans were earning at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour in 2012, and those weren’t all high school students flipping burgers.
About half of them were 25 or older, a little more than one-third were working full time and a little less than three-fourths had graduated from high school, according to the most recent government data.
A person working full time for minimum wage would take home an annual salary of $15,080. That’s a shade higher than the poverty threshold for a household containing two adults, and about $8,000 less than the poverty line for a family of four…
While the Fat Cats get Fatter, The People Scrape the bottom of the Bowl Harder. Shame.