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Poverty in America...Living Wage Calculator

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posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 06:54 PM
reply to post by Hatcookie

Hi, Hatcookie. As near as I can tell, that calculator, which someone else posted, does not take into account cost of living when doing the calculation it uses to present you with your "percentage," so don't feel so bad. The discussion here is wages as they relate to the cost of living where you are (or maybe plan to move).

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 06:56 PM
reply to post by gluetrap

That's good to hear. At least there are some places where people aren't struggling terribly. My main exposure to OK is what I've seen on Saving Grace (sorry! lol) but it seems like a down-to-earth place.

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 07:23 PM
The wages are totally skewed in my county.

Computer and Mathematical $25.01

I'd give my right eye to make that much at my job. I'm a network analyst and make close to half of that. Sure if you've got 10 years experience and a masters, you might pull in 25 an hour, if you're lucky. Other than that, the other costs were pretty close to accurate. Food was a bit higher than normal, housing just a shade less. But then again the wife and I rent our apartment. Their transportation is way out of whack, unless you're paying car payments, which thankfully we aren't.

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 07:49 PM
reply to post by ~Lucidity

I have been both warning about, and advocating, this lifestyle for over a year. I, as many of my friends, have a lot of videos about the current economic crisis.
I always felt we were going to be left to our own with whoever we could get together with. Either they trust us to be innovative, or they hope we fragment, lol.
With my pets and plants and possessions I have been saving for my house, it is hard to think of living in someone's bedroom ! I pray the creator will let me be the housemistress, and share my rooms, but it is not looking like such.
I love people, would love to start anew, but I love my lifestyle and pets and peace and quiet !
So glad you are so giving, and sharing. Much luck and blessings ! Never know what is next !

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 08:11 PM
So whats the answer.....?????

Tax the rich to make everyones life better?

What do you get if you take 6 gallons out of a five gallon bucket?

Just because someone has enough money to cover your previous bad decisions isnt a good enough reason in my book to bail your lazy azz out....

If you want more money work more, get a second job!! invent something, start your own company, dont expect someones hard work and labor to pay your way through life...

But that is what we are heading for in this country ufortunatly, everyone wants the free ride....

Socialisum only works as long as you have someone elses pockets to pic from....

Ya I spelled stuff wrong, and I dont care.

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 08:41 PM
man were did they come up with thous numbers? lol
ok on 10$ a hour for 15 years this is what I had and did .
4 years agaio)))) a house I was buying 5.4 fixed rate 636$ a month .
3 bed rooms 2 full bath rooms kitchen dinning room living room apx 2500 square feet in side the house a working fire place(way cool) sitting on 7/10 of an acre . A 15 foot above ground pool with deck a back porch a front in-closed porch a out side front porch a car port.(all it really need was a door to make it an accutal gruage .all hard wood floors parka board walls ceilings as well .No dry wall in the whole place .
A paved drive with a circle a fish pond .
Yea man it was one NICE place
anyway as i said that was 636$ electricity ran about 230 give or take water 25$ now i had my wife and 6 BOYS pluse 3 dogs cats fish birds well had a real zoo lol anyway food cost 375 -400 a month . No i DIDNOT BUY STAKES LOL.
Buy in bulk save tons i was the best shopper you will ever meet I knew every sale price on every thing in 50 miles lol.
anyway 2 cars (family size vans station wagons 35$ a month or 400 more or less a year.
gas well 25$ a week apx . ( we went out alot lol.
health care for kids through the school 45$ a month ALL OF THEM.
as for me and wife never had healt care never needed it .
so bark that down by the week Ps i worked 50 hour weeks mostly.
150$ house 7$ water 25 gas 100 food 10 health 60 $ elect.
total 327 a week to live out of 500 we had sat tv phone a years pass for all of us to wild adventures . and went out to eat twice a month average .
had a few grand in bank as well for rainy days .
mAN IT WAS A GOOD LIFE always had a few hundred in my pocket.
a few grand every January . ( new car time lol)
27$ an hour man i would have been living high on the hog with that lol.
as it was we enjoyed life the kids were great we had fun heck the wife started working just because she was bored the kids were growing up lol .
now give me 12 $ an hour now with cost of living and I could still easily do the exactly same thing again grant it takes ten years saving to get the house but still possible .
I just don't wast money on things I don't need don't drink don't do drugs don't party (well birthdays for the kids lol
Of corse i lived in a small town and that helps as well .
taht house i payed 85k for would have been 250k in the city and i was nicer then the 350k houses lol.
anyway I do belive the cost is a little off .I know I accutly did this had every thing any sane man could want and if there had been any thing else like a boat i would have gotten one as well .
man i miss it now .( wife realy messed it all up)

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 09:21 PM
Fascinating post.

Like most here, I don't see that the calculator really reflects the reality I see.

Housing (actually checked current rental listings) is minimally 1-1/2 times what is shown and most is 3 to 4 times what is shown.

