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Old 01-08-2015, 12:24 PM
 
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A living wage allows you to pay for rent, food, transporation and personal care. Everything else is really a luxury.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Northwest Arkansas/Temporarily Memphis
520 posts, read 373,017 times
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A living wage should include enough to live in an efficiency apartment, pay the bills, enough groceries to not starve, a 40-50 a month cell phone plan, an old used car, and internet to better yourself. In the cheaper flyover states this is probably 13-15 an hour, in bigger cities I'm sure it is $20 an hour or more.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:56 PM
 
12,709 posts, read 9,998,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loveswater_outdoors View Post
A living wage should include enough to live in an efficiency apartment, pay the bills, enough groceries to not starve, a 40-50 a month cell phone plan, an old used car, and internet to better yourself. In the cheaper flyover states this is probably 13-15 an hour, in bigger cities I'm sure it is $20 an hour or more.
Geesh - by that definition I'm not living. What does that make me? A zombie?

Maybe economic problems can cause a zombie apocalypse.
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:05 PM
 
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"A Living Wage" to me means--throwing a bunch of lower-middle class (and upper working class) people out of work by artificially hiking the wage equilibrium to the point where employers refuse to pay and they pack up and move to a low wage site.

It might make sense in a rich, snooty place like Manhattan, DC or San Francisco. But for the rest of us--it's a killer!
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:36 AM
 
12,709 posts, read 9,998,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
The original post reeks of snot-nosed far right bias and does not address the real "living wage" issues. Such disconnect is not only irritating, it serves to divert attention into political dogma rather than anything intelligent or useful.
Agreed, in many cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Do poor people sometimes make poor choices with their money? Why yes they do! GET OVER IT. If you are in a box where there is no escape, a cigarette and a drink might be all that gives enough momentary pleasure to keep you going without turning to crime. In contrast, the working poor rarely complain about the excesses and idiotic purchases of the rich, because that stupidity may be their only income stream as waiters, cab drivers, cable tv installers and Wal Mart workers.

Living wage? Many low paying jobs end up being a negative income, and people cannot afford to take them. A few years back I calculated that because I live in the country now, I would lose money by taking ANY minimum wage part-time job with less than five hour shifts in the closest city. Why part-time? Because a majority of jobs are part-time these days because it allows employers to avoid having any health insurance plan or benefits. The cost of insurance and employee medical care is supposedly too great for businesses that are sometimes making millions of dollars a year. What little right wing tooth fairy makes you think health care costs are any less of a problem for the poor?
Yes, this is a problem. You'd have to string together several part-time jobs, which of course employers won't allow. They in many cases demand that you be available at any time and refuse to give you a schedule far enough in advance to plan your other PT jobs around it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post

The political debate over a so called "living wage" is only part of the problem. Part-time "living wage" employment has no guarantee of continuing income, even at $30/hr.. I know, because as a manager over part-time workers I had to cut their employee hours seasonally and pray that I could manage to somehow give enough hours to the best employees that they wouldn't up and quit on me. Those who irritated me in any way - including asking for more pay - got hours cut. That is simply how part-time employment works.

Should a "living wage" employee be able to afford a new car? The cost of "public" transportation - as compared to minimum wage - has risen over the years. I remember (and still have) fifteen cent tokens that allowed a subway/elevated trip to anywhere in Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens. Now it is $2.50 and no transfers. In an effort to make increasingly costly transportation life-lines self-paying, their usefulness to those low wage employees who depended upon them non-existent. Ridership figures show this: List of United States commuter rail systems by ridership - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Other than the top three cities, any chance of these systems being un-subsidized in nil and yet they are STILL too expensive and unreliable for the low paid worker. That makes them expensive window-dressing to claim that the poor ARE being accommodated. Reliable transportation to and from work IS an expense that any job at living wage HAS to cover.

In order to live in anything more than a cardboard box (most employers frown on that), one must have at least an apartment.
Why is renting a room not an option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post

Housing costs have increased as well. I remember renting a decent two bedroom apartment in Vermont - heat included - with a porch and lake view in a safe working class neighborhood for $110/mo - NO subsidies. I remember doctor visits that were $10 - with no subsidies. Living wage means being able to eat regularly. I remember when a full bag of groceries containing steaks, chicken, fish, five-for-a-dollar canned foods, ten cent soups, and enough else to feed a family for a week was less than $10. Minimum wage was $1.65 and most people in "low paying jobs" earned more than $2/hr. There was no sales tax stealing 10% of the wages of low income workers.

