Besides rent, the government generally gets the next largest take on the lowest earners check but repealing the payroll tax, the most regressive tax in the country is always a non-starter. What gives?
As someone who has moved from restaurant jobs (from service to management) then to IT engineering jobs in 5 years time, I can tell you that there are plenty of broke people making far more than $15 an hour. I can also state, as a fact, that there are plenty of people who earn $15 an hour from their jobs and can sometimes double that with income from other sources, public or other wise. The picture isn’t as bleak as you paint it, down the line math is rarely the entire story.
I’ve seen people who earn $12 an hour with more money than people earning $75k a year. I’ve seen people who earn $12 an hour with $400 a month car payments and people who earn six figures buy cars that are ten years old. The problem really isn’t wages, just like the problem with my grocery department manager’s excess inventory wasn’t a lack of back room space. Like I told him, “If I gave you the entire back stock area for just your groceries, you would still run out of room!” For most people, it doesnt matter how much money they earn, within reason of course, they are going to spend more than they have.