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The Living Wage

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posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 08:56 PM
What is a living wage?

a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living.

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What would be considered a normal standard of living these days? Could it be an apartment, used car, food and clothing for the family and gas money? Basically, anything required to sustain you as a worker, including some cheap entertainment?

What is missing from this list? Families in the past owned a house (renting is not owning) instead of an apartment, had new cars and saved up enough money to send their kids to college. They might have even had a boat. What is the significance of this? They were in charge of their own lives, they owned their property, and they had projects of their own initiative in addition that they earned enough to pay for.

Yet these days, the lower class seems to be growing as more and more people have started working in fast food and low-income service industry jobs to maintain a living. Right now, they are not being paid day's share of sustenance by their employers, which is, in my opinion troublesome. Someone who does a day's work definitely deserves at least a day's share of sustenance for themselves and their family.

Right now, the difference in what someone earns from corporations and what they need to live at a decent, but low, living standard is subsidized by the government in food stamps and welfare paid to employees. A living wage forces corporations to take responsibility for their actions and pay workers who work full time for them enough to live. I am firmly for this.

The problem isn't that, though, it is that even this "living wage" that everyone seems to be denied is no more than slavery. Those on the right might scoff and complain about how entitled I am, ha ha. But most people are probably not thinking about it the same way as me. How much of the middle-class is going to have their standard of living lowered to that of a living wage?

Think about the days of plantations, and you will conjure images of workers living in bunkhouses and being fed. They probably also had things they did to pass the time. Now, fast forward, and you have apartment buildings instead of bunkhouses, being fed, and being entertained. Doing that is basically the extent of the living wage.

The question is, how much is the middle-class going to shrink?

So how does ATS stack up on meeting the living standards I think a living wage should provide? Are you making it on less than $2,400 a month?

$15 an hour is what cities are saying is a living wage, which is $2,400 a month or $28,800 a year. What do people think a living wage should cover? Is $15 an hour too much? Should it be something each city sets based on its cost of living?

Earning the living wage gives someone $800, or a third of their income per month, to rent an apartment. It is recommended that a third of one's income is spent on rent.

In Seattle, apartments seem to cost $800 being the cheapest I could find and $1,300 on the lower end of the scale. Here are some diagrams of them.

What should a living wage cover?

How could you justify making someone work for less than the cost of slavery?

How much of America can look forward to making a living wage as the new future?
edit on 18pmFri, 18 Mar 2016 21:13:18 -0500kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:23 PM
Do it wrong and it turns into a living nightmare.

posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:24 PM
a reply to: darkbake

What is a living wage? Good question, depends on who you ask. Personally, I expected to be paid for my ability, work ethic, aptitude, and production. You know, merit. The one-size-fits all approach to wages doesn't work for many small business owners, a source of jobs in many cities and towns.

Most that realize low pay/low skilled jobs won't provide much above the slave wages you spoke of are willing to learn skills that are reflected by the pay that skill demands. You know, merit. Plantations? Progressive, please.

posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:53 PM
Considering there will always be a floor for wages around which the entire economy is based, the concept of a living wage is a fool's errand. You can never hike the wage floor enough to reach it as the new normal in the economy will always reset to where the new "living wage" suddenly becomes not enough to maintain your ideal standard.

posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 10:05 PM

originally posted by: Boscowashisnamo
What is a living wage? Good question, depends on who you ask.

I guess that's an accurate statement because, to me, what you said has almost no bearing on what a 'living wage' means.

To me, a living wage has nothing to do with how well you work or what kind of work you do. To me, a living wage is the minimum amount a person needs to earn in order to provide for themselves without outside assistance (personal loans, welfare, etc.).

That minimum amount is obviously going to vary from region to region and should be adjusted accordingly.

posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 10:09 PM
I'm not typing it all up again, but another member here had a thread early this morning that I replied on where I created a fictional person making 12$/hr in my city.

Basically half their income would go to rent, and half of what is left over goes to things like electricity, gasoline, insurance, ect -- leaving the person about $120 a week to buy food, toiletries, clothing (if needed) medicine, ect...