I can bet you are already thinking "I'm going to write and blast him that there is such a thing as inflation, and that was then, this is now." Around here a doctor visit is a minimum of $100 and it is a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor. Minimum wage would have to be $16.50 or more to keep up. That same apartment today would rent for $1,250 with NO heat. I recently saw a sale of the same brand of canned soup I bought at ten cents per can at $1 per can + sales tax. Your blast about inflation would be hot air. REAL costs of basics have outstripped incomes for the poor.

Screw "living wage". MINIMUM wage today would have to be at least that $16.50 nationwide for the poor to survive as well on the basics as they did back then.
I have not made that much in ANY of my 6 years of working, and I get by. It's called living within your means. Transportation too costly? Move close to work and walk. Housing too costly? Rent a room. Can't accommodate pets in cheap housing? Stop having animals you can't afford. Won't work with a family? Don't have a family you can't afford. I have made do on significantly less and still saved enough to have a net worth as high as the median American twice my age and an emergency fund larger than 80% of Americans with twice my income, while living 1000 miles from home with zero family help in a notoriously HCOL area. Learn to be frugal. You are not entitled to a wage that supports having "X" and everything that goes with it simply because you really would like to have "X". Not livable you say? Cry me a river. :c rying::cry ing: , build me a bridge _|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|-_|- and get over it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post

What happened to that America? The answer is a lot more complex than I can describe here, but mechanized agriculture and the increasing loss of a large section of productive society working as single family farmers removed the lobbying for fairness to the working poor as a political need. Instead, the income producers - business and then BIG business - got laws more to their liking. The change from heavily taxing capital gains (only affecting those who had money already) and the use of tariffs on business exports and imports to an "income" tax that increasingly included the poor and middle class allowed the rich to become richer on the backs of the poor without appearing to have any direct connection, even though they drove the "representative" government that made the changes.
This offsets the taxation of phantom (inflationary) gains and also reduces (but does not eliminate) the unequal tax treatment of debt and equity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post

At the same time, television became the cheap drug that not only entertained, but guided the masses into non-confrontational thought. "I'm better off today than my parents because I have a color tv and can watch Bonanza! Why on earth would I want to go out in the cold and protest or complain about low wages?"

So what is a "living wage"? In the U.S. today, you had better be in the top 25% of income earners to qualify - primarily because of insurances and the variety of taxes and fees. A living wage is utterly meaningless if a single medical event turns you into an impoverished debtor who can never escape that debt.
Yes, but I am somewhat curious why you don't think Obamacare largely does away with this issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post


A living wage is meaningless unless it is computed as the SPENDABLE income remaining after all legally required taxes and all legally required insurance costs are excluded. A living wage is meaningless if a large portion of it is consumed by work related costs, such as transportation, phones, uniforms, etc.
Agreed, in many cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post


"What can you afford to buy with a living wage job" accompanied by a list of perceived luxuries is an idiotic question. As an employer, even my part-time employees were REQUIRED to have a phone or a consistent way I could reach them on short notice. They HAD to have "reliable transportation." I fired them if they didn't show up for work on time every time.
An employee who chooses to live too far from work to walk is entering into a lifestyle choice, not a work-related one, in many (but not all) cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post

Shifting the onus of the cost of a car to a parent, friend, or subsidized public transport merely shifts REAL costs of employment onto others who won't complain. Income is only income AFTER the costs of a job are removed. Even the IRS understands that.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post

The shifting of jobs oversees in search of cheaper labor has reduced the pool of low paying jobs and lowered the comparative wages in those areas. Computers have reduced the need for legions of low-paid accountants and other workers. Automation has turned 1,000 employee factories into 10 employee factories. Instead of our economy being based upon manufacture and repair of real goods, the public domain has been stolen by big business and turned into "intellectual property" that can be sold and resold and increasingly restricted. What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2015? Making money on that stolen property is still theft, "legal" or not, and our growing GDP depends on the sales from such theft being included in the figure.
How do you know what the GDP would be absent this "theft"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post

