CBS News reports that the Brookings Institution  found, "America's unemployment rate is at a half-century low, but it also has a job-quality problem that affects nearly half the population, with a study finding 44% of U.S. workers are employed in low-wage jobs that pay median annual wages of $18,000." Many other important facets touched on in the article:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/minimum-wa … wage-jobs/
What do you make of this?
 Brookings Institution, research institute, not-for-profit, founded in Washington, D.C., in 1927 by the merchant, manufacturer, and philanthropist Robert S. Brookings and devoted to public service through research and education in the social sciences, particularly in economics, government, and foreign policy. It is one of the most influential think tanks in the United States.
I'd have to question that - that's less than $9 an hour. It's starting wage for fast food workers, completely unskilled, in my area of Idaho - a notoriously low wage state. I think you'd be hard pressed to find wages that low (without tips or other compensation) in any large city anywhere in the country, plus many areas have even higher local minimum wages.
*edit* There is another problem as well: the median for the low wage jobs in the article is $21,257. That very effectively makes the claim that the 44% mentioned only makes $18,000 fallacious.
It's been a while since I've been in the US job market, but starting under $9 seems very possible for Wisconsin (tried to look up fast food jobs specifically, but unsurprisingly they don't advertise the wage rates).
Here's a link to the study the article refers to where they claim, "More than 53 million people—44% of all workers aged 18-64—are
low-wage workers by our criteria. They earn median hourly
wages of $10.22 and median annual earnings of $17,950."
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/up … pdf#page=5
I guess in my perspective, even if the median is $21,257+, that's a really low bar to set for an industrialized nation.
According to World Population Review, the median per capita income for the US is $15,480 http://worldpopulationreview.com/countr … y-country/
"Per capita" income includes all the people that don't work. Elderly, disabled, children (although your link denies children) - all of them. It can be found from total wages divided by total population.
It has become fascinating, to me at least, to see how data is skewed and spun to give an impression that it is far different than what the reader is led to believe.
But, from your link: "The highest median income can be found in the nation of Luxembourg. Here, the median income is $38,516. Next on the list is Norway with a median income of $37,129. In third place is Switzerland with a median income of $34,608. Falling only slightly behind Switzerland is the United States, which has a median income of $34,514.". That's a far cry from $15,000.
I don't question it at all, there is your income inequity in a nutshell. An entire society as minimum wage employees? What happened to the good jobs, the Rightwinger will want to insure that only the wealthy will prosper in such an economy and the rest of us remain vassals at their beck and call well into the future. Whose saying we need to compete with China, we are not even close to meeting the challenge. The American century was the 20th and obviously that is over.
Median income for US full time workers is $48,000 per year. That means 50% make more than that and 50% make less than that amount. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/wkyeng.t01.htm
Yet 44% make only $18,000 per year? Only 6% make between 18,000 and 48,000? You should be questioning that!
Interesting point, hopefully Eastward could help clarify...
I think we're getting into the devilish details of who is sampled and how definitions are made, which is a good thing. When I visit the US and look around, it certainly doesn't look like a country where people make $48K median per year with so many homeless, crumbling infrastructure, etc. Granted, not all problems are exclusively economic. The truth may lie somewhere between these figures.
I have to wonder if the study didn't include millions of part time workers earning only $18,000 per year from not working 52, 40 hour weeks while giving the impression they were discussing only full time workers. Even then I would question it because the numbers quoted are not that far from reality. The 53 million workers, for instance, is not that far removed from 44% of full time workers.
I think you are correct in that the study isn't exclusive to those working 52, 40 hour weeks. From the study:
"Fifty-seven percent of low-wage workers work
full time year-round, considerably lower than the
share of mid/high-wage workers (81%). Among
those working less than full time year-round, it is
not clear if this is voluntary or involuntary, or if
it reflects part-time work throughout the year or
full-time work for part of the year. For some low-wage workers, such as students and caretakers,
part-time work is probably desirable. But given
the disproportionately high rates of churn in the
low-wage labor market, it is likely that spells of
involuntary non-employment play a significant
role, suggesting a more tenuous connection to
the labor market."
Which I think is there is fair argument for as much of the labor market is moving away from 52, 40 hour week employment. Hence the term "gig economy" being commonplace.
I'd recommend that anyone concerned about competing with China look at all the programs they are initiating to make sure that the vast majority of the country is on board and has a real stake in the direction of the government. Of course you have to accept mass surveillance (we're not exactly strangers to that), Internet restrictions, and being unable to speak out against the party.
Beyond that, they have programs like a housing account that whatever an employee contributes to, the employer must match (up to something like 10% of the employee income). As a benefit, employers can contribute more. Certain regions are restricted to first time buyers to prevent gentrification, though one can be a "first-time buyer" once in every province.
There are minorities which I'm sure have no love for the powers that be, but nearly 92% of the mainland are Han Chinese and a homogeneous population like that possesses a depth of unity that most Americans would struggle to conceptualize.
I've seen studies showing that same kind of homogeneity in much of Europe (although likely not to that degree). You're right - Americans don't truly understand it OR how it can simplify a society. When a large majority share a common heritage and belief it becomes so much easier to make decisions for a nation!
You mentioned a similar statement in another thread. Education/trade schools have to be inexpensive to make them available to all that wish to go so that potential talent is not sent to the wayside just because one Cannot afford the cost of school. That means investing in our people. We cannot mimic China in a Democratic system, but we are going to have to do better.
Leveling the opportunity playing field is one of the attacks on income inequity that I approve of as worth the effort.
I can't blame it all on our antiquated Capitalist approach, technology is an unavoidable factor in the changes of the nature of labor today.
Bezos is clocking how much time his employees spend in the bathroom, comparing human beings to machines on the assembly line. This is just the beginning. Education through higher level training will become a necessity for anyone hoping to earn enough to survive. I have the ominous feeling that the American standard of living will fall under the status quo economic attitude and models.
The government acts as partner to help encourage interest and training into more profitable careers, where anybody can be a part.
This problem is not going to be solve from the top down, but from middle outward. Everybody must have a stake and a path or it won't work.
