"Minimum Wage Jobs aren't careers"

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I said this in a previous thread and I'll say it here. I think people have a bad misconception about what classifies a "living wage" a living wage shouldn't mean you are living well or even comfortable just that you have enough to get by on. And you can get by on the current minimum wage in the US. Oh sure it will suck hard most likely, make no mistake about that but it is doable. It might mean you have to rent a room and rely walking to get around and give up your two pack a day habit but it's doable.

I think the root of the problem is what we have come to think of as necessities. Necessities are a heated roof over your head running water and food. Things that are NOT necessities include cell phones, cigarettes, the internet, a car, all sorts of things that I see people complaining that minimum wage employees can't afford. Well, if they are only making minimum wage they probably shouldn't be able to afford those things. Yet if you are ever in a drive through and see employees outside on break you will almost always notice that they are either smoking or texting or oftentimes both. This tells me that maybe the problem isn't the wages being paid but the priorities of the workers that need to be called into question.

cell phones and the internet are actually socially and governmentally de facto required "necessities" in much of the world now Cosmo.

in the UK for example internet access is required to claim the new Universal Credit that will shortly replace vast swathes of the current benefits system while a mobile number is a defacto requirement for those seeking work and claiming JSA while doing so. it short the government treats both as "necessities" even for people not in work.

"a living wage" is not about justifying "living it up" rather it's about paying wages that are just enough so that people can exist off the taper (and it is a taper) of state support when working.

state support is 1. not generous and 2. based on the governments assessment of the bare minimum of an income required to subsist within their given nations society/economy.

the basic principal is "a fair days pay for a fair days' work." and not paying enough for someone to live on is not "a fair days pay".

or to put in words you might appreciate better "why should tax dollars be spent on subsidising the wages of people who are actually in work ?".

"young people" tend to be able to still think "a low wage" is still "decent money" because they don't have those adult "responsibility" yet and so usually have enough left over for them to enjoy spending even on low wage...but the system and the assessments used within it are not based around the lives of "young people".

Sleekit:
cell phones and the internet are actually socially and governmentally de facto required "necessities" in much of the world now Cosmo.

in the UK for example internet access is required to claim the new Universal Credit that will shortly replace vast swathes of the current benefits system while a mobile number is a defacto requirement for those seeking work and claiming JSA while doing so. it short the government treats both as "necessities" even for people not in work.

While I can't speak for the rest of the world in the US you can get by just fine without a cell phone. As for the internet, that's freely available at most every public library.

Super Not Cosmo:

Sleekit:
cell phones and the internet are actually socially and governmentally de facto required "necessities" in much of the world now Cosmo.

in the UK for example internet access is required to claim the new Universal Credit that will shortly replace vast swathes of the current benefits system while a mobile number is a defacto requirement for those seeking work and claiming JSA while doing so. it short the government treats both as "necessities" even for people not in work.

While I can't speak for the rest of the world in the US you can get by just fine without a cell phone. As for the internet, that's freely available at most every public library.

ye that would be a point...if they weren't busy closing public libraries...

as for the cell phone thing..it's different in different countries ofc...in the UK (as in Japan too i think) near 100% national cell phone coverage was relatively easy to implement because its a relatively small island nation, it arrived almost "all in a oner", and so i would suggest their use became societally ubiquitous somewhat earlier/easier as a result whereas in the US i'm given to understand cell phone coverage is taking time to spread out from the urban centres and so probably isn't considered quite as societally ubiquitous...yet.

there is even a fairly common "conspiracy theory" type rumour in the UK that if you don't have "a mobile" nowadays you're considered "a person of interest" by the security services :s

Super Not Cosmo:
I said this in a previous thread and I'll say it here. I think people have a bad misconception about what classifies a "living wage" a living wage shouldn't mean you are living well or even comfortable just that you have enough to get by on. And you can get by on the current minimum wage in the US. Oh sure it will suck hard most likely, make no mistake about that but it is doable. It might mean you have to rent a room and rely walking to get around and give up your two pack a day habit but it's doable.

Love the insinuation that people who are not wealthy are that way because they're "wasting money on bad habits".

I think the root of the problem is what we have come to think of as necessities. Necessities are a heated roof over your head running water and food. Things that are NOT necessities include cell phones, cigarettes, the internet, a car, all sorts of things that I see people complaining that minimum wage employees can't afford.

Why are you trying to make it harder for people to get a job?

Well, if they are only making minimum wage they probably shouldn't be able to afford those things.

Why not?

Yet if you are ever in a drive through and see employees outside on break you will almost always notice that they are either smoking or texting or oftentimes both.

So?

This tells me that maybe the problem isn't the wages being paid but the priorities of the workers that need to be called into question.

I'm sorry, priorities? Don't you agree that an occasional short break in a high intensity job is beneficial, since high levels of stress are detrimental to the quality of work? Not like they all take a break at the same time, depriving you of anything? Or would you rather be served by stressed employees who do a worse job because they're stress or unfocused? Why'd you want that, unless you hope you can make a scene and demand money back or something?

Oh, and after all, why do feel they should serve you? If you're too lazy to cook, why do you think you deserve to eat?

Vegosiux:
Love the insinuation that people who are not wealthy are that way because they're "wasting money on bad habits".

No what I'm saying, not insinuating, is that people expect far too high a quality of life for working a minimum wage job. A minimum wage job should be just about enough money to keep you from living on the street and starving. What I am saying is that people at these jobs oftentimes prioritize and spend their money on non essentials and then cry when they are short on when they can't afford the essentials.

Why are you trying to make it harder for people to get a job?

These people already have jobs, no?

Why not?

Because those things are luxuries. If you are making minimum wage you probably shouldn't be spending money on many luxuries and non essentials if you want to be able to afford those crazy superfluous things like eating food and living indoors.

I'm sorry, priorities? Don't you agree that an occasional short break in a high intensity job is beneficial, since high levels of stress are detrimental to the quality of work? Not like they all take a break at the same time, depriving you of anything? Or would you rather be served by stressed employees who do a worse job because they're stress or unfocused? Why'd you want that, unless you hope you can make a scene and demand money back or something?