Tourism is no longer a pleasant by-product of a constructive manufacturing system that created cars and roads for commerce and industry, but now a major part of the "gross national product." Just what tangible and lasting "product" is created (other than personal memories by those able to afford them) is beyond me, but the government wants to include it to say how well the country is doing, so who am I to complain? To me an economy is not a circular daisy chain jerk-off of old films constantly being resold to the same people in different formats, but a system where each individual contributes something tangible more than their own needs, raising the level of civilization and science so that the next generation will start at a better place and continue the task.

At the very core of the term, the sum total of a "living wage" is a wage calculated, over your working life, to eventually cover ALL real costs of your life (monetary or not), from birth to death. Anything less than that merely shifts that burden of cost for your existence onto others.

But then you just want to complain that some worker, somewhere, is somehow getting too much money because of a required "living wage", and preventing a business you invested in (and haven't done a lick of work for) from making a larger profit, right? Complain on.
Right now I don't see that as an issue, but if some crazies wanting $15/hour for a Mickey D's cashier have their way, it is absolutely a legit complaint - at least until they get replaced by robots (and rightfully so).
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:46 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
2,172 posts, read 2,090,768 times
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Any wage must be based on a fair exchange of value between the employer and the employee to be sustainable. Anything else is economically unsustainable.

Until the left understands this fundamental economic principle they will continue propose such idiotic ideas as the minimum wages and living wages.

Dave
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:22 PM
 
2,499 posts, read 6,403,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UntilTheNDofTimE View Post
So $25-30 an hour for one person is your living wage (or minimum wage)? In most parts of the country you will need at least 40k per year to be able raise a family of four. This would be on the bare minimums. Although 40k for a family of four is much different in taxes than I'd pay on 40k so maybe im overstating.

It's crazy how things used to be though. My grandpa used to work for his local city in the 1950's. I'm not sure what his wage was back then but maybe $15,000 a year seems about right for a maintenance person back then. My Grandma told me they bought a property for $2500 and it cost him about $3000 to build their home (based on what I was told) . How many people today can say they built their home on 4 months of salary.
Grampa undoubtilly did not make $15,000,I lived thru that time.I started with SNET in CT in 1955 at $1.00 and min, wage increase kicked in,25 cents.
I can tell you over all we were better off than today.We had plentiful jobs,low rent housing,no credit cards,much happier times,also produce and meat local.People cared for each other.We had a reasonably safe down town in Hartford CT,gone forever.
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:14 PM
 
33,046 posts, read 22,104,537 times
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Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
Why is renting a room not an option?

Because when you rent a room, you have zero control over who else you live with, over noice levels, over fights and domestic violence, over drunks and druggies and criminals who move in, over excess utility charges run up by others, over drugs, guns or contraband generally that comes in, or even which lowlifes come to visit. Not to mention theft and vandalism. I know all of these things, except vandalism, from experience.
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:31 PM
 
11,780 posts, read 8,608,446 times
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Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
Because when you rent a room, you have zero control over who else you live with, over noice levels, over fights and domestic violence, over drunks and druggies and criminals who move in, over excess utility charges run up by others, over drugs, guns or contraband generally that comes in, or even which lowlifes come to visit. Not to mention theft and vandalism. I know all of these things, except vandalism, from experience.
All of the problems you listed are solved by making sure you are compatible with each other. Drugs? Guns? Call the cops. DV? Call the cops. If you find out that you aren't compatible then you should move out when the lease is up.
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:40 PM
 
894 posts, read 705,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
Because when you rent a room, you have zero control over who else you live with, over noice levels, over fights and domestic violence, over drunks and druggies and criminals who move in, over excess utility charges run up by others, over drugs, guns or contraband generally that comes in, or even which lowlifes come to visit. Not to mention theft and vandalism. I know all of these things, except vandalism, from experience.
To a certain extent, you have this in any housing situation. We own a nice house in a suburb, and our across-the-street neighbors are music-blaring at all hours, profanity-spewing, gun-toters, and their dog poops in our yard. At least when you're renting, it's easy to pick up and go somewhere else.
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