Suspending the American Dream


A tiny San Francisco suburb’s attempt to implement one of the nation’s highest minimum wages threatens to shatter an immigrant’s American dream.

John Nemec came to America from the Czechoslovakia in 1966 with $20 in his pocket and zero relatives and friends. He landed a minimum wage job in New York City that netted him $1.25 an hour.

“I thought I was a rich man—anyone coming from my country felt rich. We made 2,000 crowns in a month. That was about $57,” he says.