I have no problem with the breaks. Hell I nap at my job so I can't complain about people taking breaks. No, my focus was more on the fact that these people seem to afford cigarettes, which are pretty damn expensive so I hear, and expensive smart phones that come with expensive plans well enough. If you are complaining about not making enough money to get by I don't want to then hear about how you have are spending a couple hundred dollars a month between cigarettes and your cell phone bill.

We just went through this with my sister-in-law. She just moved out on her own and works at a pizza place waiting tables. Well she came to us for money because "she wasn't making enough" at her job. She is a perfect example of having bad priorities. Because while she can't afford her rent she can afford spending at least 3 bucks a day five to six days a week on energy drinks. She can't afford her utilities but amazingly enough she can afford her iPhone and the plan that accompanies it. She can even afford to go out to the club where the cost of drinks is in the double digits with her friends on the weekend but those pesky necessities are out of reach for her somehow.

Now the wife and I not wanting this girl moving into our house, gave her the money (well technically it was a loan but I probably have a better chance of finding that money randomly on the street than I do getting it back from her) but not before sitting her down and explaining there would be no more money after this and going over her finances with a fine tooth comb with her. Much to my eternal shock (ok, not really) it turns out she does make enough money for her rent and utilities but then she would have very little left over and as she put "what is she supposed to do on the weekend? Just sit at home?"

ClockworkPenguin:

Revnak:

Semes:

I have to ask, do you work at the minute? You say you have the support of your family but many do not. You don't want there to be competition for "shitty" jobs, why not? What jobs should there be competition for? And where are these "perfectly good reasons" for a single person working a job that they can't survive on?

The people who need more money from their job should ask for more and take jobs which ask more of them. I don't want there to be much competition for certain jobs because I don't want to have to seem like the best candidate for a job against people who have twelve years of experience. I do not plan on keeping a bad job. I plan on learning some from it and getting a bit of spending money for myself. Getting some work experience to put on my resume. And not everyone needs to survive on their salary. I don't, millions of teenagers and college kids don't, lots of people don't. People who want jobs and are quite willing to work for less than minimum wage, but are having a very hard time getting them because the current economic climate is leading to a bunch of overqualified people applying to work at McDonald's.

So, correct me if I'm wrong but you want a system where less competent people can get jobs easier, so that you can get some pocket money, at the expense of driving down employment rights and benefits for people who need the job to live on.

Bit selfish no?

Read a bit further and you'll realize it was largely hypothetical and a devil's advocate. I absolutely need minimum wage to be high considering I am actually quite close to not having enough money for college and my family can't pay for it. It's just an argument I see my father throw around occasionally, that minimum wage should be low because single people and students shouldn't have a hard time getting jobs and they don't need as much to survive.

There is a "let them eat cake" level of delusions here.

EDIT: Most sociology books are pretty clear on how bad a large class divide is and the risks from always living on the poverty line. So what do people who argue that minimum wage shouldn't be raised have?

Evidence, base mathematics or statistics? No, they just have ignorant rhetoric and anecdotal evidence.

Veylon:
Gives us the $4000 you are talking about. Broken down monthly, it's $333. Which must cover gas, car (and other) repairs, clothes, laundry, internet, hospital bills, and all other living expenses, expected and unexpected.

Utilities were included as a part of rent.

The car payments I put out were for a new or almost new car so repairs should not be an issue (still under warranty).

I don't know about you but I wear my clothes into the ground. I maybe spend $200 per year on clothes (and that is only because I actually work and my clothes occasionally get ruined).

Laundry should not be a significant issue. My friend uses his apartment's laundry and he pays $4 per week. Most places you pay half that.

Internet, depending on your job, not a necessity. I lived close to two decades without internet and came out just fine.

Hospital bills, you do realize that McDonalds provides health care benefits to its full time employees right?

And that's assuming that you work full time, each and every week, without every taking a vacation.

Unless you have built up your savings you should not be taking a vacation to begin with.

Technically, you can survive, yes. But get sick a few days or need a doctor or get in an accident and your whole financial life can fall apart in an instant.

McDonald's provides paid disability leave.

After all, how much can you possibly save against disasters when the margin is so thin? And it is very thin for many.

Quite a bit actually. You are talking to a farm boy who's Great-Grandparents fought their way through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl and the Mexican Revolution and the rise of the KKK and being drafted into two separate wars and on. As for today, as the song says, "diesels worth the price of gold, it's the cheapest grain he's ever sold but he's still holding on".

Frission:
This would also make for a very cruel and stress filled society, with no time for self actualization or any leisure. Not to mention that even in the bleak "ideal" situation there are expenses that haven't been properly calculated for a basic lifestyle.

You would be surprised. See above.

Taxes for garbage, water and electricity are ball parked $250 to $350 per month for all utilities and I'm being generous.

This is about the US not France (France's minimum wage is way higher than the US's anyway). Just about everything (except cell phones for some reason) is expensive in Europe. As a single male living in a 3 bedroom condo I manage to have a utilities bill hovering around $100 in Texas (and yes that includes the summer when I got pissed that my bill got to $120 that one month).

You will also have to discount health services and if you live on 5$ for food a day is not enough and you will eventually have health problems.

I did it for 4 years without any ill effects. The only issue I had was that other time I sprained my ankle, and that time someone hit me with a 2x4 and they checked me for a concussion.

Once again, this is the US not France. About $10 in the US will buy you a big bag of frozen chicken legs from HEB (a grocery store). If I wanted to eat chicken every day then that bag would last me 2 weeks. Throw in a handful of rice (a box of 2 kg costs about $15, less with long grain rice), and a can of corn/broccoli/etc (about $0.25-0.50 per can) and you've got a feast. Even if you try and throw in spices, you can last for the better part of a year on a large can of pepper.

The average rent in the U.S is also 804$ per month. Since there's 12 months a year, 9648$ would be gone due to rent.

