Photograph by Justin Maxon for Bloomberg Businessweek

Ten Workers on Living on the Minimum Wage

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    We could simply talk about the minimum wage. But better yet, let’s keep it real and find real working Americans—people on the front lines of the debate—as a way of telling the story. Businessweek photographed and interviewed people around the country, asking them questions and directing them to write their answers on a card and hold it up to be photographed. This is Jody Sullivan, 44, from Rosendale, N.Y. She earns $8 an hour as a cashier at a discount store.
     
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    Photograph by Justin Maxon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Nate Smith, 21, from Philadelphia, earns $7.25 an hour as a baggage handler.

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    Lailani Leyden, 31, from Alhambra, Calif., earns $8 an hour working at a restaurant.

    Photograph by John Francis Peters for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Phi Long Do, 26, of Rosemead, Calif., earns $8 an hour helping customers at an electronics store.

    Photograph by John Francis Peters for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Veronica Ramirez, 27, of Alhambra, Calif., earns $8 an hour as a bartender.

    Photograph by John Francis Peters for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Tori Salomani, 17, a senior in high school from Kingston, N.Y., earns $8 an hour as a receptionist at the YMCA.

    Photograph by Justin Maxon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Michael Oduntan, 19, of Brooklyn, N.Y., earns $8 an hour at a pizza chain.

    Photograph by Justin Maxon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Matt Bowen, 30, from Hurley, N.Y., earns $9 an hour working at a gym.

    Photograph by Justin Maxon for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Wilton Major, 41, of Brooklyn, N.Y., earns $8.45 an hour as a fry cook at a fast-food chain where he's worked for 22 years.

    Photograph by Alex Welch for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Elva Godoy, 44, of New York City, earns $8.25 an hour training cooks at a fast-food restaurant.

    Photograph by Alex Welch for Bloomberg Businessweek