Did you ever watch that series by Morgan Spurlock (of Supersize Me fame), called 30 Days, where he gets people to live in another person's life for a month? The first one I saw was a Christian who lived with a Muslim family. The second was a macho guy who lived with a gay man in San Francisco. There was a couple who lived with a "back to basics" group where there was no electricity, no indoor plumbing, they raised their own food, etc. The participants find their lives changed forever, as they begin to see their "opposites" as real people, people just like themselves, with different habits, perhaps different clothes, etc.
Last night I watched the pilot episode with Spurlock himself and his fianceé, attempting to live on minimum wage. It was a real eye-opener, I'll tell you. They each got jobs at minimum wage, then had to find an apartment, get furniture, buy food, etc. They were just barely making it, and only when he took a second job, so they almost never saw each other, when they both suffered medical problems--he had a badly sprained wrist, which was swelling; she developed a bladder infection. Both went to the emergency room for treatment, since they had no medical insurance. When the bills came, the bill for both together came to over $1,000, which was way beyond their ability to pay.
Watching the stress grow between them, seeing how little time they were able to spend together, how they could not take any time off to relax, added to the expensive of unexpected medical problems and it's easy to see why there is escalating violence in this country. Everyone must be on a short fuse, pushed to the bring by poverty, poor health, etc., with it becoming a rapidly downward spiral. Add children into the mix, children who must be fed and clothed and who can't work to help contribute to the family income and it's amazing that anybody living at that level is able to survive.
If it ever comes around again, I really strongly recommend watching it.