That is only if you include those obscenely expensive "apartments" that cost in the millions of dollars. My number was for living outside the center of the city. In other words, in the slightly cheaper area. Your number includes all apartments which skews the number.

I suppose this explains why the U.S has one of the lowest life expectancies in the Western world.

A 1-2 year difference is statistically irrelevant. Especially when you consider the fact that the US has far more fatalities per capita due to car accidents than the entire Western World (an example). Overall, the US is not worse off than Europe in that regard (even though we should be given our historical position).

A higher minimum wage could lead to lower turnover rates, improvements in organizational efficiency at businesses, small price increases and wage reductions for higher earners. Such adjustments would allow businesses to pay lower-wage workers more without resorting to layoffs.

At the same time, they cut back on benefits and also on training which pushes out younger and low skilled workers.

EDIT: An adult person doesn't live like a college student.

Aside from a handful of outliers college students are adults. Even if you take a conservative view, once I passed the age of 25 you should start considering me an adult.

Super Not Cosmo:

No what I'm saying, not insinuating, is that people expect far too high a quality of life for working a minimum wage job. A minimum wage job should be just about enough money to keep you from living on the street and starving. What I am saying is that people at these jobs oftentimes prioritize and spend their money on non essentials and then cry when they are short on when they can't afford the essentials.

You make it all sound so black and white, as if the complaints "only" come from people crying about being piss poor while just having set up a home cinema with full surround. There's also something to be said about social interaction and leisure being one of the essentials.

Why are you trying to make it harder for people to get a job?

These people already have jobs, no?

They could be looking for a different one, maybe one that's closer, or has better hours, or better pay, or is within their own field of expertise, no?

Why not?

Because those things are luxuries. If you are making minimum wage you probably shouldn't be spending money on many luxuries and non essentials if you want to be able to afford those crazy superfluous things like eating food and living indoors.

How about you give me a citation that backs up what you're saying, that "minimum wage" should mean "no luxuries".

I have no problem with the breaks. Hell I nap at my job so I can't complain about people taking breaks. No, my focus was more on the fact that these people seem to afford cigarettes, which are pretty damn expensive so I hear, and expensive smart phones that come with expensive plans well enough. If you are complaining about not making enough money to get by I don't want to then hear about how you have are spending a couple hundred dollars a month between cigarettes and your cell phone bill.

The only one talking about "spending a couple hundred dollars a month between cigaresstes and your cell phone bill" is you, and if you don't want to hear about it, maybe you should stop saying it.

Also, what do you think would happen if people stopped buying consumer goods?

We just went through this with my sister-in-law. She just moved out on her own and works at a pizza place waiting tables. Well she came to us for money because "she wasn't making enough" at her job. She is a perfect example of having bad priorities. Because while she can't afford her rent she can afford spending at least 3 bucks a day five to six days a week on energy drinks. She can't afford her utilities but amazingly enough she can afford her iPhone and the plan that accompanies it. She can even afford to go out to the club where the cost of drinks is in the double digits with her friends on the weekend but those pesky necessities are out of reach for her somehow.

Now the wife and I not wanting this girl moving into our house, gave her the money (well technically it was a loan but I probably have a better chance of finding that money randomly on the street than I do getting it back from her) but not before sitting her down and explaining there would be no more money after this and going over her finances with a fine tooth comb with her.

Must have been quite an ego boost, right? Then again, I don't know your family, and I don't know her. All I have on the story is this right here, and I'm way past taking anything you say at face value, sorry.

Much to my eternal shock (ok, not really) it turns out she does make enough money for her rent and utilities but then she would have very little left over and as she put "what is she supposed to do on the weekend? Just sit at home?"

That's actually a very valid question. Now, of course there are cheap ways to spend leisure time, and there are expensive ways. But hopefully we're not yet at the point where we'd force people into whatever we think they deserve to be spending time on.

Also, again, what makes you think you deserve to eat if you are too lazy to or unwilling to make time to prepare your own food? Why do the service workers out there in restaurants owe it to you?[1]

[1] No, not even "giving them money" counts, last time I checked you can be denied service even if you were going to pay for it.

It is feasible to live off minimum wage, but it largely depends on where you live. In NY state for example, not a chance in hell. The high costs of living and insane level of taxes would prevent it. Hell, even engineers and accountants can barely scrape by in that state. Down South where your cost of living/taxes are cut by 30-50%, it may be feasible.

farson135:
/snip

I've used numbers from the U.S census bureau. This is not for France and I would say that Texas isn't the U.S either. Besides whether it's 800$ a month or 900$ or $623 you still failed to take into account that it's rent for month. Even at it's cheapest there isn't an apartment for 58$ a month.

I have a question however for the utilities. I've used electricity, water, gas, sewer and garbage disposal. Which totals in the U.S at a absolute minimum of 100 to 175$ per month, but this is not the case for all Americans. It also ignores Internet, rental insurance, phone and an alarm service. This is also per month and was not taken into account in your original calculation.

It's interesting that you mentioned McDonald's because there's an article on Forbes about how it shows how impossible it is to live on minimum wage (forbes, so I'm not only using "liberal" sources).

http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2013/07/18/why-mcdonalds-employee-budget-has-everyone-up-in-arms/

image

" It assumes the worker is working two jobs.
It surmises that health insurance costs $20 a month.
It doesn't include child care, groceries, clothing or gas for the worker's car.
Also, another, possibly earlier, version of the budget proposed that heating would cost $0 a month."

"The average national health insurance premium for an individual is $215 per month. As far back as 2010, even McDonald's own plan for its workers cost $14 a week"

The gap in 2 years is not statistically relevant, but it does when you compare the lifespan of someone who is deprived and someone who is not.

image

No, you can't just say it's because it's "France" or "Europe", in a long term economic view this is irresponsible.
Even if it may work for you it doesn't work for everyone else and still doesn't account for disasters.

If you're also going to personal anecdotes, I could just as well say that my family have always been poor farmers or soldiers and my great grandfather fought in WWI and my family would still say that this isn't a way to treat a human being.

