Fair point. I’m coming from a Canadian context, so I can’t speak to particulars in the states. I get the general impression, that while US families on average earn more, the variance is also much greater, meaning that people on the low end have more difficultly than low-end people in Canada. Maybe I’m also spoiled with transit here. I’m not sure - that would depend what you mean by “not workable”.
On the other hand, my example also isn’t that far fetched for many circumstances. Granted the 50% figure may be an exaggeration for many, but I emphasized it mainly for the sake of wiggle room in the numbers. Granting $5,000/yr car expenses and your Stateside healthcare mess, savings might be minimal. But struggling to “survive” on $15/hr, in normal circumstances, still seems like an exaggeration.
Of course I don’t know your particulars. It just bugs me when people do take their particular situations and generalize them with statements such as “how can anyone survive given X?” Therefore, I counteracted this attitude with my own generalization. There’s no reason to assume the negative automatically. Often there are ways to improve, or even drastically things. Of course, particular situations will differ.