A few years ago, an investigative reporter goes under cover to see how the poor live on the minimum wage. Not very well is the answer in this classic book.
Link to this review in Dissent Magazine
"Five jobs and three cities later, Ehrenreich concludes that many of today’s jobs don’t pay enough to support one person—much less a whole family. She works two jobs at a time and eats “chopped meat, beans, cheese and noodles.” But in all three cities, rent gets the better of her economy. “You don’t need a degree in economics,” she writes, “to see that wages are too low and rents too high.” But this is a mathematical conclusion, which could have been made with the aid of a calculator. By taking these jobs herself, Ehrenreich is able to capture the material details of workplace indignity."
There's also the random drug tests, mental drudgery and long hours. Recommended document from the deformed economy of the last twenty years.