EDIT: Besides the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl were terrible examples of Government doing nothing while people suffered.

Frission:
EDIT: Besides the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl were terrible examples of Government doing nothing while people suffered.

Actually, I would say they're great examples of government doing nothing while people suffered, which perfectly illustrate how terrible the idea that "government shouldn't be in the business of helping people" really is. Though I recognize that's most likely what you meant by that, just thought I'd add that nuance.

Frission:
I've used numbers from the U.S census bureau. This is not for France and I would say that Texas isn't the U.S either.

I have never seen utility bills anywhere close to what you described as being "generous" (at least not in a single person home). So I want a citation.

Besides whether it's 800$ a month or 900$ or $623 you still failed to take into account that it's rent for month.

I did account for it. Try rereading my post again because that was the first figure I covered.

Even at it's cheapest there isn't an apartment for 58$ a month.

Your point?

I have a question however for the utilities. I've used electricity, water, gas, sewer and garbage disposal. Which totals in the U.S at a absolute minimum of 100 to 175$ per month, but this is not the case for all Americans.

Obviously not, since when I rented my apartment (back in the day) I paid usually about $75 in utilities. It was all thrown into rent for the month. For apartments, things like trash and other utilities are usually included in rent. That might be where you are confusing things. You might be trying to separate rent and utilities despite the fact that they usually converge.

It also ignores Internet, rental insurance, phone and an alarm service. This is also per month and was not taken into account in your original calculation.

Internet- still not necessary for most jobs
Rental insurance- I got $10,000 in renters insurance for about $25 per month. Still not really necessary.
Phone- $30 per month, and probably not necessary
Alarm service?- Are you talking about home alarms? Can't do that in most apartments.

Anyway, I never claimed that I was laying out an entire budget but even with what you provided you barely broke $50 per month.

It's interesting that you mentioned McDonald's because there's an article on Forbes about how it shows how impossible it is to live on minimum wage (forbes, so I'm not only using "liberal" sources).

Problem, the article is attacking McDonald's fake budget. Tell me again how my budget is impossible to live on. I lived on less than that as an undergrad.

The gap in 2 years is not statistically relevant, but it does when you compare the lifespan of someone who is deprived and someone who is not.

Amazing, a meth addict living on the street has a lower life expectancy than your average middle class male. I doubt French meth addicts are much healthier.

No, you can't just say it's because it's "France" or "Europe", in a long term economic view this is irresponsible.

Your country has had at least 2,000 years (if you just go back to Roman times) to build itself up. The US plowed under what civilizations were here and built everything we have now from scratch in 300 years. That includes building up a nation larger than your continent and constructing a very new system of government over a territory and people who had never seen anything like it.

And yet somehow you expect us to be in exactly the same position as you. Your country is smaller than my state, has had a longer time period to get its act together, and is far wealthier than my state (and my state has the second highest GDP in the US).

Even if it may work for you it doesn't work for everyone else and still doesn't account for disasters.

It works for most college students. We usually get minimum wage at best in student loans and such.

If you're also going to personal anecdotes, I could just as well say that my family have always been poor farmers or soldiers and my great grandfather fought in WWI and my family would still say that this isn't a way to treat a human being.

Your family cannot really compare itself to mine. I stayed in the 1920s and 30s. Before then we have the Texas Revolution, the Trail of Tears, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Indian Wars, and on.

The point is that my family has gone through more than you can imagine and still survived. A minimum wage is more than enough money to make due. My family members (and myself) would say that you want everything. You want every eventuality covered. If you want that then you need to work for it and even then you need to be prepared for life to shit on you. That is the kind of perspective that comes from living in Central Texas. You probably do not know this but the hill country has a thin layer of soil over limestone. When people first moved here they thought that this land could grow anything. Then the rain washed away the top soil. Then the droughts came. Farmers in the Hill Country are always living on the edge. Combined with all of that comes the memories of what came before-

You want to be protected from everything. It is hard for me to sympathize when I can still remember my great-grandmother crying when she heard this (and if you knew my great-grandmother you would remember it too)-

A minimum wage is more than enough to live on. You just feel entitled to more than life and a bit. Once again, hard for me to sympathize.

EDIT: Besides the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl were terrible examples of Government doing nothing while people suffered.

Actually the government did quite a bit. Just not as much as you would have wanted.

farson135:

If you're also going to personal anecdotes, I could just as well say that my family have always been poor farmers or soldiers and my great grandfather fought in WWI and my family would still say that this isn't a way to treat a human being.

Your family cannot really compare itself to mine. I stayed in the 1920s and 30s. Before then we have the Texas Revolution, the Trail of Tears, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Indian Wars, and on.

The point is that my family has gone through more than you can imagine and still survived. A minimum wage is more than enough money to make due. My family members (and myself) would say that you want everything. You want every eventuality covered. If you want that then you need to work for it and even then you need to be prepared for life to shit on you. That is the kind of perspective that comes from living in Central Texas. You probably do not know this but the hill country has a thin layer of soil over limestone. When people first moved here they thought that this land could grow anything. Then the rain washed away the top soil. Then the droughts came. Farmers in the Hill Country are always living on the edge. Combined with all of that comes the memories of what came before-

You want to be protected from everything. It is hard for me to sympathize when I can still remember my great-grandmother crying when she heard this (and if you knew my great-grandmother you would remember it too)-

You guys really want to play the "my family history is more tragic that your family history" game?

I was born in Poland and my maternal grandfather's family were Polish Jews. So I have millenia worth of tragic historical background to compare my own life to. I am sure we can find a recent immigrant from a worn-torn country with just as horrible stories.

Talking about poor farming communities, they tend to have major problems with losing their young people to cities since they are not willing to a accept a subsistence living and go looking for opportunities somewhere else.

Human beings are wired to try and improve their lot in life and merely surviving is not enough in the long run.

farson135:

I have never seen utility bills anywhere close to what you described as being "generous" (at least not in a single person home). So I want a citation.

