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Old 01-12-2015, 01:53 PM
 
Location: NNJ
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Is "gainful employment" the same as "living wage"?
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:53 AM
 
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"Living Wage" is a contradiction in terms, in some sense. The cost of living depends on, among other things, household size (# of members). Wages, by definition, are a form of compensation for labor. So if you have two people who do the exact same labor, one being single with no kids and the other heading a household of 6 with no other income, "wage" would imply they are both paid the same since it is compensation for the labor, not for any cost of living measure. "Living" implies the one with the family is paid more than the single one.

Therefore, "Living Wage" is a contradiction in terms and no such thing can exist.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
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I've always thought of "Living Wage" as baby talk -- just 4 random sounds tossed together that have no meaning at all but elicit a reaction from those who hope it is evidence of future genius.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:59 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,750 posts, read 54,373,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
"Living Wage" is a contradiction in terms, in some sense. The cost of living depends on, among other things, household size (# of members). Wages, by definition, are a form of compensation for labor. So if you have two people who do the exact same labor, one being single with no kids and the other heading a household of 6 with no other income, "wage" would imply they are both paid the same since it is compensation for the labor, not for any cost of living measure. "Living" implies the one with the family is paid more than the single one.

Therefore, "Living Wage" is a contradiction in terms and no such thing can exist.
I would agree that it may not mean the same for any two people, but I think it does exist, but with an infinite number of values depending on ones cost of living, lifestyle, and family responsibilities. There cannot be any kind of minimum "family wage" because of all the variables. A single adult living in a small town commuting by bicycle and living with parents doesn't need nearly as much as if he were living in a downtown city apartment and has a wife and two kids. I can't imagine any employer paying someone more another because he has kids, or bigger mortgage.
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
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My definition of a living wage is what will support a basic 1 or 2br apartment with all associated utilities + enough to pay for food for 1 dependent + self. I would include internet, but not cable, as a "utility" since many of us need internet for work - it is about the same as having a phone in the house in the fifties. I would include being able to have a basic cell and data plan - again - needed for modern communication.

Here's about the cheapest possible way to support that based on my area:

Rent: $725
Gas/Water: $75
Electric: $70 (12-month average)
Cell with basic data: $70
Internet: $65
Car/Transportation: $200
Food: $300
Various other: $150

Including taxes, you could afford that on around $13.50 an hour working 40 hours, so that would be "living wage" for my metro, basically the lowest needed to support yourself. Any lower than $13.50 in my town and you would have to depend on someone else for housing (a parent or rent a room in someone else's house)

Rents have been rapidly increasing (30% in the last 2 years), so it's going up fast. 2 years ago it would have been more like $11-12.
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:10 PM
 
12,704 posts, read 9,959,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
My definition a living wage is what will support a basic 1 or 2br apartment with all associated utilities + enough to pay for food for 1 dependent + self. I would include internet, but not cable, as a "utility" since many of us need internet for work - it is about the same as having a phone in the house in the fifties. I would include being able to have a basic cell and data plan - again - needed for modern communication.

Here's about the cheapest possible way to support that based on my area:

Rent: $725
Gas/Water: $75
Electric: $70 (12-month average)
Cell with basic data: $70
Internet: $65
Car/Transportation: $200
Food: $300
Various other: $150

After taxes, you could afford that on around $13.50 an hour, so that would be "living wage" for my metro.
What household size are you assuming here? If single, these expenses can be trimmed (e.g. roommates), while if having a big family, the expenses are unrealistically low.
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,448 posts, read 3,754,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
What household size are you assuming here? If single, these expenses can be trimmed (e.g. roommates), while if having a big family, the expenses are unrealistically low.
I'm assuming one earner and one dependent - so either a couple where the other doesn't work or single parent.

At that income level a single parent would be eligible for various forms of assistance - at the very least WIC and probably SNAP, opening up a couple hundred available for kids clothes, etc...

You can feed two people a month on $300.
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:11 AM
 
12,704 posts, read 9,959,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
I'm assuming one earner and one dependent - so either a couple where the other doesn't work or single parent.

At that income level a single parent would be eligible for various forms of assistance - at the very least WIC and probably SNAP, opening up a couple hundred available for kids clothes, etc...

You can feed two people a month on $300.
A single parent should have day care in the budget, unless the child is already old enough to not need it.
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:19 AM
 
1,999 posts, read 1,187,708 times
Reputation: 2261
Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
My definition of a living wage is what will support a basic 1 or 2br apartment with all associated utilities + enough to pay for food for 1 dependent + self. I would include internet, but not cable, as a "utility" since many of us need internet for work - it is about the same as having a phone in the house in the fifties. I would include being able to have a basic cell and data plan - again - needed for modern communication.

Here's about the cheapest possible way to support that based on my area:

Rent: $725
Gas/Water: $75
Electric: $70 (12-month average)
Cell with basic data: $70
Internet: $65
Car/Transportation: $200
Food: $300
Various other: $150

Including taxes, you could afford that on around $13.50 an hour working 40 hours, so that would be "living wage" for my metro, basically the lowest needed to support yourself. Any lower than $13.50 in my town and you would have to depend on someone else for housing (a parent or rent a room in someone else's house)

Rents have been rapidly increasing (30% in the last 2 years), so it's going up fast. 2 years ago it would have been more like $11-12.
Car, transportation for 200/mo? No way.
Try 5x that amount.

Health insurance?
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:30 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
2,800 posts, read 1,767,749 times
Reputation: 1732
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
"Living Wage" is a contradiction in terms, in some sense. The cost of living depends on, among other things, household size (# of members). Wages, by definition, are a form of compensation for labor. So if you have two people who do the exact same labor, one being single with no kids and the other heading a household of 6 with no other income, "wage" would imply they are both paid the same since it is compensation for the labor, not for any cost of living measure. "Living" implies the one with the family is paid more than the single one.

Therefore, "Living Wage" is a contradiction in terms and no such thing can exist.
i do not see it as a contadiction at all then again that is because I think it should be based on what one person needs to survive it should have nothing to do with what a family needs because you should not have kids if you can not afford them.
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