Recently I have read part of a book called Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. The author's name is Barbara Ehrenreich. I also heard her interviewed in depth on NPR*. She sets out to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is impossible to get by on minimum wage, and that the ideas of people moving from welfare to unskilled jobs and making it out of poverty is a lie. She does this by leaving her prosperous job as a writer and take a series of low paying jobs and living in different efficiency apartments and trailers. Even if you don't agree with her politics, it's a good read.
I came to a lot of my more economic and social liberal leanings late in life. I am still struggling to reconcile republican morals and democratic compassion. I was raised to believe everyone can make it if they just work hard enough. But my own parents struggled and declared bankruptcy, a lot of people around me struggled. When I finally joined the work force I learned about this same struggle, and the long hours, the indignities, never getting ahead, the raises never materializing, and utter frustration. I knew that something was not right, but never knew how to describe it. In the last couple years I was introduced to the term: False Consciousness.
This is a sociological term coined by Karl Marx. Here's some definitions from Google**
An awareness mystified by ideology and unaware of its own basis in relations of oppression; failure to recognise one’s own oppression as a result of internalizing dominant political discourse.
Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.
By Rage Against The Machine