You make a better option out of perseverance, ingenuity and plain effort. Necessity is the mother of all invention. I am disappointed by your lack of faith in people. Perhaps that is truly where we differ; I believe in the ability of a person to better themselves whereas you believe they are cursed by their station in life.
I’ve lived in the rural midwest and most of my family does currently. Currently my youngest sibling is working a minimum wage job at a clothing store in rural Ohio, paying for her own off campus apartment (with roommates) and feeding herself quite nicely while attending University. She bikes to work and school like I did on nice days and finds appropriate ways others. But this is impossible you say! She doesn’t get to go out and party because she can’t afford it, so her life right now consists of school and work; as did mine while I was younger. I’m very proud of her and she is very proud of herself because she is making it. The lessons she is learning through this will serve her through the rest of her successful career.
I also teach people (for free) who are in entry level positions how to code and all of them are making it while learning to code to better their futures. I’m very in touch with the realities of low-wage workers. Therefore, I am very passionate about this disparaging idea that they need some sort of hand out to make things work. People are amazing and great when given the chance. Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.
The economic reality is that positions are called entry level for a reason, you are supposed to use them to start your career and not to depend on them for a lifetime. What you call surpression of wages is just market pressure to keep the cost of goods low so that people will keep buying and the fact that worker supply is high and job supply is low. People just need to understand basic financial management before they put themselves in untenable situations. The fact that most do not understand this is a failing of our educational system and culture.
I am not advocating that anyone take advantage of someone else, but it all comes down to the individual agreeing to work for an offered wage. A fair wage for a fair day’s work is determined by the employee and employer together. The individual worker, themselves are responsible to manage their life and finances in such a way that they can survive and thrive. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure profitability to continue it’s existence.