A Livable Minimum Wage

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by scheherazade, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The display software has trouble with American dollar signs, and it looks like that. (There's a workaround, if that's the issue - something to do with italics? Forget.)
    scheherazade likes this.
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  3. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    Minimum wage here in west central Florida is about 8.25, but that is just for entry level, and people with a few good work habits get periodic raises. Gas here is 2.20 a gallon, utilities are quite reasonable;

    We have many mild months, and we use our A/C set to 78 in summer and 68 in winter.

    A “big breakfast” at McD’s is 4.79 here (eggs, hash browns, biscuit, and sausage); coffee a dollar.

    I love flea markets and garage sales, and pick up bargains all the time, often at 50% to 90% off retail.

    We cut the cable and land lines a few years ago, but have plenty of high speed internet at 90/month, and our cell phones and device data plans run us 120, and we buy Netflix $25, but we both are online a lot.
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  5. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Interesting that McD's prices are quite similar based on ad info I receive in the mail and my internet runs 67.00 for 120 Gig of data, smart phone 89.25 and Shaw satellite is 75.00.
    We have a very active buy and sell on FB and I watch the points offers on Presidents Choice Financial. With in-store discounts on fresh meat and seasonal items, I can save plenty
    and I cook most things at home from scratch.
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  7. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, I'd forgotten about the regulatory aspects. It's the same here: technically, the wood stove is our auxillary and the propane heater--which isn't even hooked up properly--is our primary heating source.

    I can well imagine. When it hits -25 C here, it's almost like a full-time job keeping the wood stove running at the highest temps--even in a relatively small space.

    Out of curiosity, how low do you allow the indoor temp to drop when you are going to be out of the house for hours?

    I've always been a part of what is termed the "gig economy," ofttimes at the most extreme end of it, i.e., being paid a large chunk of cash for something which hasn't even as yet come to fruition. Fortunately, I inherited a good sensibility about all matters pecuniary from my parents; otherwise, I would have found myself with no money and no income for months and months on end. Likewise, being "paid" with perks--housing, meals, etc.--has allowed me to live in places which otherwise might have proved cost prohibitive.

    It seems that with most people--both from what I have read and what I have witnessed personally--spending habits fluctuate in direct correlation with their income. To a degree this makes sense, but I've noticed that some, when their available capital increases considerably, will spend vast amounts of money on things which had never seemed important to them previously--as though they are obligated to spend the money because they have it.
  8. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    I keep the thermostat set on 65F largely because I have house plants that will not thrive at temperatures lower than that. Also, the amount of energy required to bring the thermal mass of the house back up
    when kept below that becomes greater than maintaining at 65F. With the wood heat on, the temperature ranges from 67-72F, warmest upstairs in the media room.
  9. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    In the UK the statutory national living wage is £7.50 for employees over 25.
    That equates to c.£14k p.a. with this roughly being the level at which you would start paying income tax.
    So those on the NLW would theoretically pay zero (or minimal) income tax, and fairly low national insurance.

    For comparison of costs:

    McD costs about the same in GBP as it costs in USD in the states, so a 4-dollar meal in the US would cost 4 pounds.
    Petrol/diesel is c.£1.20 a litre, so that equates to c.6 USD per US gallon.
    Television costs anything from free up to £100 or so per month if you want the full package of up to date movies and entertainment, and sports etc.
    I have an unlimited usage 70 Mb/s connection that costs me c.£35 per month.

    The biggest cost for someone earning NLW would likely be rent.
    It's doubtful they would have saved enough for the deposit on a house of their own so would be renting, which can cost anything from £50 a week for a scuzzy bed-sit in a scuzzy place, up to £1,000s per week in central London for even a small flat.
    However, with mortgage rates so low at the moment, owning your own 2+ bedroom house is almost certainly the cheapest option, especially as you can then take in a lodger that would help cover some of the costs.
    But finding the money for a desposit won't be easy on the NLW, so it's an unfortunate cycle of paying the more expensive rent because you can't afford the deposit that would help reduce your costs.

    It is certainly possible to live on the statutory NLW but you'd always likely to have minimal savings, low personal pension plan, cars on the cheaper side etc.
    It would ultimately depend on what your rent is per year.
    If you have a partner and you both earn the NLW with full-time jobs then it becomes easier.
    scheherazade likes this.
  10. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Thank you for providing numbers, Baldeee. That is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. Your minimum wage to living costs ratio is fairly similar.

    The comparison between currencies is of some interest since the British pound equals $1.69 Canadian and the US dollar is presently $1.25 Canadian. My friends who travel to Britain
    find the costs of meals to be quite high when looking at the exchange rates.