Sure. Utility bills seem to vary.

http://www.whitefenceindex.com/

$20,194 per person per year according to Bureau of Labor Statistics

http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/

This is the site for the various parts of the U.S

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=United+States

farson135:

Obviously not, since when I rented my apartment (back in the day) I paid usually about $75 in utilities. It was all thrown into rent for the month. For apartments, things like trash and other utilities are usually included in rent. That might be where you are confusing things. You might be trying to separate rent and utilities despite the fact that they usually converge.

Very well. Either way people are barely breaking even or they're not even capable of paying for the basics.

farson135:

Problem, the article is attacking McDonald's fake budget. Tell me again how my budget is impossible to live on. I lived on less than that as an undergrad.

You're budget unravels very quickly at the slightest disruption and also isn't enough for starting expenses. It only works if you have a completely clean slate and it's still a day to day style of living and it will not sustain someone beyond mere existence at best. Curiously, it also ignores the possibility of student debt, since it's apparently a budget most suited for a college student or recent graduate, since it requires a pretty robust constitution.

farson135:

Amazing, a meth addict living on the street has a lower life expectancy than your average middle class male. I doubt French meth addicts are much healthier.

Well there must be more and more meth addicts which count as a grand percent of the population, because the lowest percent aren't all outliers like meth addicts. If the inequality keeps increasing, will you say it's just more people becoming meth addicts, instead of people with less access to health services and proper nourishment?

I also think there must have been a misunderstanding. While there are those who are hungry in the U.S, the main problem is malnutrition due to a cheap diet.

farson135:

Your country has had at least 2,000 years (if you just go back to Roman times) to build itself up. The US plowed under what civilizations were here and built everything we have now from scratch in 300 years. That includes building up a nation larger than your continent and constructing a very new system of government over a territory and people who had never seen anything like it.

And yet somehow you expect us to be in exactly the same position as you. Your country is smaller than my state, has had a longer time period to get its act together, and is far wealthier than my state (and my state has the second highest GDP in the US).

No, no it isn't. France as a country wasn't really there 2000 years ago (The Frankish Kingdoms were founded in 486) and the constant wars, famines, plagues did not help in it's development. France as an identity probably didn't even start until the 1600's. Paris was an old dirty city that wasn't even renovated until the Second Empire in 1852. Most of it's soldier age male population was dead after Napoleon's conquest and WWI. A grand part of it was destroyed in WWI and it also had to be rebuilt with the U.S's Marshall after WWII plan. I would say that until the Cold War, the U.S was one of the most advanced and robust nations in the planet.

France's GD per capita was 39,771.84 USD in 2013.
That of the U.S was 49,965.27 USD in 2013.

The U.S is not some kind of underdog. It should have a better infrastructure with all it's resources.

farson135:
/snip

I don't want to get into a contest about who suffered most as a family mainly because I actually think you love the suffering, while I think that it should not happen. The second reason is because personal anecdotes don't work as evidence. I shouldn't have brought my family up, since my main focus was to say that your families survival shouldn't count as a point.

(Mainly because waiting until someone uses an anecdote that's far too personal to argue with isn't good)

You call the basics outlined by the human rights entitled. I call it hard fought rights. I don't ask you to sympathize with me. I'm quite comfortable. Sympathize with your countryman.
The fact that you're using the suffering of your great grandmother weird me out and sort of disgusts me for it's manipulativeness. Would she say "Yup, I suffered so you people nowadays don't get to complain"? The lesson you should have taken from your family's history is that life is hard enough without it being made harder.

I also read Steinbeck and made a study on the Dust Bowl and what it means for Climate Change thank you very much.
The Dust Bowl was a man made disaster that resulted from a government funded rush to farm plots of land which were not suitable for heavy crops.
The government then abandoned farmers and did not even think of restarting soil conservation efforts until a decade later.

Yeah they didn't do enough and Hoover did nothing during the great depression.

Super Not Cosmo:

Because those things are luxuries. If you are making minimum wage you probably shouldn't be spending money on many luxuries and non essentials if you want to be able to afford those crazy superfluous things like eating food and living indoors.

A cellular phone is not a luxury.
In the state of Washington most people on some form of governmental benefits are issued a cellular phone.
With their growing popularity and overall usefulness, cell phones are pretty much mandatory.
When my mother was working as a manager of an aquatics facility on base she was issued 2 phones. One for her boss to contact her, one for her employees. In a growing world of ease of communication, a reliable way to contact you is all but required. Not to mention if you have no contact number, you can't get a job, and cell phones are far cheaper than house lines in most cases.

Smoking is not a luxury. It is a coping mechanism. A lot of people need the nicotine to take a moment to unwind. Some people use caffeine. Caffeine has zero effect on me save for that it helps me remember algebra. So how do you propose I find a way to unwind and reset my stress levels in less than fifteen minutes?

A living wage means you can live healthily. In America a living wage means you have to share a one bedroom apartment with someone you're not sleeping with and probably live off of ramen, which is high in sodium and will kill you faster than smoking will.

Life and the ability to cope with stress of living are not luxuries.

Zeconte:

Frission:
EDIT: Besides the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl were terrible examples of Government doing nothing while people suffered.

Actually, I would say they're great examples of government doing nothing while people suffered, which perfectly illustrate how terrible the idea that "government shouldn't be in the business of helping people" really is. Though I recognize that's most likely what you meant by that, just thought I'd add that nuance.

Actually the depression that followed the recession in 1929 was the result of government trying to help people that were suffering. Both Hoover and FDR did things that made things much worse.

Between protectionism, wage controls, interference with the money supply, scapegoating of businessmen, expansion of public works, and increased taxation Hoover is a great example of a central planner.

FDR just went bigger.

Nielas:
You guys really want to play the "my family history is more tragic that your family history" game?

No, I was making a point. His want of absolute protection does not strike a chord with me.

I was asked, "how much can you possibly save against disasters when the margin is so thin". My family lives on the edge because we are farmers in Central Texas. My family lived on the edge even before then which is why I used my family as an example. I was asked and I answered.

Human beings are wired to try and improve their lot in life and merely surviving is not enough in the long run.