Medical is twice what is shown and that is with the employer paying 1/2 and not actually ever needing it. If we actually had to utilize the insurance it would be more like 2-1/2 times what is shown.

Our transportation costs are a little less but that's only because our vehicles are paid for and I only travel 1 mile each way to work.

There isn't even an allowance for utilities unless it's included in housing or other and if it's in "other" well... utilities is about all the "other" this chart would allow. If it's included in housing that would obviously change my earlier comparisons.

Compared to the rest of the world, I know we Americans are quite spoiled, even the poorest of us but, I think that's true for most of the developed nations. To compare our wages to those of third world countries really is an apples to oranges comparison. Look at the diversity just county to county in the US. Wages/Expenses tend to be relative, where ever you are.

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 11:14 PM
who said it's the man's job to support the family?

when both members of the couple earn their own existence the couple is better off.

nobody who earns near minimum wage should consider having kids. it's because of numskulls like these that most countries are worst off now than say 30 years ago.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 03:14 AM
Well, their numbers for Tucson are close to accurate housing wise... and of the three places I have lived since college that's the only one they even came close to.

Their North Bend, WA numbers are complete crock and apparently for their Anchorage figures they assume that the 2 parents and 2 children can enjoy a one bedroom in a 4-plex in the slums with a futon bed/couch in th elivingroom for the offspring.

I can tell you right now, things aren't "easier" for the folks who are just somewhat above this living wage, either. To get above that wage you have to go to college, which means any wiggleroom you've created between the haves and the have-nots is immediately destroyed by student loan payments and all the various credit runs you build up while in college.

I honestly don't know how people pulling minimum wage do it. Hell, I scarcely know how I do it some months and I'm in a very decent paying position.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 08:23 AM
reply to post by AnonymousMoose

I think part of the trick to keeping your head above water, and I tell this to my kids everyday, is to stay out of debt. I've been in debt and out of it (except for the house, of course), and out is always better. If things fall apart that's so much less you have to worry about...creditor calls, minimum payments, feeling like you'll never crawl out of a hole. I'm not the best with money, but once I finally did get out of debt (nothing huge, just the normal stuff) about 8 years ago, I was shocked at just how much money I really had left over, and for the first time in my life my savings outweighed my spending. Someone told me that when I was about where you are now, but I didn't listen. I hope my kids do!

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 08:32 AM
reply to post by Hypntick

You might be caught up in that new trend, where companies like Apple and Google (someone mentioned this before, I think) are bringing jobs back to the country but at way lower hourly rates. I think they're taking advantage a bit of the situation, though I do understand that it's business, they could meet us halfway.

When I was a project manager in the early 90s, I was involved in some of the very early offshoring of technical jobs to India. Some of it made sense to me, but some of it didn't. I did a business case that showed that costs of doing this were way more than just an hourly rate and also projected that rates there would not stay low long. I wasn't wrong.

In some cases the hourly rates there now are exceeding what our old starting rate used to be. So that coupled with the additional burdens of offshoring (additional review cycles, miscommunication due to language barriers, more management, time zone differences, which in some cases can work for you and in some against) are again making it lucrative again for companies to bring the work back home. Problem is, the cost of living didn't adjust to the lower rates and it's a whole new game.

That and think unions again. And don't even get me started on unions! My belief is that there is absolutely NO ONE looking out for the average worker these days. They flat out tell you you're on your own.Look out for yourself...get educated, keep your mouth shut, work double hours doing the work of two or three people, stab your competition in the back (kidding! sort of) and maybe you won't get laid off. Unions are a risk. There are some valid points against them, particularly in the employers eyes, and some would argue that we would get into a bad cycle again.

As bad a rap as unions get, they're the lesser evil in my opinion. We all know how much "power" and individual has these days...virtually none. Not when it comes to raises, or fair hours, or insurance costs or bonehead decisions by bean counters that make the immediate profit picture rosy but care nothing for the future. You just sit there and take it when you're on your own. Hell, half the time you don't even have anyone to talk to

And if starting in the Reagan era and with NAFTA, they hadn't started killing off the unions (they knew VERY well what they were doing), we wouldn't be in half the mess we're in now. People don't realize it, but there are still unions, even for IT workers. Of course there's a risk in organizing (think Norma Rae), but the benefits...well decide for yourself, I guess.

I don't know what area of the country you're in, but rumor has it Atlanta is shooting for becoming the next Silicon Valley! Come on down...they might value your skills more than where you currently are. Sorry that was half facetious...not everyone can move and leave behind their friends and family, but it's a thought.

Eek...too much coffee. I got lost in that. Sorry!

[edit on 23-6-2010 by ~Lucidity]

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 08:46 AM
reply to post by burdman30ott6

Wow, you've lived in a lot of places. Thanks for the comparisons. For the Atlanta area, the calculator ran pretty close, but as someone mentioned there are places where it's a bit off, probably because it's running about 2 years behind with the stats it uses, as someone else said.

