1. no real work week. a plurality of americans work in the service sector, which is far different than an office job. theyre intentionally scheduled to work 39 hours, or some subset below 40, to avoid insurance from their employer which is mandated by law. This has become less of an issue lately due to the affordable care act, however it doesnt excuse the fact that most service sector does not have a set schedule.
2. no schedules. service sector and manufacturing often have mandatory overtime requirements. You cant be fired, by law, for refusing overtime however in almost all states you can simply fire the worker for no reason at all. Hence, it pays to work overtimes to stay in the good grace of the employer. finally
3. low wages. if youre only working for ten dollars an hour at 20 hours a week, youre working 2-3 jobs to maintain an apartment and a car (a car is generally required in america.) if you have kids or a family, or are a single parent, the burden requires you to pick up far more than 40 hours of work at a low pay grade. this isnt likely to change as the united states has the unique approach of using children as punishment for sex. contraception, abortion, and even simple reproductive education in the United states are inconsistent and wraught with urban legends, religious overtones, and outright pseudoscience.
4. predatory culture of consumption. everything here is offered on credit, with unlimited financing and relatively lax regulation (especially in subprime markets) of terms. In the US its not uncommon for a security guard making $13 an hour to drive a Lexus or Acura luxury sedan, because the terms and conditions of her credit never take into account the fact that a $48,000 touring sedan isnt in their budget. US check caching companies can charge more than 50% interest with impunity, and many do. The average US citizen carries more than ten thousand dollars in debt at any given time.