But the wish for absolute protection is an impossible one at best. He is talking about having everything and not just living. A minimum wage is a livable wage (the point that I was making).

Frission:
Sure. Utility bills seem to vary.

Which includes internet, TV, and Phone. Things that you actually separated from utilities in your last post.

$20,194 per person per year according to Bureau of Labor Statistics

Which includes a lot of things that you do not need.

You're budget unravels very quickly at the slightest disruption and also isn't enough for starting expenses. It only works if you have a completely clean slate and it's still a day to day style of living and it will not sustain someone beyond mere existence at best.

Apparently not since most people live perfectly fine on a minimum wage.

Curiously, it also ignores the possibility of student debt, since it's apparently a budget most suited for a college student or recent graduate, since it requires a pretty robust constitution.

Not really. In fact, statistically about 50% of people who work minimum wage jobs are teenagers living in their parent's home.

http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/PA701.pdf

I also think there must have been a misunderstanding. While there are those who are hungry in the U.S, the main problem is malnutrition due to a cheap diet.

More due to poor choices in diet. Plenty of good food available. People just choose to eat crap. Just like our British ancestors taught us. Once again, differences in culture. In Anglo-Saxon nations, food is more utilitarian and is designed for survival. Living in Texas means that I get access to real Mexican food. The difference is striking. Plus our American culture emphasizes quantity over quality. I can still remember de Tocqueville commenting on the sheer size of American meals.

No, no it isn't. France as a country wasn't really there 2000 years ago (The Frankish Kingdoms were founded in 486)

Most of your early infrastructure and laws were founded by the Romans. Your damn Capital was built on top of a Roman town (just many of your other cities). In fact, now that I think about it, the city of Marseille is a Greek city and since they formed an alliance with Rome they were at least around in the time of the Punic Wars.

the constant wars, famines, plagues did not help in it's development.

As opposed to the constant wars, plagues, and destruction suffered by Americans in the founding. You guys were building under fire but you had 2,000 years to do it. We had 400 (and most of the US was not settled at that time).

France as an identity probably didn't even start until the 1600's. Paris was an old dirty city that wasn't even renovated until the Second Empire in 1852. Most of it's soldier age male population was dead after Napoleon's conquest and WWI. A grand part of it was destroyed in WWI and it also had to be rebuilt with the U.S's Marshall after WWII plan.

And you still had something to build on. You cannot deny the basic fact that your country has far more advantages historically than the US.

The U.S is not some kind of underdog. It should have a better infrastructure with all it's resources.

Right, because France built everything it has in the past 400 years. That includes its economic and social institutions.

France has bridges and roads that are older than my country. Your infrastructure was built up over the past 2,000 years. The price of that infrastructure has been spread out over that entire time period. It is amazing that the US has as much as it does.

I don't want to get into a contest about who suffered most as a family mainly because I actually think you love the suffering, while I think that it should not happen.

Right, I love the suffering. The fact that I believe that creating a world without suffering is never going to happen is a function of my masochism and not my pragmatism. You want absolute protection. Sorry, the world is not that kind.

The second reason is because personal anecdotes don't work as evidence. I shouldn't have brought my family up, since my main focus was to say that your families survival shouldn't count as a point.

You want to live in a world without risk. Once again, it is hard for me to sympathize with you not being able to have internet.

Would she say "Yup, I suffered so you people nowadays don't get to complain"?

Actually that is pretty much exactly what she said to me. Her (more or less) exact words were, "don't you dare ever take your life for granted, your life is hard but you will never know true suffering. Cherish that fact and never forget the pit you are climbing out of". Those were the words she gave me just before my second semester in college.

Hell, beyond that you have my uncle who was a Navy Medic during WW2 and a country doctor when he got back home. He was the guy who usually patched me up after those Neo-Nazi pricks attacked me. He had one hell of a bed side manner. One time I was on the losing end of a fight. I lost a huge chunk of skin out of my arm and I gained a bruised rib and a cut on my scalp. He patched me up and gave me some drugs to knock down the pain. Then he told me to get over to the House and finish my chores before I take the drugs. The only thing that surprised me was that he gave me any drugs to begin with. I started half thinking that I was going to die.

"Life sucks, deal with it", might as well be my family motto.

The lesson you should have taken from your family's history is that life is hard enough without it being made harder.

Your point? You are arguing that a minimum wage is not a livable wage because life would be too hard. I say, it is a livable wage because you have enough money to live just fine.

Yeah they didn't do enough

As I said, they did do something. Just not enough for your tastes.

Hoover did nothing during the great depression.

Strange then that there is this huge list of programs he implemented.

farson135:

Veylon:
Gives us the $4000 you are talking about. Broken down monthly, it's $333. Which must cover gas, car (and other) repairs, clothes, laundry, internet, hospital bills, and all other living expenses, expected and unexpected.

Utilities were included as a part of rent.

The car payments I put out were for a new or almost new car so repairs should not be an issue (still under warranty).

I don't know about you but I wear my clothes into the ground. I maybe spend $200 per year on clothes (and that is only because I actually work and my clothes occasionally get ruined).

Laundry should not be a significant issue. My friend uses his apartment's laundry and he pays $4 per week. Most places you pay half that.

Internet, depending on your job, not a necessity. I lived close to two decades without internet and came out just fine.

Hospital bills, you do realize that McDonalds provides health care benefits to its full time employees right?

And that's assuming that you work full time, each and every week, without every taking a vacation.

Unless you have built up your savings you should not be taking a vacation to begin with.

Technically, you can survive, yes. But get sick a few days or need a doctor or get in an accident and your whole financial life can fall apart in an instant.

McDonald's provides paid disability leave.

After all, how much can you possibly save against disasters when the margin is so thin? And it is very thin for many.

Quite a bit actually. You are talking to a farm boy who's Great-Grandparents fought their way through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl and the Mexican Revolution and the rise of the KKK and being drafted into two separate wars and on. As for today, as the song says, "diesels worth the price of gold, it's the cheapest grain he's ever sold but he's still holding on".