Warren gets it, understanding this sort of thinking and reasoning that is why she continues to have my support
The idea of creating more widespread opportunity through trade schools is an interesting one. In my community, a significant portion of my property taxes go to funding our local trade school. I gladly contribute because, on one hand, this is for the betterment of all society. However, I grit my teeth when people that attended the trade school that property taxes funded rally against other social programs with a barrage of sentences that focus on extreme individualism and survival of the fittest.
And you are right, just as not all problems are exclusively economic, they aren't exclusively capitalistic either. China and countries with other types of government systems will have to address the human worker vs. machine phenomenon as well. I'm not entirely opposed to exploring ideas like Yang and Gabbard's UBI, though I don't think a $1,000 check is a strong enough solution to be the focus of a current political campaign.
Oh gawwd Cred. You and your "Right-winger" screeds. Eastward introduces a very, (in my opinion), legitimate concern that is a very real issue in our current U.S. employment picture, and your only response is some Right-winger criticism? Come on bud, you know the issue is deeper than that.
First, a job is worth what it is worth to the person paying for the job. You might demand that a certain wage is a minimum that should be paid for a job, but you ignore the actual value of the job itself.
If you need $15 p/hr to provide for your family, I think it is on you to earn that $15, not the employer to provide it. So there, put that in your pipe and smoke it.
If it is true that most of our good-paying manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas, then what is your validation that the remaining, (and previously not good-paying jobs), should now automatically be worth that good-paying $15+ p/hr?
When we had manufacturing jobs, (and just to pick a number - they were paying $20 p/hr), and a burger flipper was making $9 p/hr did you have a problem then?
Now, since the $20 p/hr jobs are gone, but folks still need to eat, you want to upgrade those previously $9 p/hr job to $20 p/hr. What changed in the job market?
Did flipping burgers suddenly become a demanded skill? Nope. What happened was you decided that any job should pay a family-supporting wage. Regardless of the value of the job, the value of the family is more important.
Well, who the hell made you that arbiter? What great wisdom do you possess that determines the value of work to the one that is purchasing it? Are you willing to pay $10 for your current $3 burger?. $40 dollars for your current $20 grass cutting job?
Are you willing to pay that 14-year-old kid $40 to mow your lawn because that is what a 30-year-old family man needs you to pay for him to cut your lawn?
Eastward's point seems to be that our economy is facing a major change. The dichotomy of our youth is not the one of today's youth, yet your response is some anti-Right-winger screed? Geesh. You know better than that.
Pick your battles bud, this isn't one you can come out on the right side of. If you want to rail against income inequality, then you should be more careful about the arrows you choose to loose.
Your comment that the American century is over is very troubling to me. I agree that we face greater challenges because of our "20th-century" policies, but I heartily disagree that our century is over. Do you feel your opinion is representative of today's 21st-century progressives? Is our time really past? Do you think we are the 'buggy whip' nation of the world?
To answer one of your questions; I am saying we need to compete with China for the economic domination of the 21st-century. Are you so ready to cede world power to another nation? Are you so cynical that you are ready to bow to another leader?
Of course you don't like to hear my tirades on the Right, because you do have an affinity for much of what they believe in.
This is where I am at
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/minimum- … 48519.html
I note in the graphic that many states have taken the initiative to correct the problem within their purview, but that does not change the fact that Republicans and conservatives hate the very concept of a minimum wage.
Regardless of what conservatives claim, purchasing power has been lost and where did the money not paid to workers find itself, why don't you guess....?
Yes, it IS deeper and I said as much in a later post regarding technological innovation, specifically and off shoring to a lesser extent.
There was a time in this country, check out Jacob Riis and his photo essays of 19th century free market capitalism, where capital was in complete control. I guess someone else was the arbiter of why it took entire working family including children to support a household based upon virtually slave labor. Only the progressive spirit during the first half of the 20th century brought these greedy robbers to heel.
Their counterparts today are no better and would revisit the 19th century model, if they could get away with it.
Yes, I still rail against extremes in income inequality as an ultimate source of unrest and instability in this country.
Conservatives are content with the status quo and prefer to take us backwards, I am not.
With the inflationary tendency, GA, it may well cost $40.00 to have your lawn cut in the future, so the value of lawn service goes up with the corresponding cost of living, any surprise there? I was paid $5 over 50 years ago as a teen ager in such a task.
I say the capitalistic model here is woefully inadequate to address the challenges ahead. The things that Warren proposes goes in the right direction toward correction.
History has shown me the reality of this society and culture and I simply cannot afford to be the optimist that you are. If we are going to win and not cede global hegemony, some changes are needed in our current economic model. That is what I think, anyway.
I lament about the cynicism that comes with just observing the world and this country, I like to think we can better. Who knows? Maybe we will...
Sorry about my previous bludgeoning Cred. You just happened to push my Minimum wage/Living wage hot button.
You are right that we do have different perspectives. I believe a wage value should be tied to the value of the provided labor, whereas it seems many folks believe a wage value should be tied to the needs of the wage earner.
I think I may hold a view similar to yours regarding businesses that would fit the Standard Oil-model of the late 19th and early 20th century. And I do support a new business model, (I forget the current buzzword description), that includes also doing social good as a component of their goals—besides just having a goal of making the most money possible, but I think that goal must be a voluntary one, not a socially demanded one.
So we disagree. Big deal. I shouldn't have been so strident. Sorry bud.
It's all good, GA, it would be painfully boring if we did not have any differences to discuss or debate.
It just seems like the "invisible hand of the free market" ends up slapping middle class and labor on the face. To allow this to solely determine the value of labor is the case in point that I make.
Our disagreements regarding perspectives results in my support for a change in the way things have been done within our current economic model. That does not necessarily mean adoption of a Socialist model.
The "goal" will NEVER be voluntary, it will always be a contradiction in terms, endless avarice as opposed to social responsibility. It is not in the nature of the big money changers.
"...the fact that Republicans and conservatives hate the very concept of a minimum wage."
Shame on you Credence - I highly doubt that you can find anyone at all that supports the removal of minimum wage. Not even a reduction in it.
"Regardless of what conservatives claim, purchasing power has been lost..."
