30 Days

Season 1 Episode 1

Minimum Wage

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jun 15, 2005 on Planet Green



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Morgan Spurlock: I encourage you, and I challenge you to let your guard down, to strip away your life, and to put yourself in the situation of someone else because you will be changed. You will walk out of this experience a different person, a much more understanding person, hopefully a much more caring person, and you will be affected like I've been affected, and I'm better for it. I'm better for being here, so I'll see you.

    • Alexandra Jamieson: You know, I love this country and I love the people here, and I feel like Americans can do a lot better. We can treat our citizens better than this.

    • Morgan Spurlock: We don't see the people that surround us. We don't see the people who are struggling to get by that are right next to us. And I have seen how hard the struggle is. I have been here. And I only did it for a month, and there's people who do this their whole lives.

    • Alexandra Jamieson: Even if you are among the "working poor", and working two jobs at even above minimum wage, you're still just barely gonna make it, and God forbid anything happen to you. It's really, really, really hard.

    • Morgan Spurlock: Do I just say "Screw it"? Do I throw caution to the wind and just say I'm going to take one of my day's salary and take Alex out for her birthday? I have to. It's her birthday.

    • Alexandra Jamieson: It's my birthday and we have no money, so - great. Sounds like a blast. I'm totally bummed, because it's my 30th birthday and I really wanted to have a big party with all my friends.

    • Morgan Spurlock: As soon as my kids are old enough to walk, they'll be old enough to work.

    • Morgan Spurlock: It's kind of like heaven - only with boxes.

    • Morgan Spurlock: I don't know how it's possible for me to spend less money right now unless I cut out eating. If I stop eating, if I stopped eating, I could save so much money.

    • Alexandra Jamieson: Human beings can be so incredibly wonderful and sometimes I forget that.

    • Alexandra Jamieson: Home sweet ... hovel.

    • Alexandra Jamieson: [Sighs] Man. Let me tell you why I'm grouchy on our first full day of work. Because I haven't been warm since we got here. I'm freezing. I can't get warm. That's why I'm grouchy. So everybody can just step off.

    • Alexandra Jamieson: Hmm, good, our stuff is still here.

    • Morgan Spurlock: So I got here at 6:00, so that was an 11-hour day. $45.26 - $4.20 an hour I actually made. So, I actually made less than minimum wage even though I was making $7.00 an hour. That's terrible.

    • Morgan Spurlock: While Congress hasn't taken any action to raise the minimum wage over the past seven years, they've accepted their own cost of living increases to the tune of $27,000.

    • Senator Ted Kennedy: Increasing minimum wage increases productivity, brings children out of poverty, and strengthens their economy.

    • Morgan Spurlock: When the minimum wage was first established in 1938, it was meant to help workers maintain the bare minimum standard of living. But since the minimum wage hasn't been raised since 1997, while the cost of living has gone up, the law no longer does precisely what it was meant to do. Senator Ted Kennedy has introduced a bill to Congress every year since 1997 attempting to raise the minimum wage. Every year, the bill fails to pass.

    • Morgan Spurlock: The goal for us is to not spend more than $400.00 per month (on rent).

    • Morgan Spurlock: For the next 30 days, Alex and I have to follow three rules: First, we both have to work minimum wage jobs. Second, each of us will begin with cash equaling one week's minimum wage pay - 206 bucks apiece. That's just $178.47 after taxes. And third, we have to freeze our credit cards and bank accounts and leave all our money behind.

    • Morgan Spurlock: Millions of Americans work full-time jobs and still live below the poverty line. How do they survive? Could I do it? Well, we'll find out as I try to live on minimum wage for the next 30 days.

  • Notes

  • Allusions