Average for a 2-bedroom place here in town is about $1600-1800 a month (so about 800 a month with a roommate). If you want a studio or a one bedroom? That'll run you about $1,100 a month.

And considering ON SALE at Safeway a pound of ground beef is $6.99 here?

Yeah, that person is one bad case of the flu from being homeless and loosing their $12/hr retail job.

Even if everyone has masters degrees -- someone would still have to stock the grocery store shelves. Why should these people have to constantly be in fear of being homeless or unable to provide for themselves if something happens?

When people are pissed about raising the minimum wage, they should focus that anger on why THEY aren't getting paid more themselves.
edit on 18-3-2016 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 11:45 PM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

I agree with Mystic Mushroom, companies know that there will always be someone doing the jobs that require the least amount of wages. So the least they could do is pay their full-time employees slave wages.

I see the reason more and more people are having to get lower-wage jobs is because that is what is available to them. There are a lot of people with educations who are still working in lower-wage jobs. I don't think this is in their control, I think what kind of jobs are available is in control of the politicians and corporations.
edit on 18pmFri, 18 Mar 2016 23:49:13 -0500kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 19 2016 @ 12:07 AM
not everyone owned their own homes in the past... there have always been many among the working class that rented apartments..
to me the one sure sign that there is a problem with the low wages is the number of young adults between the ages of 20-30 who are unable to venture out into the world and life independently of mom and dad. this is going to reverberate throughout our economy far more than most seem to think I believe. they can't support themselves independently, so they won't be getting married, starting family, buying their first home, ect at the same ages as their predecessors did. and it also means that mom and dad aren't going to downsize their way of life, sell that big home, and start stashing money into their retirement savings as early as before either. all these actions that were taken in the past provided fuel for our economy that is no longer there...
I got a feeling that we are gonna find out in the near future that those cheap big macs and chinese crap wasn't so cheap after all..

posted on Mar, 19 2016 @ 12:09 AM
a reply to: darkbake

Darkbake and MystikMushroom make outstanding points.

A living wage would not be necessary if no one ever had to worry about not having a private, well built house, good food, clean water, basic utilities and dental and health care.

Those are the top things people worry about being lost or have lost, because people are given free reign to punnish each other taking away any or all of these things or making any or all of them hard to obtain. Those are the things people use to hang over other people's heads. Those are the number one things people use against each other. What we are allowing here is the indirect expression of war. Taking away or preventing a person from securing those things is a hostile action from a bully. This manipulative guilt trip ridden bullying has gone on for so long, most people see it as normal. Even tne one being bullied accepts it without a fight or much of one.

Its not normal to do this to each other. I don't believe we came from this or are rooted in this. Something huge has happened to people to make them treat other people so badly by taking away or preventing access to basic life needs.

Attaching money to basic life needs has to stop because it is being used by people to punnish people to purposefully hurt them and keep hurting them. People are not pumnishing to reform them so they come bsck a better person. No. They are punnishing to exclude them and then use them to their advantage as a broken person in their broken state. The broken state most people view as normal. No. No its not. You don't do this to people. Its very bad to do. Very bad. Very, very wrong.

A living wage. What is a living wage? It is not a wage. It is a spirit. A living spirit. The living spirit that is inside people such as Darkbake and MystikMushroom. Who bring compassion to our attention, gifted with presentation. Letting everyone hurting know they have not forgotten the down trodden and exploited.

The projected future for not just the United States, but the world, is the death wage if this is not chamged now. The wage of oppressing and hurting the living - living wage, is death of all living. With the living manifesting one huge eugenics like program, where only machinery and computers exist based soley on their inability to get along, be kind and compassionate towards one another. Acting like little kids fighting but using big words.

No one can justify slavery of another human and opressing them now that robots can stock shelves and pizza can be delivered by robots and cars can drive themselves, restaurants and grocery stores using computers to take orders and check out items...dishes and clothes wash themselves, robots vacuum, robots plan days, robots research, type, answer phones, they do everything. What does it take to get along? Every damn thing can be done SO NO ONE IS WORKING ANY HARDER THAN ANYONE ELSE, GIVING EVERYONE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE FUN AND EXPERIENCE AND RELAX IN ONE OF THE GREATEST POINTS IN HISTORY.