Now, this one is interesting. In conversations with my nephew (a strong liberal believing the same thing) we decided to find out and built several spreadsheets comparing wages and prices of specific items from the mid 60's and today. It turns out that, in terms of hours worked to purchase a product almost everything is cheaper today than it was then. Using only wages and published inflation rates, or calculators producing modern values for dollars, that wasn't true, but when looking at wages (whether minimum or median - we did both) it was an eye-opener. From groceries such as hamburger to milk to macaroni and cheese, from household items such as vacuums, refrigerators and toasters, from houses to cars, very nearly everything is cheaper today in terms of hours worked to purchase. One notable exception was housing...until the cost per square foot was used rather than the cost of a house, and that didn't address the large improvements in construction, materials and amenities. Reasonable as house sizes have nearly doubled since the 60's.
"With the inflationary tendency, GA, it may well cost $40.00 to have your lawn cut in the future, so the value of lawn service goes up with the corresponding cost of living, any surprise there?"
No, it's not a surprise at all. Nor will it be difficult, for just as you point out inflation happens and your (future) $80/hour job can handle a $40 lawn mowing. Of course, that also widens the income gap, but that's one "price" of inflation.
"Millennials and other generations have benefited from a 67 percent rise in wages since 1970," Things I find is cheaper and guality is better is technology in computers and household appliances.
Today, everything from movie tickets to college tuition is more expensive, and not simply because of inflation. Ina new study, Student Loan are much pricier today's young people than their predecessors, in many cases, costs have spiked.
Student Loan Hero reports. These gains have not been enough to keep up with ever-inflating living costs. Rent, home prices and college costs have all increased faster than incomes in the U.S." All this indoctrinations to turn out more robots into zombieland.
The quality of life in food air and the ever increasing pollutions. Poverty and natural environment is the top killers. The Boomers will outlive the life expectancy of the today's generation. No wonder Greta Thunberg is getting world record protest response.
As SLH's data shows, housing prices have gone way up. In 1960, the median home value in the U.S. was $11,900, which is the equivalent of around $98,000 in today's dollars, and in 2000, SLH notes, it rose to over $170,000. And it has only kept rising. As of April 2018, the median home value has ballooned to over $210,200, according to Zillow. Adjusting for inflation, that's a 114 percent increase since 1960.
Attending a public university in 1987 cost around $1,490 per year, the equivalent of $3,190 in today's dollars, Student Loan Hero reports, citing data from College Board. For the 2017-2018 school year, students forked over an average of $9,970 in tuition and fees. That's an increase of 212 percent.
To attend a private university, students paid an average of $7,050 in 1987, or $15,160 in today's dollars. In 2017-2018, that price had grown to $34,740, an increase of 129 percent.
Since the 60s, we are working longer hours and for less pay. Majority of Women are working full-time too. Rarely ever overtime and huge cuts in benifits. Worst thing of all, is over 80% of people dislike their job for most waking hours of their lives. Nothing is more wasteful of time in life, than that.
Add on $65,000 national debt to every man, women and child. Prisons cells have increased 10 ten since 1980s and military spending have an open check policy and don't do proper body counts.
In the US they have more guns than people, it may not be a peaceful revolution.
"As SLH's data shows, housing prices have gone way up. In 1960, the median home value in the U.S. was $11,900, which is the equivalent of around $98,000 in today's dollars, and in 2000, SLH notes, it rose to over $170,000."
Now calculate the price per square foot of homes. I mentioned that: comparing homes from the 60's to homes today is apples and oranges because they've doubled in size.
Work weeks have not increased; it has fallen pretty steadily.
"Rarely ever overtime and huge cuts in benifits."
Not hardly. As the cost of medical insurance has risen dramatically, so has the contribution by employers. Paid time off has risen considerably since the 60's. We also see bennies such as day care and education being offered. Overall, benefits are much higher than in the 60's.
What has increased is our greed - we demand more and more out of life but at the same price we earned long ago. Which is why so many families are two-earner couples.
They were comparing a house with the same square footage. There were many smaller houses back then for 4 or 5 thousand dallors. The house our family brought in 1962 with 2100 square feet, cost $9,050. The average house today in Toronto is $750,000. Vancouver average one million.
From the 70s from what I have experience inflation has more than doubled over the minimum wages of differential. Plus People spend way beyond their means because they have been brainwashed to. They bought double the space for more cheap junk they can't afford. The toxic air is 9 times worst than outside. Then with taxes, mortgage, matinance and rehook ups every ten years average. So triple that cost for the life expectancy of 50 years of a house.
*shrug* My folks bought a nearly 4,000 sq ft house in 1966 for $12,000. That does not mean that was a normal purchase for the times or that it was a normal sized house.
Perhaps houses only last 50 years in Canada, what with the nasty weather. That isn't the case in the US.
A 50 year old house is a North America standard life expectancy. Because generally houses in Canada have a tougher standard code and more are made out of brick. There cost
are higher in Canada yet would generally last longer.
You wouldn't really find slums in Canada anything like in the US. Americans are always impress on how safe and clean the community are. In the US many more houses are made of wood an stucco, with exception of wealthy area of high standards. It's more all over the map in the US. Although it would of been easier to start my tiny houses in the odd State, but I am generally trying to get away from North America and the zombie apocalypse.
Homes in the NE of the US have a median age of 51 years. Given the growth rate, and the large numbers of houses being built, that has to mean that there are a great many that are much older, but that does NOT mean the expected life expectancy of a house is only 50 years. It simply means that there are large numbers of new homes being built to satisfy demand.
Sorry, stucco is rather uncommon in most of the US. Vinyl siding seems to be the thing now, and has been for years, although I believe stucco is still popular in the dry south west (though I've visited, I haven't spent a lot of time there). Stucco is quite expensive compared to vinyl siding.
Nice to have you weigh in, I knew that you would have something to say about all of this. We discussed much of this in previous sessions.
Who is it that has always said that raising the minimum wage would result in job losses? That perspective has certainly not come from the left. Anyone who wants to look could see that over the 75 or more years of the minimum wage provision, resistance to the program has come from conservatives/GOP. I would be glad to get a few stats, but I don't think that I really need to do that
But, you have to ask the question if the minimum wage is adaquate in the face of today's cost of living, why have so many states found it necessary to supplement it?
I appreciate the research that you have done regarding this question. But something did jump out at me. Do you think that cutting a lawn is worth 40 dollars, I mean considering the value of the service, not what the needs are of the wage earners, etc.