    It would appear that the minimum wage in these three nations does not enable a single income household to thrive and it would be a struggle just to get by.
  11. birch Valued Senior Member

    that has always been an issue. why society is set up so that it's always in a way that causes misery in some way, i have been puzzled by honestly all my life. this is because the problems are readily knowable and viewable to everyone and therefore somewhat or totally fixable/changable. why life is unfair when it doesn't have to be. why there is such a nonsensical extreme of those who having way too much (insanely so) and those having way too little (struggling, hardship, stressful).

    why can't the world be a happier, healthier place for everyone i do not know. people think my thoughts or reasoning are of utopia or childish but current reality never made logical sense to me either.
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  12. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Interestingly, there are many among the rich who would willingly pay more taxes. There are articles on-line to be found from 2011 onwards. The following link is from March 2017.

    Eighty people including George Soros, Steven Rockefeller and Abigail Disney wrote to lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying they and other top earners should pay more to support schools, roads, bridges and programs to help poor and homeless residents of the state.

    "Now is the time to invest in the long-term economic viability of New York,'' the letter reads. "We need to invest in pathways out of poverty and up the economic ladder for all of our fellow citizens, including strong public education from pre-K to college. And, we need to invest in the fragile bridges, tunnels, waterlines, public buildings, and roads that we all depend on."

    Many of those signing the letter are millionaires and all make more than $650,000, making them members of the state's top 1 per cent when it comes to income.


    We have more than enough, it is just not distributed equitably.
  13. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Not having enough money to pay the power bill or rent is one thing but any country that does not have free health care needs to do something.

    And a decent social security plan.
    Capitalism needs a percentage unemployed for many reasons but most of all as the goto way to co trol inflation... So if there will always be unemployed people the dole should be available and seen as a payment not to seek work.

    A 2% turnover tax apparently is enough to fund a Government with not other tax...
    Maybe more but even if double that sounds like the way to go... And makes ine wonder how much money is being tranfered around if a turn over tax seems to hold promise.
    My advice for anyone buy some real estate even if you cant live on it yet.
    Some where there will be land you can afford.. Buy it and some day you can set up there and not pay rent.
  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    When using a dollar sign you need to apply formatting to it ie. $, italics, or $ bold.
    This avoids the $ sign being read as programming language and screwing your your post.
  15. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    The cost of living varies from one area to another. As for working hard, I think the kid at McDonald's works pretty hard.

    That's very true in my community.

    Hard to say. I would much prefer seeing more housing construction that might drive down the cost of an apartment. The problem is, minimum wage doesn't keep up with inflation. On the flip side, in our job market, employers are having trouble filling vacancies, which drives up wages. I recently interviewed for a job and was told all I needed do is show up every day.

    My son works part time and shares an apartment with a friend. My wife and I help by picking up the cost of his car insurance. Other than that, he pays his rent and buys his own food. I think he works 20 hours a week at $15.00 per hour. he seems to have money for other stuff, like seeing a movie.
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Does it, in fact, drive up wages?
    Around me, it doesn't. The wages have risen a little, lately - but the fundamental break point, when the median job would no longer pay for median housing of any kind at the standard 30%, is far from being recrossed in the other direction.
  17. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    Is the minimum wage meant to support a single, independent adult?
    Are any jobs that pay minimum wage meant to provide a modest life?
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It was originally set to enable a single 40hr job to support a family at the poverty line.
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    It wasn't set to support a family. It was set to support an individual. It wasn't a lot of money however. It would be about $8/hr today.
  20. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    Can you show me a source on that? As I'm only finding things like this:
    "The act`s objective was summarized as the “elimination of labor conditions detrimental to the maintenance of the minimum standards of living necessary for health, efficiency and well being of workers."" - http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1701.html

    Do you have any further details of what those "minimum standards" might have entailed?
  21. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    I think it might. There will always be those jobs that pay minimum wage, but they go through people pretty quickly. The job I was considering recently pays well. Even with a good hourly wage and benefits they couldn't retain people. I think labor is like any other commodity, there's a supply and demand side.
  22. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Most people live on debt.
    Without that debt load, the financial industry would suffer.

    Raising the minimum wage to a fair $20.00/hr could eliminate much of that debt. IF people only bought what they needed. But, most likely, most won't.
    So the financial industry is thereby saved. If people are accustomed to living on debt, then are they likely to increase their debt load as their earnings increase?

    Thanks for the $ , $ advice
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    They're designed to go through people. Increasingly, they are part time.
    The question is not whether it might, but whether it does, now, in the current situation.
    You can look at the statistics for two-income households at the time.
    It would be somewhere between 12 and 20 @hr, US. Depending on how you calculate price inflation, handle takehome vs gross, etc.

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