I need to step back a bit. I could quibble a bit on point-by-point, but the real killer is that ludicrous rent. I lived in my mom's basement well into my mid-twenties and was able to put most of what I would have spent on an apartment into my bank account instead. I think the moral of the math is: Do not rent an apartment alone if you can possible avoid it!

Veylon:

I need to step back a bit. I could quibble a bit on point-by-point, but the real killer is that ludicrous rent. I lived in my mom's basement well into my mid-twenties and was able to put most of what I would have spent on an apartment into my bank account instead. I think the moral of the math is: Do not rent an apartment alone if you can possible avoid it!

Seconded. A studio where I used to live was 515 a month. The building was old and heat was paid for so utilities were often very low, but for not even having a bedroom I had to feel like that was a lot.

Veylon:
I need to step back a bit. I could quibble a bit on point-by-point, but the real killer is that ludicrous rent. I lived in my mom's basement well into my mid-twenties and was able to put most of what I would have spent on an apartment into my bank account instead. I think the moral of the math is: Do not rent an apartment alone if you can possible avoid it!

In large part rent has to do with where you live. My friend lives in West Campus in Austin. He pays over $700 in rent and utilities for an efficiency. His mother rents a three bedroom apartment and pays about $600 in Humble, TX (on the outskirts of Houston).

Of course overall you are right. And statistically 50% of people who work under the minimum wage live with someone else. The absolute worst case scenario is uncommon.

The nicest thing I can say about the burger flipping "career" is that it's generally more respected than being unemployed and that's about it.

It's only a "career" if job equals career, which it doesn't by most common definitions. People who work hard and are good at their current jobs generally don't advance, as they are more useful to the company exactly where they are. Hard work gets you nowhere, but where you already are. Work smart and make the useful connections.

Looking down at lowly paid employees is a terrible attitude to have, but at the same time, appreciation is reflected in wage. Simple as that.
Maybe we (society) put the wrong values on things and services, but still, low value-low appreciation.

Let's not kid ourselves here. Your job is probably the single most important thing in your life, unless you're already too rich and even then respect and identity come with the position.

veloper:
It's only a "career" if job equals career, which it doesn't by most common definitions.

A career can mean several things, but in the context it has been used here seems to me to mean a job which you desire to do long term and/or that provides a platform for further job progression.

So most burger flipping in most fast food chains is not a career. It's not something most people do in the hope it will propel them up the ranks of the restaurant trade, nothing likely to propel them to further glory whether they want it or not, and rarely anything they want to do for a long time. It's something most do to earn a few extra quid or because the less attractive alternative is unemployment.

You're right in many ways. Hard work in many such places does not get a lot of people far. On the other hand, you can talk up your responsibilities for a McJob constructively: like health and safety (hygiene), responsibility over money for running the tills, interpersonal skills dealing with customers... they're all valuable skills in their way that can be marketable.

Agema:

veloper:
It's only a "career" if job equals career, which it doesn't by most common definitions.

A career can mean several things, but in the context it has been used here seems to me to mean a job which you desire to do long term and/or that provides a platform for further job progression.

So most burger flipping in most fast food chains is not a career. It's not something most people do in the hope it will propel them up the ranks of the restaurant trade, nothing likely to propel them to further glory whether they want it or not, and rarely anything they want to do for a long time.

I can agree with this, but with one small addition, that where labels are applied, people don't care about what the subject thinks about his job, but what they think about his job.

farson135:

More due to poor choices in diet. Plenty of good food available. People just choose to eat crap. Just like our British ancestors taught us. Once again, differences in culture. In Anglo-Saxon nations, food is more utilitarian and is designed for survival. Living in Texas means that I get access to real Mexican food. The difference is striking. Plus our American culture emphasizes quantity over quality. I can still remember de Tocqueville commenting on the sheer size of American meals.

Bull shit bro. Straight up bull shit.
I'm on food stamps. I have enough money to either eat unheathily (which includes copious amounts of ramen) for the entirety of the month, or I can eat healthily, but very light, for 2 and a half weeks. I can stretch it to three weeks if it's one extremely light meal per day.
Bull effing shit.
And that's just me. FAMILIES are on food stamps, and the maximum benefits you can get that way is very low.

Ritualist:
Bull shit bro. Straight up bull shit.
I'm on food stamps. I have enough money to either eat unheathily (which includes copious amounts of ramen) for the entirety of the month, or I can eat healthily, but very light, for 2 and a half weeks. I can stretch it to three weeks if it's one extremely light meal per day.
Bull effing shit.
And that's just me. FAMILIES are on food stamps, and the maximum benefits you can get that way is very low.

Bullshit. As an undergrad my food budget was usually $30 per week. The average monthly benefit for food stamps for one person is about $150 per month (the max is $200). Unless a month has more than 5 full weeks in your world you should be able to purchase plenty of food on food stamps. My diet lasted me 5 years of undergrad work plus another two years of grad work (I currently have less restrictive diet). A can of corn/broccoli/etc. does not cost much more than a packet of ramen. A single can of corn can last several meals for a single person.

You know, shitty jobs like McDonalds used to be seen as incentive to do good in school.

NOW we live in a time where, instead of choosing a better life for yourself and using those jobs as stepping stones to reach your goals, all you have to do is whine and cry about fairness and eventually they'll just turn on the money printers and start paying you more for doing your shitty job.

And people wonder why our economy is such a fucking disaster.

MichiganMuscle77:
NOW we live in a time where, instead of choosing a better life for yourself and using those jobs as stepping stones to reach your goals, all you have to do is whine and cry about fairness and eventually they'll just turn on the money printers and start paying you more for doing your shitty job.

"Choosing a better life." It must be really amazing where you live where all people have to do is really want to be successful and just will a good job into existence to get a better life.

MichiganMuscle77:
You know, shitty jobs like McDonalds used to be seen as incentive to do good in school.

NOW we live in a time where, instead of choosing a better life for yourself and using those jobs as stepping stones to reach your goals, all you have to do is whine and cry about fairness and eventually they'll just turn on the money printers and start paying you more for doing your shitty job.