I checked on some of your notes and focusing on basic staples particularely food and found indication that food, for example has risen in price 53 percent since 2000, the minimum wage has risen from $5.15 to $7.25, roughly comparable. So your position has merit. Factors like technology and quality changes are harder to compute when comparing costs to value, but food costs are pretty basic.
But, I will keep looking into tangential information to delve into this further, so I am not done with you yet.
Perhaps, I should know better, it was not any easier trying to subsist on the $2.10 rate of the mid 1970's.
"Who is it that has always said that raising the minimum wage would result in job losses?"
No person; history says that. One has only to look at Seattle and the employment picture there of the low end employers when they raised the minimum wage.
But that has zero to do with "...the fact that Republicans and conservatives hate the very concept of a minimum wage." as it concerns raising minimum wage, not doing away with it.
"But, you have to ask the question if the minimum wage is adaquate in the face of today's cost of living, why have so many states found it necessary to supplement it?"
Implicit in this is the idea that minimum wage, intended for kids and seniors wanting a few extra bucks, should support a family of 4 (or more). A major fallacy on the face of it.
Lawn mowing is worth whatever a person will pay for it. Personally, I mow my own lawn (it isn't worth anything to me), but many of my neighbors pay to have theirs done. But the comment was intended merely to point out that raising the cost of products and services simply raises the income necessary to purchase them, thus the $80/hour wage mentioned. It is not intended to be taken at face value. The question was really "Will my neighbors pay $40 for lawn mowing when they have a $30 salary?" and the answer is probably "No.". But they would when their salary is $80: that puts it square where it is now in terms of hours worked to buy the service.
Yes, food costs are pretty basic. Which is why I spent more time looking at that then other things. When I checked, I found prices from the 60's (several sources) and compared them to WalMart prices under the theory that there is a WalMart everywhere and it was fairly easy to fill an order and get actual, current prices from their website for ordering groceries to be picked up. Interestingly, my nephew commented that using my local WalMart probably wasn't fair, so I also checked from another half dozen locations, from north to south, east to west and big to small locations. They were all about the same (with some local variations in specific products), which surprised me considerably.
But, Credence, one major flaw that you insist on ignoring is that while minimum wage was fairly common in the 60's and 70's it isn't now. Something like 2% of the population earns only minimum wage, down from 13% in 1980, and many of those are restaurant servers making more from tips than from a wage. Then subtract all the teens earning that, and the elderly looking for a few more dollars, and the number of families trying to subsist on minimum wage is very small. I might note that in this manner capitalism is self-correcting - when wages fall too low there are no takers for the jobs and the wage rises automatically. As opposed to artificial intervention by government that never seems to work.
"In 2018, 1.7 million workers, or 2% of all hourly paid, non-self-employed workers, earned wages at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25."
https://usafacts.org/reports/facts-in-f … nimum-wage
Wilderness, what you conveniently ommited is that almost all of the states require a minimum wage over the federal standard, so your 2 percent figure at or below the 7.25/hour today compared with 13 percent in 1980 is misleading when one takes into account the few states that pays the federal standard or less. one just have to look at the charts to see why so many more are paid over the federal standard. And obviously the idea that people could subsist on it did not fly within the vast majority of this country. So, the only explanation for the higher wage is that states made certain through legislation that workers are paid more and they had to do that for a reason.
That would be true...except that the states that didn't raise the minimum still show very few people working at minimum wage. Wages rose without government intervention in those areas, albeit not as high as the excesses of places like Seattle.
But do you agree that those earning minimum wage (whether federal, state or city) are very likely those that are still living with parents, those that are looking for some part time work to have some spending cash and those earning tips PLUS minimum wage?
There is another problem with mandating a minimum wage sufficient to support a family, though, and that's that those kids and part timers will be shut out of a job - those jobs will be filled by family men and women that find it easier than working to produce a salable skill. IMO we don't want that either - it is important to get kids into the workplace and get some experience before they have to depend on themselves for support.
Wilderness, we do not have to refer to extreme examples like the city of Seattle, just look around the rest of the country, even states as conservative as Arkansas recognize that the federal minimum is not enough. Why not change the federal standard as obviously MOST of the country see it as inadequate?
While 15.00 may be a bit much, most obviously agree that 7.25 is too little.
Of course there was government intervention, how did the states manage the increase in the wages short of government legislative mandate?
I would need to check the article again to glean whether those states that did not mandate a change in the minimum wage have drastically fewer workers on minimum wage since 1980.
But the vast majority of states in this union see the need to have it mandated and there had to be a reason, not believing that the wage floor would just be increased by the private sector on its own initiative.
I just know that the minimum wage is not just a "teen age" wage anymore, while it is higher than the federal minimum in most states they are plenty of bread earners working at this wage. I could be wrong as that is just my observation.
Someone has to determine what justifies a change in the minimum. I am not saying that it should be based on the fact that the recipient is in a feather bed. But based on inflation, rising cost of living and evaluation of basic and unavoidable need for subsistence. Otherwise, the taxpayer gets hit with more social welfare spending. I would think that conservatives would insist that employers pay fair wages to preclude the possibility of too many left on the public dole.
While, I sympathize with the need for young people to "get their feet wet" in the workplace, the need for subsistence wages for adults and bread winners is more important.
It takes money and education to rise up on the social mobility ladder. Not everybody has the wherewithal to lift themselves by their bootstraps, change their circumstances while supporting a family. instead of spending money to keep inactive people on the dole, perhaps more of our resources could be directed along this path.
"While 15.00 may be a bit much, most obviously agree that 7.25 is too little."
And I would agree. Nothing new there - I've said that many times.
"Of course there was government intervention, how did the states manage the increase in the wages short of government legislative mandate?"
The "states" managed nothing of the sort - as I said, the automatic reactions of free enterprise and capitalism stepped in did it for them. It's what happens when you can't buy for the price you want; if it is necessary to buy you will pay more. And the wages rose.
"I just know that the minimum wage is not just a "teen age" wage anymore, while it is higher than the federal minimum in most states they are plenty of bread earners working at this wage. I could be wrong as that is just my observation."
As you say, it is just an observation. Personally, the only people I know working at the bottom end are teens and the like, but I could be wrong that there aren't significant numbers of families being supported on it. Of course, that 2% figure says otherwise...