Stupid. Stupid!

edit on 19-3-2016 by WhiteWingedMonolith because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 19 2016 @ 11:27 AM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

Well said some people are still under the delusion that every person has an opportunity to get ahead in America. They've been brainwashed to believe that this so called land of opportunity is equal and fair. Some people just can't get the help that they need to get ahead. Everyone has different circumstances in life.
edit on 19-3-2016 by wantsome because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 19 2016 @ 12:36 PM
I think so much of it has to do with the lack of education...not just formal education, but basic understanding of the way the business and financial world works.

People rail against the corporations, but large corporations that employ directly generally pay well and provide their workers with the ability to have a good life, and sometimes a great life.

What so many people don't get is that corporations in the food service or retail industries have franchisees. Franchisees are small business owners. McDonalds Corporation doesn't pay the burger flipper. The small businessman that owns that one franchise pays the burger flipper.

The average franchise owner's earned income averages just below $50,000, after operating costs and labor costs. That's why most franchise owners strive to own at least two or three locations.

Small businesses employ about 53% of the people. So, if you are a franchisee taking home $50,000 per year before taxes, can you imagine what raising the minimum wage for say 9 burger flippers from $8.00 per hour to $15.00 per hour would do to your business?

And, remember, an employer pays 1/2 of an employee's social security tax, not to mention the other taxes that employers have to pay to state and federal agencies for each employee, and not to mention worker's comp based on number of employees.

And, sadly (or not) many of these types of workers are going to be lost to automation and robots. Waiters and waitresses are going to become obsolete in the near future, and probably cashiers and burger flippers, too.

Education and determination are still the keys to earning that "living wage".

Taxes are probably the biggest problem for people trying to establish the means to earn a living wage.

Where you locate and establish yourself affects your "living wage". Do you live in a state that has no state income tax, or one that taxes your income on top of federal income taxes? Do you live in a locale that has high or low property taxes? High property taxes are paid by whoever owns that apartment building or house you are renting. If their yearly taxes are high, your rent will be high. What about union fees? I hear people say they are sick of having to pay a fee for very little benefit. Their fees go to union bosses and political parties and they are the ones benefiting at YOUR expense.

Our country is sorely in need of better education. It is heartbreaking to see so many kids coming out of high school that can't string a coherent sentence together, have no clue about basic civics, social structures, business and money matters, how to interview properly for their first starter job, and how to manage income. No wonder they want a Bernie Sanders pie-in-the-sky kind of leader. He will tax and take from the producers and redistribute it to those who will give him a vote into power.

Education reformation!

posted on Mar, 19 2016 @ 12:36 PM
Personally, I think that the people that cry about fair wages need to take a look at the political philosophies that they align themselves with. When the minimum wage was put into effect in 1938 it was possible for a person working a 40 hour work week to adequately feed, house, and clothe themself, and still be able to provide transportation and basic medical care ( occasional Dr. Office visits). So what happened? Big Government and greedy union officials are a large part of the blame. Sure, corporate greed is part of the problem , but the rest of the story can't be ignored.

It's no big secret that, adjusted for inflation, housing prices cost almost twice the amount they did in 1938. That is across the board too...buying a house, renting a house or apartment, or renting a room. What is mainly responsible for this hyper-growth in housing prices? The Lion's share rests with government interventions...HUD, FHA loans, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc. Without these government interventions, or if they were implemented on a much smaller scale, housing prices would be much lower.

Secondly, there are unions. Sure, up until the 60s Unions were a Godsend for the working man. But then they started getting greedy. Many times, union members were happy with what they receiving in pay and benefits, but were pressured by unions to seek more and more during each new contract negotiation. Both my Grandfathers worked only 1 job their entire life after returning from WWll. One worked for Bethlehem Steel and the other worked as a welder for Patterson Kelly. Both were lifelong union men. Both of them died in the late 80s. Both of them were conflicted as to their feelings about the unions they belonged to. They both believed that unions were basically a good thing, but they were asking for too much. Both of them believed that eventually jobs would be lost and prices would soar for some goods because of this. They were both right.