And people wonder why our economy is such a fucking disaster.

Would you care to explain the relevance of the rest of your post to its last sentence?

Meanwhile a Mc-Donalds Employee in Denmark earns 25-30 Dollars an hour, and the Fast Food Restaurant is considered one of the five places with the best work conditions in the country.

Also we have dozens of them (And one of every Streetcorner in the larger cities)

Also they are working close with the Unions.

Also the U.S is wealthier than Denmark.

So when the American Department says they cannot afford to pay their employees a living wage, they are talking out their fucking ass. Like, literally stuffing your face with lies. And when you eat them up you begin to look like an Idiot.

MichiganMuscle77:
You know, shitty jobs like McDonalds used to be seen as incentive to do good in school.

NOW we live in a time where, instead of choosing a better life for yourself and using those jobs as stepping stones to reach your goals, all you have to do is whine and cry about fairness and eventually they'll just turn on the money printers and start paying you more for doing your shitty job.

And people wonder why our economy is such a fucking disaster.

Or economy is a fucking disaster because it's a disaster, it has nothing to do with McDonalds jobs. Or Wal-Mart jobs. Or any other jobs you can try to make look bad.

And that's the real problem, us Americans (I mean the USA) have decided that some jobs are beneath us. As someone who has been unemployed for five years, except for some freelance work.. I'd happily pick fruit, clean toilets or do anything else... want to know why? Because I want to fucking work! I want to stop waking up at 1:00 pm and going about my business.

Want to know why I don't get those jobs. Because for six years I was a Data Analyst and before that a Purchasing Agent so I'm over qualified and thus can't be hired for that stuff because 'I'll leave as soon as I find some other job more like it.'

Truth is, no... I just want to fucking work again. I don't care what it is. I just want to end this lazy life I have and got back to when I was productive.

farson135:

Veylon:
I need to step back a bit. I could quibble a bit on point-by-point, but the real killer is that ludicrous rent. I lived in my mom's basement well into my mid-twenties and was able to put most of what I would have spent on an apartment into my bank account instead. I think the moral of the math is: Do not rent an apartment alone if you can possible avoid it!

In large part rent has to do with where you live. My friend lives in West Campus in Austin. He pays over $700 in rent and utilities for an efficiency. His mother rents a three bedroom apartment and pays about $600 in Humble, TX (on the outskirts of Houston).

Of course overall you are right. And statistically 50% of people who work under the minimum wage live with someone else. The absolute worst case scenario is uncommon.

Being in Texas myself, I really have to ask what electric company exists here that allows for a $75 a month electric bill without dying from a heat stroke in August? This must have been way back in the day? LOL
ONLY TXU exists here in Dallas, so you have no other choice and the best electric bill I ever had was around $160, although they averaged around $250-300 most of the time due to how hot it is in a one bedroom apartment in Dallas. Average price in Dallas in august is $361.91, If someone had kids and had to have more bedrooms to air condition, I have no idea how they would be able to pay that. What about medical and dental care? How do they pay for that? I went through a period when I moved back to Dallas that I moved every 6 months and didn't even unpack to get a break on rent because they raise the rent ever 6 months here if you stay, and you can get a rent discount if you move. It was less expensive to hop apartments than to stay in one place. LOL
http://www.whitefenceindex.com/
ALSO I only had one apartment ever in Dallas that water was included, and a few that you also had a trash and parking fee.
In Austin, the only time I had it easy on rent was when I was in college and had that included in my scholarship funds and grants and received a student discount. If I hadn't had that, there would have been no way I could have lived, and I didn't even work fast food, I was working 3 jobs ( lifeguard, teaching gymnastics, and bartender) EVEN working 3 jobs, I wouldn't have been able to afford to live in Austin.
One bedroom apartments in Austin rent for $915 a month on average and two bedroom apartment rents average $1202. The problem there though was it is EXTREMLY difficult to find available apartments that you could afford, and you were on waiting lists forever, so if you didn't want to end up sleeping in your car, you better have made arrangements well in advance or suck it up and wind up in an apartment you couldn't afford.

http://www.rentjungle.com/average-rent-in-austin-rent-trends/

MichiganMuscle77:
You know, shitty jobs like McDonalds used to be seen as incentive to do good in school.

Already the first mistake, and one I do not really understand. Why paint certain jobs that deal with direct needs of human beings as "beneath respect"? Seriously, if someone deals with my shit so I don't have to, I don't understand why I'd look down on them? If I think that restaurant workers are all a bunch of useless good-for-nothings, well, I can certainly whip up a better lunch myself, can't I?

NOW we live in a time where, instead of choosing a better life for yourself and using those jobs as stepping stones to reach your goals, all you have to do is whine and cry about fairness and eventually they'll just turn on the money printers and start paying you more for doing your shitty job.

I don't know about you, but I really wouldn't want to take that attitude to people who have access to my food or other essentials while I'm not looking.

It also reeks of social Darwinism.

And people wonder why our economy is such a fucking disaster.

Your economy is a fucking disaster because it's a fucking disaster, not because people who provide you daily with the stuff you take for granted want to be paid a living wage for it.

Honestly, when I take over the world, I will mandate that whoever gets insulted on the basis of what they do for a living, immediately switches jobs with whoever insulted them - provided the insulted party wants to switch.

Vausch:
snip

The reason it can't be a career? The value of the individual worker is nearly zero. Because virtually anybody can do this work. It's not skilled labor. The answer is really simple. Basic economics.

Ritualist:

Bull shit bro. Straight up bull shit.
I'm on food stamps. I have enough money to either eat unheathily (which includes copious amounts of ramen) for the entirety of the month, or I can eat healthily, but very light, for 2 and a half weeks. I can stretch it to three weeks if it's one extremely light meal per day.
Bull effing shit.
And that's just me. FAMILIES are on food stamps, and the maximum benefits you can get that way is very low.

The food stamp program's official name is SNAP. Look up what the S stands for and get back to me.

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