"Someone has to determine what justifies a change in the minimum."
Agreed. But it isn't the person trying to justify it based on the needs of the seller rather than the value of the product. That is, and remains, madness. Just as "fair" cannot be based on the needs of the seller: "fair" is when both seller and purchaser agree, without laws forcing it, on an acceptable price.
I agree that not everyone has the wherewithal to lift themselves by bootstraps (although about a tenth of the number you think are incapable of helping themselves). Which is why we provide subsidized education and should do more of that. Instead we simply hand money out (keeping inactive people on the dole) without ever requiring they do anything themselves to rectify their situation.
Wilderness how did the free enterprise system/ capitalism change the law? If the situation is as you say in your 4th paragraph why did the minimum had to be codified in the first place?
Again, the 2 percent figure is misleading, the better question would regard who constitutes and how many workers subsist at the minimum wage applicable within the states and communities in which they live?
I am not always convinced that the free market without intervention is the most appropriate way to deal with wages and compensation at the minimum levels. But, again, that is my opinion.
Where do you get the one tenth number? Otherwise, I agree with the substance of your last paragraph. The availability of Inexpensive or free education is a serious way to address the problem, and my choice candidate already understands that. Otherwise, any talk about opposition to welfare is just talk without any real solution.
Seems to me that the minimum wage was instituted in response to the sweat shops of long ago, and it was both necessary and good. That it has become a method to give money to those that do not earn it is something else. Again, employers are not buying people; they are buying what those people produce, and if the value of the product does not sustain a higher price then it doesn't.
Yes, that is indeed the question, but I've never seen anything that gave and answer. Like you, I'm limited to a gut feeling, and to observations made in my very limited geographical location. One could look at job listings throughout the country, but that doesn't say who is holding them.
Free market DOES need some guidance. But not the "guidance" that attempts to force business to pay more than a product is worth; an employee's need has zero to do with the value of their work, but that is what minimum wage has come to mean. That mythical "living wage" that no one will ever define.
Same place you get your figures: from a gut feeling and looking around you. I'd disagree that "free" is the way to go (don't forget that no education is "free"; it is paid for by someone). "Free" things are generally worth what is paid for them, and when education is too cheap it will become a drawing card for those that have no intention of using it to improve themselves. That just want an easy, or perhaps interesting, life at someone else's expense.
Wilderness, making sure that the minimum wage has the same effect today that it was designed for at its inception means increasing that wage with rising costs of living, does it not? I don't think that meeting that minimum is "giving money away". The free enterprise system is not neutralized, there are just certain rules of the game, that avoid us reverting to a 19th century model.
Minimum wage, as I said, is not designed to be a feather bed, but it serves to allow capital not to exploit labor, because whether you like it or not someone has to pay, their not paying a minimum means it comes from our taxes or a Dickens' form of destitution intolerable today.
If not free, very low costs, thus that only the relatively wealthy would not be the only ones that can afford to "improve themselves". Making such education available to the masses would go along way in addressing my concern about structural economic inequity.
And despite your pessimism, I think more people would avail themselves of the opportunity than you think would exploit it.
"Wilderness, making sure that the minimum wage has the same effect today that it was designed for at its inception means increasing that wage with rising costs of living, does it not?"
Not in my mind. It has become a requirement to pay that mythical "living wage" that no one will even define who it is to support, much less what it is. It used to be to end sweat shops; now it is to force employers to pay more than value received in return, all in an effort to equalize wealth.
"Minimum wage, as I said, is not designed to be a feather bed, but it serves to allow capital not to exploit labor"
That's correct; an end to sweat shops. That does NOT mean pay more than the product is worth, but that's what is demanded now. When the need of the employee takes priority over the need of the employer (for a profit to support them) there is a problem. That we support those unwilling to support themselves is our fault, not an employer that pays wages for value returned.
Again, what is "very low cost"? I suspect it means something very different to you than it does to me. I find that the costs of a state college could be made "very low" simply by streamlining the costs the school pays and eliminating extra. Something along the line of 3-4 thousand per year for tuition and fees. I suspect it means closer to a few hundred to you, with the taxpayer footing the difference without regard to what they are actually paying for.
Cred, we already have thousands if not millions with a college degree that cannot find work in their chosen field. What kind of "opportunity" are you thinking of that will produce more of the same? We already have millions of kids that cannot survive a four year course of education (setting aside the matter of costs) because they will flunk out. What kind of "opportunity" are you thinking of forcing us to pay for, for those kids?
Yes, there are some that will not put out the effort to pay their own way (after our already considerable subsidies) and that leverage their (successful) education into a job. The question becomes "Do we need them, or do we already have a sufficient number now?" And, IMO, we do - we already have sufficient grads in most fields to fill our needs, and the remaining areas are so difficult that we won't find many takers with your "low cost" education.
There are many that talk about the "living wage". I have expressed my disapproval with the $15 per hour wage, but as I said, the current minimum is not enough otherwise so many states would not see the need to supplement over the federal standard.
The minimum wage may have been 25 cents and hour in 1938, it was designed to eliminate sweatshops, what does that minimum have to be today to have the same effect? It may not be $15.00 per hour but it has to be more than $7.25.
Yes, Wilderness, low cost does mean something different, yes I am thinking about hundreds and not thousands. Why?
We don't have to necessarily think of a Classic 4 year college degree, we could focus on trade schools that are more job oriented and less expensive.
Also, we are paying people to sit on their rumps and do nothing, working toward a goal that would change that has got to be better than what we do now. We are paying anyway, let's get something out of it.
It is my opinion that training will be necessary to qualify for the trades and tech jobs of today and the near future, and secondary public schools are not cutting it.
But within your reply as to what that "living wage" is...was no answer at all. Just more than it is now. And if it goes to $10, well that isn't a "living wage". Neither is $15, for if it happened you will still complain that it won't support a family of 4. And if it went to $20, you would still be complaining after a few years of the inflation it caused!
Education - many study fields are heavily subsidized, or paid for, by the union. I'm pretty much guessing, but if it isn't, it is still only a few thousand, total, for the entire "degree", while also working as an apprentice and earning a low to fair wage - isn't that "low cost"?
