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Old 09-05-2018, 05:19 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,321 posts, read 4,350,986 times
Reputation: 15239

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https://koaa.com/news/covering-color...tinue-to-rise/

This is an interesting video discussion of the dilemma faced by renters and first time buyers in both Colorado Springs and Colorado. The rising cost of housing is out pacing wage growth.

"COLORADO SPRINGS – KOAA’s Caiti Blase took a moment to speak with Dr. Tatiana Bailey, director of the UCCS Economic Forum, to discuss the increase in housing prices, the average salary needed to live inside Colorado, and the disparities between the two.

During their discussion (featured in full up above), Dr. Bailey made several points as to why housing costs inside Colorado Springs increased so much:

Increased demand
Housing costs are relatively low compared to Denver and surrounding areas
Increase in cost of labor and materials
Economic upturn in Colorado Springs since 2014
According to Dr. Bailey, last year alone, the average price of single-family housing in Colorado Springs increased by 11%, “Which is about double the national average,” she stated.

“For lease rates,” she continued, “it really varies depending on what type of unit you’re looking at, but we’ve seen at least that amount of appreciation in terms of rental units.”

The problem with this, according to Dr. Bailey, is that “Wages have not kept pace with how much more expensive housing has become.”

According to Bailey, to reasonably afford renting the average 2-bedroom apartment in Colorado Springs, which is priced in between $1,000 – $1,400, a person making minimum wage would have to work about 77 hours per week. Either that, or be paid about twice as much.

After speaking to the increasing prices in the Springs, the conversation moves on to statewide housing costs and wage requirements (6:21 in the video above)."
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:19 AM
 
642 posts, read 749,737 times
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People who only make minimum wage will have a hard time in plenty of places, but especially in Colorado. Either make more money, or live somewhere less expensive.
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:36 AM
 
5,003 posts, read 6,681,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westbound and Down View Post
People who only make minimum wage will have a hard time in plenty of places, but especially in Colorado. Either make more money, or live somewhere less expensive.
The whole original idea behind a minimum wage is that it was supposed to be a living wage i.e. just enough to afford housing, food i.e. the basics on that single income - in other words, a minimum wage was intended to be enough for a person to be able to live off of independently and thus not be a drag on society through social services during working years or retirement.

Personally, I think our civilization greatly depends on the minimum wage earner and that even someone in that type of work is worthy of a living wage. The higher ups convince us there isn't enough to go around and that could only be had the expense of the middle class labor force - but that simply isn't true - if the wealthiest were just a little less greedy in their accumulation of extreme wealth it would be easily possible.

Last edited by otowi; 09-05-2018 at 08:49 AM..
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:46 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,253 posts, read 3,951,390 times
Reputation: 9432
The high cost of housing is a major reason that I haven't returned to the Springs. I don't think a day goes by when I don't marvel at what a wonderful deal I'm getting here in Cortez. My landlady only charges $400.00/month for a 2 bedroom house located on a beautiful farm south of town because "people have to live." Wow - thank you, Miz G.!
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:11 PM
 
642 posts, read 749,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
The whole original idea behind a minimum wage is that it was supposed to be a living wage i.e. just enough to afford housing, food i.e. the basics on that single income - in other words, a minimum wage was intended to be enough for a person to be able to live off of independently and thus not be a drag on society through social services during working years or retirement.

Personally, I think our civilization greatly depends on the minimum wage earner and that even someone in that type of work is worthy of a living wage. The higher ups convince us there isn't enough to go around and that could only be had the expense of the middle class labor force - but that simply isn't true - if the wealthiest were just a little less greedy in their accumulation of extreme wealth it would be easily possible.

The federal minimum wage came about in the late 1930s, after the end of the Great Depression, to prevent employers from exploiting workers by paying them, in some cases, pennies a day for their labor, a practice they got away with during the Depression. Thus it was significant that the first minimum wage in 1938 was set at $0.25 per hour, a paltry sum by today's standards, but a decent floor wage back then.

I am not a labor economist, but the minimum wage is not today, and in my memory has never been, a "living wage," at least not the way you are describing. It is a floor wage, not an aspirational wage, or not a wage that is intended to provide one with all the basics of an independent life, and it is not a wage that can be any guarantee of providing for housing, food, and "the basics" on that wage. For people with additional needs beyond a minimum wage, there are other assistance programs including food stamps, housing assistance, etc.


Finally, google it if you care to know more, but as of 2016, less than 3 percent of wage earners earned the minimum wage or less. As such, articles like the one in this thread that bemoan how the minimum wage is insufficient to rent an apartment in Colorado Springs fail to note that the vast majority of people with jobs make more than the minimum wage. So as I asserted in my first post, either figure out how to make more than the minimum wage, which nearly 97 percent of wage earners are doing, or live in a less expensive place where the minimum wage will go further.

Last edited by Westbound and Down; 09-05-2018 at 05:19 PM..
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:27 PM
 
5,003 posts, read 6,681,120 times
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In his 1933 address following the passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act, President Franklin D. Roosevelt noted that “no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.”

https://www.thebillfold.com/2015/07/...a-living-wage/

In my book, a living wage and a floor wage are supposed to be the same thing.
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,786 posts, read 1,464,109 times
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Anyone working full time should be able to afford housing.
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:36 PM
 
642 posts, read 749,737 times
Reputation: 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
In his 1933 address following the passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act, President Franklin D. Roosevelt noted that “no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.”

https://www.thebillfold.com/2015/07/...a-living-wage/

In my book, a living wage and a floor wage are supposed to be the same thing.
Your "book" is out of print.

So take it up with your elected officials to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, something the minimum wage has not accomplished in decades.

I recall that I earned the minimum wage in the early 1970s during summers in high school. IIRC, it was approximately $1.85 per hour, weekly gross pay of around $74; I don't recall the take home, but it was paltry. That pay level would not have allowed me to afford the "basics" of an apartment, food, health care, and transportation, much less anything extra, even in 1973. Fortunately, I lived at home, and most of my basics were provided for by my family, and my income (only for a couple of months in the summer) went to my personal expenses, and savings. But the point of my story is that more than 40 years ago, the minimum wage was not a living wage, and it certainly has not been one since then, no matter what FDR said.

Last edited by Westbound and Down; 09-05-2018 at 06:45 PM..
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,786 posts, read 1,464,109 times
Reputation: 2894
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westbound and Down View Post
Your "book" is out of print.

So take it up with your elected officials to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, something the minimum wage has not accomplished in decades.

I recall that I earned the minimum wage in the early 1970s during summers in high school. IIRC, it was approximately $1.85 per hour, weekly gross pay of around $74. That pay level would not have allowed me to afford the "basics" of an apartment, food, health care, and transportation, much less anything extra. As such, I lived at home, and most of my basics were provided for by my family. But the point is that more than 40 years ago, the minimum wage was not a living wage, and it certainly has not been one since then, no matter what FDR said.
I believe most employers won't willingly pay a fair wage until employees can negotiate with an equal amount of power. The only way to achieve that is through unionization.
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:47 PM
 
Location: San Diego
32,798 posts, read 30,034,103 times
Reputation: 17687
Min wage earners get roommates and split costs. That's how it always worked. Where it went sideways was when people tried to raise a family on a min wage and that's just not possible without massive tax payer subsidies. I believe what's killing Denver is transplants from places like CA used to high housing prices and that's pushing everyone out to the Springs and the Springs will have the same fate eventually.

Right now I could sale my home here and move back and buy a really nice place cash around 300K and never have to work again. That's hardly a good deal for the locals. I'd produce no income and only min taxes for the local economy.
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