Recently for a Funny or Die video, actress Kristen Bell played a pissed off Mary Poppins. While her accent was a little off, she hit the mark precisely in the message of the video, which was that the minimum wage is not a living wage. Now, if you put aside the fact that Mary Poppins would be living in the UK, where the 2013 minimum wage was £6.31 (about $10.70), and the fact that the movie took place in 1910, our favorite nanny is facing a major issue of modern America. With $7.25 as the minimum wage in most places in the US, far too many people are struggling to get by. Approximately 1 in 5 American children deal with hunger (that’s 16 million children).
In the Funny or Die bit, the little girl sings to Mary Poppins, saying that if she leaves, they’ll die of malnutrition, but the fact is that if Mary herself has kids, then they’re the ones who are most likely to struggle with malnutrition. Unfortunately, the video shows Mary Poppins quitting her job to find better paying work, which is simply unrealistic. People can almost never afford to just quit their minimum wage job to find a better one, especially since it’s incredibly rare for a higher paying job to be readily available. With such a low hourly wage, many people have to work incredibly long days, which doesn’t leave much extra time to pursue another job, if you also assume they need to do normal human things like eat, sleep, exercise, and spend time with their family (especially the family part, considering so many minimum wage workers are single mothers).
What do you think of the video? Does Mary Poppins have a point? Let us know in the comments!