"The minimum wage may have been 25 cents and hour in 1938, it was designed to eliminate sweatshops, what does that minimum have to be today to have the same effect? It may not be $15.00 per hour but it has to be more than $7.25.,
This is what I said, Wilderness, i am not talking about a living wage, but what would be the minimum floor for wages to preclude a sweat shop environment? You, yourself acknowledge the need for such a minimum for just such a purpose. Don't you think that that value would have changed since 1938 and the purpose would be the same. Well, I think so, while you may not.
The current level prevents a sweat shop environment, particularly when coupled with other laws concerning child labor, OT pay, work insurance, safety, discrimination, etc. If that's all that is required we already have it.
But I believe we need more than that today, for there are still unscrupulous employers out there. Personally, I would set it at near $10, achieved over several years so as to help prevent inflation. That's enough, after all, to provide basic necessities for singles not choosing (choosing!) to live in very high cost areas. So is the current minimum, but it is extremely tight, and offers little or nothing in the way of ability to improve (outside of mere work experience) and is disastrous if an emergency occurs, such as an injury that prevents work for even a week or so. Of course, that assumes the worker will put some of the $10 aside, or at least invest it in their future - something few would do.
But $10 could never be considered as a living wage for a family, and I'm OK with that. It's enough to start a young person on their life and it's enough to provide for some improvements over time. Unless the labor market responded by locking that figure into stone (and it could if it is too high), experience alone should produce a slowly rising income over time.
A much larger need, IMHO, is to change our welfare system so that people trying to get on their own feet aren't penalized nearly so heavily. When we take more from them than the income increase they just earned it is a nearly sure fire method of preventing any effort. And we do exactly that in an effort to lock them into govt. charity forever (IMO again).
"The current level prevents a sweat shop environment, particularly when coupled with other laws concerning child labor, OT pay, work insurance, safety, discrimination, etc. If that's all that is required we already have it"
Perhaps, but there are more than a few states that codified a greater minimum.
I can agree to a $10.00 minimum, with more subsidy for education rather than less, because as you noted, to save a great deal on a subsistence wage makes it difficult to do things that not directly associated with immediate survival but is all the more necessary to promote a different future outcome.
In fields that have a degree of social mobility, increase in wages and hopefully economic status can be reasonably anticipated as inevitable over time. Work experience in dead end jobs with no future or real increase in wage potential are a waste of time.
Yes, we agree on the substance of your last paragraph. While I may be idealistic, the potential of breaking habits and patterns of generational dependency in our poorest communities by giving a real opportunity to all is a possibility to great to ignore.
It is my goal to see everyone have the opportunity to reach his or her potential with the lack of large sums of money no longer an impediment. The goal is less dependency, this is just one way to go about it.
When we achieve this, only the lazy will be left. I am prepared to deal with them quite harshly. And much of the tack that I speak from in my positions on economic matters will no longer be relevant as all of the wind will have been removed from my sails.
I find that a great many people, looking at the cost of education, are far more concerned about how to squeeze more out of their neighbor to pay for someone else's education than they are in understanding just why those costs have escalated faster and higher than education. Do you have an explanation why your answer is simply to give money away to those buying an overpriced product rather than doing something about that cost?
"Work experience in dead end jobs with no future or real increase in wage potential are a waste of time."
Will highly disagree with this. A teen starting their working career at a McDonalds is learning invaluable lessons about what it means to hold a job. To be there, and on time, when scheduled. To do the work to the best of their ability rather than just enough to get by. To follow orders rather than do as they think is best. To work with others harmoniously. To deal with customers. There is a great deal of value in working a dead end job; the key is to know when to leave it behind, because if you don't you are locking yourself into that dead end.
Wilderness, it is the simple free market idea of supply and demand that has to explain why the costs of higher education grows faster than inflation. I have no objection to applying efficiencies to reduce the costs of higher education. There are a lot of other things that I pay for that I question the efficacy of, I can think less desirable recipients of our tax dollars.
I have no objection to getting to the bottom of the high costs but that does not change the reality of the need to more access to more affordable education for more people with a benefit of reducing the welfare rolls among other things.
It takes money to move from a minimum wage job to leave it behind to educate ones self to qualify to the next level. What minimum wage recipients can afford this without assistance?
Then we have a major difference in what we see as acceptable, for you are asking for a blank check to our colleges and universities, to spend as they see fit without regard to what they return in the way of education.
For example, I see my state funded universities competing among themselves for students: they are spending large amounts of money (provided by citizens and students alike) in order to "steal" students from each other. Somehow, it is more important for this state university to be larger than that one. And if they don't spend vast amounts on student entertainment and play they won't be successful in that endeavor. The new president of the one where I live is instituting classes on white privilege and building prayer rooms on campus for Muslims. Neither provides anything at all towards being self supporting and neither is acceptable to me. She presides over, among other things, a football team that travels the US and went to Hawaii twice this year, and a 250 thousand square foot "student union" building, complete with a bowling alley, multiple ballrooms and a video arcade. It dwarfs the college library.
This is not something I support in the slightest, but it is something I must pay for and that is simply unacceptable. I'm all for helping people go to school and learn to support themselves: I'm completely against entertaining them for 4 years at my expense. But that is as important to universities as education is.
If it is important to make "affordable" education (which pretty much appears to mean "free", at least to the one gaining from it), then the first step is to take out the crap from what we are buying for someone that wants it but doesn't want to pay the price for it.
"What minimum wage recipients can afford this without assistance?"
Any of them that truly wishes to proceed, and is willing to put the effort into it. No one (able bodied worker) needs to remain in a minimum wage job, and pretending that they are stuck there forever is fooling yourself. I have 3 grandchildren that have entered the workforce; all 3 have left minimum wage behind though they are still in school: one in college and 2 still in high school. The college student has remained at a fast food outlet and is expecting a managerial job there...without using her education to leverage it, just hard work. The other two, after starting in fast food, have left it for big box retailers and better wages.
You do not need formal education to get out of minimum wage jobs, even if your circumstance and location somehow dictate that that is all there is to start with. You don't even need it to reach median income or higher.
According to your chart wages went up 32% apx. since 2000 and food up 54%.
