I Am Making $8 an Hour

I am 42 years old. I was 18 when I started to work at Taco Bells. When I joined I had big dreams. The promised me if you work hard in a couple of years you will be store manager. 24 years later I am still making tacos in the kitchen.


I have two lovely daughters and a beautiful wife. I am making with overtime about $1000, we are lucky we can afford our trailer park home.  I make barely enough to put food on table. If I wanted to earn the same amount our CEO makes a year, I would need to work for 930 years. Or to put it in perspective, 930 Taco Bells workers combined earn what the CEO makes.

The issue is that over the years I started to get into debt. I did not use the money I borrowed for fancy cars a new home, or exotic holidays. I just used to buy food so we can survive. However, our debt starts to hunt us. Recently we started to get pretty nasty letters from all those evil debt collection agencies. I am scared to lose my trailer park. I have no place else I could take my family. We took out so many loans because we had no money, after paying back we have even less money to survive, it’s a vicious circle.


In the years I worked so hard for Tacos Bells I stopped believing in the American Dream. When my parents grew up it was still possible for everyone to make it big, but I feel like for my generation no matter how hard you work, it’s virtually impossible to make a decent salary. I know so many people around me who are facing the same challenges. Higher education got to expensive to be affordable for working class people like us. My family never had that kind of money that would allow me to go to University; However, for me it’s even more difficult to pay for any higher education of our two daughters.

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The only chance to break the cycle of poverty is education, but we are locked in poverty. The only way for us to escape poverty would be winning the lottery, but the chances are as we all know pretty low.

I have friends who escaped their debt nightmare by getting a new identity. But I think it’s pretty crazy to life under a new assumed identity. But it might be worth it if someone gets a new identity legally to start over.

I am not a socialist or even worse a communist, but I think all people in society should have a fair chance to make it big, even if they come from a poor social back round.

In many European countries young people from all social backgrounds are given the chance to have a decent education and get a job later in life that actually pays a fair salary. Wealth in the US is very uneven distributed in society.


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