30 Days - Ep. 01

30 Days - Ep. 01
Originally uploaded by duckydale.
This is like a world-class documentary series on FX; How'd HBO miss out on this was my first question after watching last night's premiere episode in which the Super-Size Me master and his vegan chef fiance headed to the slums of Columbus, OH to live on minimum wage for thirty days. Thirty Days Folks, thats a long time to be working multiple jobs, suffering without creature comforts like furniture or a bus pass and co-habitating with swarms of ants.

The most humbling and sobering moments of the show are courtesy of their local ER. Twice in one day our two heroes are sent to the Emergency Room for ailments because they cannot afford health care nor can they go any longer without treatment. Vegan Chef comes down with a nasty urinary infection and has to recieve medication not to mention miss out on work which drops their measly earnings into the red. That night after Morgan's ailing wrist becomes grossly enflamed and misshapen he too must make a trip to Rape Central. By episode's end we find out that for her to enter the ER it was a flat $300 then expenses added on. For Morgan, it was a flat fee of $500 to walk in and they screwed him for an ace bandage which cost $60. What? It really enraged me to see how the healthcare system exploits people and continues to thrive on the misfortune of its clientele. In total they had over $1,200 in medical expenses for one day and neither of them were suffering from what would be considered "major" health issues. They estimated that with their current minimum wage jobs it would take them over 3 months to pay the medical bills and that was with the fear of falling behind on their other bills.

It's disgusting and revolutionarily frightening to see how easily minimum wage workers and families can lose everything and never come out on top. These two were white citizens with college educations living on the wrong side of the tracks in what was once a squaters den above a crack house, working three jobs (sometimes 18 hours a day), that almost had a breakdown when dinner cost $20! It's sickening. They ended their 30 day stint almost $1,500 in debt. That is fucking reality folks.


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