well yeah I'm sure I lived off of 8k a year also as a college student - not including tuition and whatnot. Life is a little bit different when you're a student.
I made 18k, paid for an apartment and college. So, what about people who didn't get to go to college? They're suppose to make more than 18k without an education or trade skills?
One solution, a terrible one, is to simply jack up the taxes on the wealthy. You make more, you pay more. Life isn't fair, get over it, you're still rich.
Or we could boost the earnings of the bottom 50%. That would require the top earners, who we are assuming are the business owners, to increase wages. That would cost them money, sure, but it would save them from having to make up for the taxes the people on the bottom don't even qualify to pay. In the end, it's a more stable economic decision. However, it requires government intervention in terms of minimum wage and of course people will complain that it hurts job creation incentive.
We live in a country which requires a balance to survive, just like everything on this planet. We have the top 2% earning half our nation's income. That is not a balance. That is not sustainable.