I guess how people do it is have roommates longer, or live with their parents longer. For some that works and for others it doesn't. Knowing that so many of us are in the same boat is a small comfort. And yeah. student loans can be a huge burden. I remember. But eventually they do end, and just think how good it will feel once you pay them'll be like getting a huge raise

[edit on 23-6-2010 by ~Lucidity]

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 08:52 AM
reply to post by Scalded Frog

I know we in general were spoiled (many still are), and there's nothing wrong with that. We just blew it...partly all on our own but partly as a result of things that were just beyond our control. I look at it this way...this whole situation, as bad as it is might be, might have some positives in reminding us of what's important and what's not, where not to be wasteful, and how to prioritize. In the end it might make us stronger?

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 09:12 AM

Reply to xxcalbier

I think most of the numbers come from state and federal government records and economic indicators. For the most part, the numbers seem relatively accurate, but maybe haven't kept up with the cost of living and maybe even salaries themselves, as a few people have mentioned.

Reading your story reminded me of a conversation I had with my gramma once. I was complaining that a guy at my brand new job (hired at the same time I was, both of us straight out of college, blah blah) made 1.5 times what I did...just because he was a guy. She said, you know what? You're never going to be happy if you look at the person next to you and compare. Then she asked me if I was happy with I made. I thought about that, about how I had just come through 6 years making and living just fine on less than $4K a year and how now I was making 6 times that amount, and thought,"why wasn't I happy?" And I realized she was right.

It's not important what someone ELSE has. You have to decide what is enough for YOU, what you want. Knowing what someone else makes? What does that matter? Looking at what someone else has and you don't and letting that influence and control your life and distract you from what is right for you only makes you unhappy. I think that's a big problem for many people. Or has been. Not everyone is built this way, I realize. And there's something to be said for competition and moving ahead, but at what sacrifice? I'm glad she made me think about it. I think it's made me a more happy person overall. And it sounds like you learned that same lesson too. In a way. It's hard sometimes, but you have to stop and put it into perspective. What you might gain versus what you'd have to give up.

Thanks for sharing your story.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 11:30 AM
reply to post by ~Lucidity

This site sucks. I calculated the differences between Dayton Ohio and Portland Oregon and the "living wage" was only 50 cents higher in Portland.. complete crap. Oregon thus far has been nearly twice as expensive to live in than Ohio, especially food prices, gas and housing.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 12:34 PM
For those who are considering moving due to the economy, here's another calculator I ran across that compares two cities. You could do this with the calculator in the OP too, but it never hurts to use multiple sources and tools to get all the information you possibly can.

This one looks like it has more of a real-estate slant, but looks to have some good numbers as near as I can tell.

In three simple steps we'll provide a cost of living comparison. Just tell us your current city and where you'd like to move. We'll show your two cities side-by-side in all the categories you need, such as taxes, housing, food, and other costs. You can enter your salary and our built-in Salary Calculator will determine how much more (or less) you need to maintain your same standard of living.

Cost of Living Calculator

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 12:36 PM
reply to post by Rockpuck

Oh wow. I wonder what the problem is. Try using that new one I just mentioned and see if it's closer?

I didn't see your comment before I posted weird.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 01:15 PM
reply to post by ~Lucidity

Overall 109 73
Food 101 96
Housing 120 29
Utilities 79 99
Transportation 110 103
Health 122 97
Miscellaneous 105 96

Dayton is 33% cheaper than Portland.

Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference.

Housing is 75% cheaper in Dayton.

That's from the site, which I must say is much better than the original. I can say that "Transportation" is blown out of proportion however, gas is approx .50 cheaper in Ohio (no crazy liberal taxation), insurance is cheaper, and parking is much cheaper. The only difference is many Ohio cities have poor mass-transit.

But as the site says, housing is the biggest difference, even renting. A house out west cost about 250k for a starter, I could have bought one of the same quality for 100k in Ohio. When we moved we downgraded our square feet in a new apt compared to our old one and paid $400 more a month for it.

I'm still kind of in shock at how much more expensive it is. Granted, you have more options to make more money out here, wages are higher and such. It also doesn't helped I moved from two extremes, a city below average for expense and a city above average for expense. I've since moved to Washington, it's a tad cheaper here, but not by much.

Everyone here blames Californians for all this,

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 02:27 PM
Wonder how much Grant Monies was spent to come up with those numbers
They are so out of wack

You noticed whose salaries are at the top of the heap in every location.
even those numbers are subject.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 02:38 PM
reply to post by Rockpuck

Okay, thanks. Cool that it was better. For me the first seemed closer but both were in the ballpark. Housing prices seem to be whack everywhere, I guess due to the mess with the subprime mortgages. There was a huge revolution here and it would up that our county reassessed all homes.

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