The biggest items gone up more than 50% to over 100% compare to wages, like cars, homes, schools, sky rocketing debt and taxes . A new car costs $31,252 while that 1975 car adjusting for inflation would cost $16,578. This is a true doubling of cost here. Public college costs are up over 150% while private college costs are up over 160%. And you wonder why we have over $1.3 trillion in student debt outstanding.
What is more affordable relative to inflation? Milk, eggs, and a postage stamp. Unfortunately these are tiny line items on your household budget.
What you need to look at is the median income here. US households overall are simply poorer. They have less to spend relative to the cost of goods and services. Money is only as good as what it can purchase. Most people are a few paychecks away from homeless, and homeless did not exist when I was a young man, except odd drunks in an alleyway.
Hi, Castle, I think you were direct this reply to Wilderness. I basically can't deny what you are saying here, this problem is of multiple dimensions.
Wilderness and I have had this debated for some time now. I assume you were agreeing with him. We have gone downwards in the world of things. Good news!!! is most of the rest of the world are richer and living longer, just not us. If you catch my other post called :Don't Panic: Great simple insight.
You forgot to factor in that the car today (and they are much cheaper than $31,000) includes a raft of goodies (power windows, mirrors, climate control, AC, navigation, etc.). It also gets twice the mileage and lasts half again as long, while requiring much less maintenance; tune ups, new plugs, rotor and wires are no longer required every year. Bottom line is that it is cheaper to operate now than it was then (insurance is another matter, though).
Homes are the same: the cost per square foot of a new home is down since the 60's...and includes more insulation, more and fancier appliances and amenities, more bathrooms, central air conditioning, longer lasting roofing and siding, etc.
Public colleges are up...but again a lot of that cost is the "extras" that colleges didn't used to have. Massive, expensive student centers with video arcades, bowling alleys, etc. Quiet space for students upset over a political election. A huge increase in the costs of sports activities and other entertainment.
Food is not a "tiny line item" in most budgets, particularly that of the poor. It is often second on the list, following only housing.
No, US median households are not simply poorer. If they were we wouldn't have a computer (or two or three) in every house and a cell phone in every hand, even children.
We wouldn't see stores dedicated to video games and movies. We would't see expensive coffee joints on every corner and fast food on every other corner. We wouldn't have our roads clogged with massive SUV's getting 20 miles to the gallon when smaller cars getting double the mileage and costing half the money satisfy our needs quite well. We wouldn't have grocery stores dedicated to high priced "organic" foods and pleasant decor.
These things are not paid for by the rich - it is the massive middle class, and often the poor, that are buying them. Buying them out of that "falling" income.
I learn cheap toxic stuff and toxic clients did not make me happy. The bombardment of advertising is a whole lot of waste of my time. Sure much cheaper cell phones and computers, so they can spy camera and control you at all time.
The education and medical indocination camps make a cookie cutter mold out of you. I know many PHD students drive cabs for a living. I trains sculptor to win awards for their road record and have achieved better results rather than over competitiveness from a mold and conflicts much of the time.
A place like Star Buck's and others, they bought out their land from places like Ethiopia. Then force them to work for them for $4 a day. One cup of expresso Coffee cost that.
One thing I have learn from greedy bastards who own most of the world, yet not me. Is I carry my own secret service, government like management. I do it always with fairness and highest health standards. Most everyone love working with us vs most do not like their jobs fot most waking hours of their lives.
Check out my Don't Panic post. Insightful on why we are doing worst and much of the rest are progressing better.
Ranting against people that buy Ethiopian land for a starbucks does not change that Americans are buying that expensive coffee, and it isn't just the rich. It's the middle class, and if they can do that they aren't very poor, are they?
Your response is food for thought... It provokes the question --- We have had great job growth over the past few years due to Trump's tax plan that does favor big business. Would it not be risky to raise taxes on big business as the Dems are proposing? Could it revert quickly to jobs being cut, due to the fact that as a rule the workforce is cut to keep up the bottom line - profit.
This concept is historical... Funny the Dem candidates do not realize that when making their campaign promises to tax big business?
Taxing the wealthy more won't Hurt their record breaking profits each year. Why do so many worry about hurting the wealthy's loopsided
and unbalanced greed disease?
We have a history to prove when taxes and regulations work against big business, Big business decrease overhead. I must agree with you it won't hurt their profits. Because they will take the necessary steps to make sure the increased taxes would not touch their profits. First, to go are the employees.
One good thing, more people realize from being a working stiffs, is that with large corporations you are going nowhere rarely. Corporation in the pass have also strong at divide and conquer the small businesses. Like Walmart used war tactics.
The latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Survey found that 84% believe their company’s financial situation “will be either very good or somewhat good one year from now.”
I have had serious problems with pioneering for 15 years three different companies with large corporations crushing them. I have won today all 3 companies by means of love and sticktoativeness. The main reason, I am half staying in my country.
When one looks at the statistics, the job growth has not been so remarkable relative to what occurred during Obama's term of office. But, what we have now are rising deficits due to increased government spending and tax cuts for the wealthy.
Big business would resist paying ANY tax. The reality is that technology and the sheer economics of Capitalism would have them ultimately do anyway what it is everyone is hoping that they won't. In the meantime, they will take what they can.
I simply disagree on the correlation that highly business taxes will have them all "running for the hills" in response.
It is possible that raising the already double dipping of taxes on big business will actually increase the number of jobs...as business hires more tax lawyers and lobbyists to reduce that excessive tax burden. We would likely lose some to outsourcing as we're already among the highest business tax in the world, but it might be overcome with lawyers.
Is that what we want, though - an army (or two, considering we already have one ) of people working to reduce the tax paid? Doesn't sound reasonable to me as it produces nothing of real value to the nation - that money is there either way, and there are no new products or services to buy from the work being done.
In 2017, an Oxfam study found that eight rich people, six of them Americans, own as much combined wealth as half the human race. I sure it is worst more recently.
Equality and democray are loosing grip in the US. Call me when the Revolution starts, so I can stay in South America.
I've seen those numbers and while I'm fine with people becoming wealthy for innovative ideas that benefit society, as with most things, some kind of middle ground is healthy. Allowing large multi-national corporations to pay wages so low that full-time employees need to apply for social benefits for basic necessities is too far to the extreme end for my tastes. The pressure is on the poor, and working poor. If we don't do something, I think we will start to see more serious repercussions (perhaps people out in the street in yellow vests). I'm rooting for more amicable solutions even though I'll likely be out of firing range
Canada economy is close to the US. My area minimum wage is $14.50 an hour and more than half that gose to rent. How in the world dose anyone make ends meet?
