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Debate Sparked by Struggling Worker on Verge of Receiving Food Stamps While Having a College Degree

A recent Reddit post by a recent college grad who is trying to make ends meet started a discussion regarding fair pay and the battle to achieve ahead in one’s career.

On February 15, u/weddingthrowawayhey submitted a viral post to the subreddit “Antiwork” with 8,600 upvotes and more than 2,000 comments. “I have a college degree, and I’m about to go on food assistance,” reads the post’s headline.

According to the original poster (OP), this person graduated from college about 5 years ago. It’s been a long time since the worker has earned more than $15 an hour since leaving college. They currently make $15 an hour working for the state government. However, despite searching for two years, the OP has yet to come across anything that pays “good.”

As rents continue to rise, the OP wrote about the difficulties they encountered as they tried to enrol in a lease assistance programme. Since most “good places” don’t accept lease assistance, they claim that, at least in their home state, the only place to receive it is a “dump,” which is what the OP called it.

The employee stated that she will begin donating plasma in order to supplement her salary. Afraid they could be ineligible even though they were on the point of applying for food stamps, the OP

The OP went on to say: “That’s ridiculous. Because I’m barely making enough to pay my bills, I’m unable to make any progress on my student loan debt. However, despite the fact that my job hunt is going better, I’m finding positions that require five years of experience but only pay $35,000.”

They said that they had worked hard in school and were at the top of their class, and that they were venting. However, it was a waste of time.

In a follow-up post, the OP stated that they would not reveal their degree at first because they did not want to offend anyone “blaming me instead of the system as a reason to point the finger elsewhere. Regardless of whether my degree is in science, engineering, communications, or anything else, I will always be a scientist. You’re completely oblivious to the real subject of the discussion.”

They later stated that their degree is in marketing in another update. COVID-19 was blamed for the loss of their first job after college, and they said it has been “difficult” to find another since. In addition, they had a few choice comments for those who “badgered” them into disclosing the subject of their academic qualifications.

An internet controversy has erupted over the plight of a college-educated low-wage worker on the verge of applying for food stamps. A dejected woman with her hands clasped together and stroking her face is depicted in this image. GETTY/MANGOSTAR STUDIO
SNAP, originally known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federal nutrition assistance programme that provides food assistance to low-income individuals and families.

38 million people received SNAP benefits in 2019, or 12 percent of the country’s population, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Nearly half of individuals who took part are from households where at least one member is employed.

There were a lot of individuals that rallied around the OP, and many of them were in the same situation. One guy mentioned that they graduated from the same university five years ago and are now employed there. despite this, “Even though I work in the city where the main college is located, they don’t pay me enough to afford to live there. Slap in the face when my own alms mater says the education they given me isn’t valuable enough to live on it’s worth.”

There was scepticism about the whole process, with one person claiming that they had always done the “right thing” and worked hard at every job they’d had. However, they emphasised: “Connections are critical”. That concludes our discussion.”

After college, many people shared their own stories of hardship. Despite having a college diploma, one Redditor found that every job he applied for required at least three years of work experience in addition to the degree. “It’s ludicrous on its face. A bachelor’s degree typically necessitates a four-year commitment. In order to have years of experience in the job, how am I supposed to get the degree at the same time?”

One of the other users felt for the OP’s plight. They expressed, “I feel this in my soul.” “I’m a college graduate making less than $35,000 a year, so I’ve got some cash, but not nearly enough to save and invest for the future. It’s a strange state of affairs to find yourself in, in terms of poverty.”

Food stamps were used by someone with an unusual employment title. “I was a university professor on SNAP,” they added. If the system is designed to screw you, your level of education has no bearing.

The OP was applauded by a few persons. A Redditor said, “This isn’t your fault, any more than it is any of ours. “This is a story that far too many people between the ages of 20 and 45 have to deal with every single day. We have a broken economy, a broken school system, and a broken culture. It’s clear that something is seriously wrong in the United States.”

“The minimum wage ought to be a decent wage,” a Redditor wrote. Additionally, they stated: “I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a hard time. Many people prefer to stay in low-paying occupations because they can only afford to survive if they receive financial aid.”