Web Editors' Choice 2012

By Bloomberg - 2012-12-24T16:25:34Z

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

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The High Cost of Being Poor

A common feature of almost all Bloomberg stories is a quote near the beginning that expresses the essence of the story. Rarely do they pack the gut punch of the words from a worker whose boss reprimands him because he can't wash off the smell of the grease as he shuttles between jobs at two Chicago McDonald's restaurants. Leslie Patton followed Tyree Johnson from a meeting of workers pushing for higher pay to the residential hotel where he lives and on to the Apple store he uses to get online, drawing a picture of life at minimum wage. Patton's story capped a series about inequality that took readers from Iowa's farmland boom to Memphis's foreclosure-darkened streets. To earn as much as McDonald's CEO makes in a year, Johnson would have to work 24 hours a day. For more than a century.

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