In the 70s, I made $20 an hour as a brick layer. Paid rent $45 a month for an apartment with two boarders. A bus was only 25 cents. Everone I knew had jobs. I also worked in the US and no problem getting a jobs within a day.
Today Trump claims in the US, he has the best economy there has ever been in the US history. He must of forgotten nearing 100 million baby boomers ever existed.
When Trump is fracking that oil, they will be drinking that oil mixed with their water. I suppose that will be a hoax too. Or he may sell it as making you a better well oiled machine.
I dare Trump to raise the national wage to $15 an hour. Then complete with the rest of the world cheap third world or Western countries immgration cheap labour.
That's the thing about saying that wages are up. If they are slightly up from where they were a year ago but the costs of living, housing, healthcare, education, etc. are up drastically, it doesn't hold much weight.
I wouldn't believe for a second that the economy, all things considered, is as solid as it was during the peak years for the baby boomers. The days of single income families with a house, 3 kids, 2 cars, and a white picket fence are effectively over. I'd like to see that kind of economic strength return. We won't get there with a $15 minimum wage, but it's a start!
You will never get there with large numbers of people working at wages designed and intended for youngsters without skills or work ethic.
Minimum wage is neither designed nor intended to support a family. It is a beginning amount paid to individuals that are just learning to exist in the work world and that cannot be paid more while still using the results of their labor to produce a profit margin. It is also useful for those that just want a few more dollars in their pockets - the elderly on SS, for instance, that don't want a full time job. It is not, nor should it be, sufficient to support a family.
Agree 100% there. $15 is barely enough for a high school kid to start saving enough for college in 2019. We need broader solutions that bring people who want to work full-time into the middle class. That's the backbone of our society and we need to nurture it.
Unfortunately our own greed has prohibited that "backbone" from growing as we farmed out our manufacturing jobs to cheaper labor (and cheaper prices at home) overseas.
There is another problem as well; while it is only an impression, a "feeling", it looks to me like the younger generation today is not willing to start at the bottom. They want to start life where their parents are after decades of effort. No roommates to share costs, no clunker car to get to work, no shopping at Goodwill for used clothing, no eating burned food because that's all they have after they messed up the meal. These things are so foreign to their view of life that it just isn't on the radar - instead, a wage that prevents an employer from earning a profit is necessary just to "survive"...in the lifestyle they demand.
That's another good point, Wilderness. Our greed is exactly what caused this. Not only did rampant outsourcing harm our middle class, it also was a major contributing factor to the rise of China (which now it seems we are scrambling to compete with on the global stage).
I don't think it's a major problem, but would agree that the younger generation does depend too heavily on conveniences. No matter what they do, it's not likely they'll reach the economic security their parents or grandparents had (which is demotivating in itself), but they should realize the sacrifices their elders made to keeping making progress. Every generation has to do the best they can with the cards they are dealt.
If they want real change, they'll need to be the most politically active young generation we've ever seen.
I have to disagree with the inability to become financially secure as their parents. When I watch my children (gen X) they're doing fine and so are their friends. The only exceptions to that are those that simply aren't trying; the "hippies" of Gen X that refuse the lifestyle of work.
And if they can become financially stable, so can their kids. The process will not be the same, most likely, but it can be done with no more effort than we baby boomers put into it.
I agree with you. I think one big fallacy in our unemployment numbers is created by counting teenagers who don't work and representing them as "teenagers out of work." I think only emancipated teenagers should be counted as unemployed when they actually have to support themselves and their families. Families headed by teenagers were very common in the Dark Ages when I was young, but teenage heads of households are not so common today. I don't think high school students living at home or college freshmen in dorms should qualify.
Trump was correct in calling out the fallacy in unemployment numbers, especially in that they don't count people that have not actively looked for work in the 4 weeks prior https://ballotpedia.org/Fact_check/Are_ … yment_rate
Although, at other times it seems his administration tries to use these same numbers as a talking point.
Again, as with most subjects, it depends on the definitions. It's great that your kids and their friends are doing well, but that's quite a small sample size to represent an entire country (with so many variables coming into play from the schools they went to, the neighborhoods they grew up in, the mentoring they received from you and other important figures in their life). A lot of Americans end up on the bad size of those variables. Becoming financially stable and becoming as stable as their parents could be quite different as well. There are factors like education (one aspect we seem to be doing worse on https://www.forbes.com/sites/aparnamath … 892b316a7b) and healthcare that have increased in price far beyond any gains that have been made in wages.
How do you know so much about America, living in Thailand?
I do try to stay in the loop. I travel back and forth occasionally and also listen to the experiences of others when they travel to the US and what their impressions are. I appreciate forums like this to make sure I'm not missing anything as well
Oh, absolutely it can be no more than a feeling, simply because of the small size. But it is, I think, indicative.
Health care is another topic. When I look at the health care available to me as a child, and readily available to me as an adult, there is almost no comparison. Yes, prices have risen beyond anything that wages have done, but so has the quality and quantity of health care. In that respect, our expectations and demands have progressed far faster than our ability to purchase what we're demanding - is it truly reasonable to expect the same effort to purchase double, triple or more both the quantity and quality of healthcare? Especially as we put less and less effort into our own part in maintaining our health? I question that.
by Josak 9 years ago
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by Sychophantastic 7 years ago
What do you think of Nick Hanauer's suggestion that we have a $15 minimum wage?His article suggesting this can be found here:http://topinfopost.com/2014/06/30/ultra … are-coming
by Stacie L 10 years ago
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by SparklingJewel 8 years ago
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by awesome77 10 years ago
The minimum wage is a joke and I think it should be abolished. Let the market system determine what the wages should be!I know, some of you will scream and holler, but as a former retail business owner, it undermines the market system for wages.
by Shawn McIntyre 8 years ago
Always a hot button issue, let's see what HubPages has to say:Should the Minimum Wage be:A) Raised. B) LoweredC) Done away with immediately D) Phased out over the next 10 years.E) None of the above.
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