In every thread about the poor on this site, arguments about how the people making minimum wage are uneducated and thus don't deserve to be paid more than a wage that keeps them in poverty. Well, let me tell you a bit of my personal history. My mother worked at a fairly good job when she was pregnant with me. She went in for an ultrasound one day, the tech found an abnormality, so they ordered an amniocentesis. Those tests came back that I had one of the two conditions I was born with, the second one was not discovered until after I was born. My mom's bosses fired her in her third trimester when they found out she was pregnant with a child that would cause her to lose a lot of work and their insurance premiums to go up because of all the care I was likely to need. Of course, my mom could have fought them in court, but didn't make enough to hire a lawyer and made too little to afford legal aid. When I was born, within four days, I had my first surgery, a brain surgery. A few months later, it was determined that I had cerebral palsy. Thus, I spent most of my first three years on road trips between Green Bay and either UW Hospital in Madison or Children's Hospital in Milwaukee. My mom thus was not able to hold down a job as a single parent of a child needing monthly trips to the hospitals in a bigger city. But for the SSI payments I was getting, and the Medicaid that came with it, my mother would have gone bankrupt before I was two. In addition, in order to keep the SSI and Medicaid, my mom had to have a low enough income. Not wanting me to be without the Medicaid, she had no choice but to work minimum wage jobs. My mom did not start working a job befitting her skills until I was in high school, even then, she couldn't show her true capacity, if she did, she risked being promoted too fast and putting my Medicaid at risk, her company didn't offer a comparably cheap medical insurance. When I was 16, I was going through severe depression at the same time my grandfather was dying of cancer. He passed away in the fall, and I was basically railroaded into moving in with my grandmother to help her with her depression, my aunts and uncles weren't up to helping and still aren't. By this time, my mom had a good job, but ended up having to help with two households, hers and my grandmother's. She wanted to maintain her independence, but couldn't after a while and had to move in with my grandmother to save costs. In the end, my grandmother got sick, and now my mother spends most of her time taking care of her now. She used to work in a nursing home, but since my grandma's health continued to worsen, my mother couldn't handle working forty hours a week on nights and then coming home and spending another over forty hours caring for her mom. I helped when I lived there, but I was doing most of the housework in between school and trying to find a job. My mother's story is not unique in the United States. Many parents are unable to balance working with caring for their children and when they do get back into the workforce when the kid is in school, I would guess in order to not have to incur an extra expense of a day care or a babysitter, need to be able to work solely during the time their child is in school. That leaves part-time work their only option, and part-time work is almost inadvertently work that is paid at a rate that prevents them from being able to escape poverty. When they get back into the workforce, they are more likely to reenter the workforce at a lower pay-rate than they had when they left the workforce before they had kids.