It's no big secret that government interventions led to the current astronomical prices of health care. While greed plays a part as well, the government hasn't helped in the least.

So everybody complaining about a living wage is entitled to complain about corporate greed, and rightly so. Just don't forget to include government subsidies and greedy unions in your complaints. By the way. Adjusted for inflation, the $. 25 per hour minimum wage that completely supported people working a 40 hour week in 1938 would be less than $5 per hour today. Let that sink in.

posted on Mar, 19 2016 @ 02:22 PM
a reply to: darkbake

IMO, the living wage movement spurred on by members of Obama and his government, has one purpose, the true purpose.

The more you make, the more they get.

Deal with all payroll taxes and withholdings first, amend the tax code then a living wage can be discussed.

posted on Mar, 19 2016 @ 02:35 PM
A living wage requires a living economy. That is an economy where everyone is working to produce products for everyone.

Right now 40% of the economy is taxes, consumption without production. Regulations inhibit the 60% left over and thereby reduce our economy to less than 50% of what its natural output would be.

All social wonderfulness starts with the best possible economy.

posted on Mar, 19 2016 @ 03:39 PM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

Maybe because you are thinking of those jobs as something a person ought to support themselves on, but traditionally those are jobs were never intended to be careers. They were filled by people like high school students or college students who didn't need a full-time job or to support themselves or a family.

You start treating those jobs like they are career jobs and what kinds of jobs are left for the true entry level workers: students and the like? They'll be at a disadvantage in the market when they try to actually get a real job because they don't have that experience.

You are supposing that our economy will never be more or better than a bunch of crap service jobs and that people who never made more of themselves than crap service workers should be catered to as if they did make more of themselves.

posted on Mar, 19 2016 @ 04:00 PM
a reply to: darkbake

Regression to the mean?

Most people have struggled to exist for most all of history. Twentieth century ideals pushed better living for more people in more places and high fives all over for that. It's good and even better than good.

Now we're al on the backside of recessions and worrying where the next lurch will come on this roller coaster economic ride.

20th Century social planning was anomalous across time and here we are regressing to the mean again. The living wage becomes a luxury that the not poor wont want to pay for. Should be enough to hold off criminality and desperation. Enough to keep the neighborhood on my doorstep safe for me and mine to pass through.

posted on Mar, 19 2016 @ 05:18 PM
What's the point of working an entire day if the work you did doesn't pay for the day?

That means if you have one of these jobs your either being support by the government or by a peer.

It's called slavery.

posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 07:36 AM
a reply to: darkbake

There will always be low paying jobs because the revenue generated by certain jobs isn't enough to pay a lot. Instead of a living wage, I think we would better serve society if we create pathways to upward mobility through affordable college and small business loans and grants that encourage the creation of tech companies what will create better jobs. Part of the problem right now is that low wage service jobs don't allow workers to look for better jobs through better education or opportunities because most people don't have the means to better their education and even if they do there are not a lot of good companies that pay better wages because we are turning into a service economy. I would do the following: Make college free for anyone who can maintain a 3.0 GPA or above. And for anyone graduating from engineering or the sciences, give them business grants to start tech companies. THEN when they have companies going, give them tax reduction for every long term living wage job they create, if they create enough jobs, the company pays NO taxes. This would give corporations an incentive to bring decent jobs back and base their operations here instead of overseas.

posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 10:22 PM
a reply to: Semicollegiate

Some taxes are necessary to provide services that any first-world nation needs to be successful. These include a military, roads, schools, and many other programs. If you want to do something meaningful, cut the military budget. The budget for social security and disability is 3% of the total spent.

posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 07:26 PM
Cut everything. We should be looking for ways to eliminate the gov. Instead we look for excuses to make it bigger.

We don't need more military than enough nukes to kill an invasion force at sea.

Homeschooling is better schooling. Some folks should be able to make a living teaching neighbor's kids.

Everything the gov does is done by people for money. All of it should be private business.

“If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?”
― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

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