REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

How Well Can You Live on Minimum Wage?

POSTED BY: NIKI2
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 14:54
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VIEWED: 1970
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Saturday, May 5, 2012 4:27 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


As always, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer...but did you know just how bad it's gotten?
Quote:

Raise it? Don’t raise it? The state of the minimum wage has long been a hot-button political issue, but in a struggling economy, an election year, and with many states proposing changes, it’s only getting hotter.

This month, the New Jersey General Assembly’s Labor Committee approved legislation that would set a minimum wage of $5 an hour by June 2013 for tipped employees (the current rate is the federal minimum of $2.13). Also making headlines is the city of San Francisco, which raised its minimum wage to $10.24 in February?that’s nearly $3 above the federal minimum of $7.25, which hasn’t risen since 2009. Many states, including New York and Massachusetts, are also considering increases, to much praise and outcry.

Approximately 4.4 million Americans, or 6 percent of all hourly workers, earned wages at or below the federal minimum in 2010, and workers under age 25 made up about half of them. Many fiscal conservatives and economists argue that an increase could further raise unemployment, while others, especially at the state and local level, claim minimum wage is in serious need of a hike. Even the Republican candidates are divided. Mitt Romney said at a trip to New Hampshire that the minimum wage should naturally raise according to inflation clocked by the Consumer Price Index?and was soon lambasted by radio host Rush Limbaugh. Rick Santorum has also taken flak for supporting a minimum wage increase in a 2006 campaign commercial (Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are both adamantly opposed.)

Since being established at 25 cents in 1938 under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal minimum wage has been raised only 22 times. Though it was originally proposed to periodically raise wages along with the increased cost of living, the law that was passed left any increases to Congress and the president. “Congress decided to not tie the minimum to the rate of inflation because they wanted to get credit each year for raising the minimum,” says Stephen J. Rose, senior economist at the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.

The result is an effective decrease in the minimum wage. According to the website EconProph, when inflation is factored in, the federal minimum wage is actually 25 percent lower today than it was in 1968. When it comes to housing costs, for example, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) suggests applying no more than 25 percent of your gross income towards rent. But almost no one earning minimum wage would be able to pay the national median rent using that formula.

The jury is still out on whether an increase would also increase unemployment. “Economic theory would seem to indicate that raising the minimum wage would have negative employment,” Rose says. “But when you look at the long term effects, a higher minimum wage increases workers’ earnings over multiple years as they move in and out of the labor force, so the increased pay while working offsets whatever small negative effects there are on employment.”

All the talk got us thinking?what is the real power of the minimum wage? The Fiscal Times looked at the minimum wage at the start of each decade from 1950 to 2010, and compared it to average unadjusted prices for two necessities and one indulgence?rent, a gallon of gas, and a ticket to the movie theater?to see how many hours you’d have to work at minimum wage to afford them. http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/04/05/How-Well-Can-You-Liv
e-on-Minimum-Wage.aspx#page1
of what minimum wage bought in 1950 compared to 2010 (all figures represent the average cost of a movie ticket, a gallon of gas, and the median rent):
Quote:

Often looked to as a model era, the 1950s may have been nearly as picture-perfect as Leave it to Beaver seemed to suggest?minimum wage workers could pay rent for a month for less than a week and a half of full-time work?or catch Disney’s Cinderella for just over a half-hour of labor.

Minimum wage: $0.75/hour
Gas: $0.27 or 22m
Movie ticket: $0.48 or 38m
Rent: $42 or 56hrs

1960

By 1960, the minimum wage of $1 had not quite kept up with inflation, making rent a bit less affordable?though still not quite two weeks of minimum-wage work. On the other hand, filling up the Corvette was actually relatively cheaper?it took just under twenty minutes of work to get a gallon of gas.

Minimum wage: $1/hour
Gas: $0.31 or 19m
Movie ticket: $0.69 or 41m
Rent: $71 or 71hrs

1970

In 1970, the outlook for minimum-wage workers was about as bright as a spinning disco ball. Compared to ten years before, the cost of rent and gas actually decreased. Movie tickets were the one exception?gaining in popularity and breadth (31 movies were released in 1970, compared to just 19 in 1960 and 11 in 1950), the cost of a ticket saw a big hike, and was the equivalent of a near hour of work.

Minimum wage: $1.60/hour
Gas: $0.36 or 14m
Movie ticket: $1.55 or 58m
Rent: $108 or 67.5hrs

1980

The beginning of Reagan’s era marked the last in which paying the median rent was semi-feasible on a single minimum-wage income. A minimum wage worker could still pay rent with just under two weeks of work (but that’s still double the ratio that HUD recommends). Of course, if you lived in a more affordable area, you’d be in better shape. In Mississippi, for example, you’d only have to put in 58 hours of work to pay the median rent there.

Minimum wage: $3.10/hour
Gas: $1.25 or 24m
Movie ticket: $2.60 or 50m
Rent: $243 or 78hrs

1990

By 1990, renting an average place on minimum-wage pay became near impossible. Employees would need to work 118 hours (that’s nearly 70 percent of gross monthly pay) to get shelter. And entertainment was no easier. You’d have to work over an hour to see Home Alone or Pretty Woman. The one bright spot was gas?prices were actually down from ten years prior, meaning earners only had to put in about a third of an hour of work to afford a gallon.

Minimum wage: $3.80/hour
Gas: $1.13 or 18m
Movie ticket: $4.23 or 1hr, 7m
Rent: $447 or 118hrs

2000

By the time George W. Bush got to office, things were no better?though arguably, no worse. With a minimum wage of only $5.15 (it hadn’t raised since 1995, and wouldn’t again until eight years later in 2008) workers still had to work nearly 120 hours to afford median rent and more than an hour for a trip to the cinema.

Minimum wage: $5.15/hour
Gas: $1.49 or 17m
Movie ticket: $5. 39 or 1hr, 3m
Rent: $602 or 117hrs

2010

Though the housing crash actually made rent more affordable, minimum-wage workers still had to put in 109 hours of work (or more than 60% of monthly income) in 2010. Of course, in cities like New York, the numbers are much higher. In 2010, the NY-Northern NJ-Long Island area had a median gross rent of $1,125, which equals 155 hours of work. Basically, if you worked full-time, didn’t eat, commute, or pay utilities, and gave nearly every penny to your landlord, you could just make it in the Big Apple.

Minimum wage: $7.25/hour
Gas: $2.78 or 23m
Movie ticket: $7.95 or 1hr, 6m
Rent: $790 or 109hrs http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Media/Slideshow/2012/04/04/Minimum-Wage-
and-What-It-Buys-You-1950s-to-Now.aspx
to put it another way:







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Saturday, May 5, 2012 5:16 AM

WISHIMAY

"Well, so long Earth...Thanks for the air... and what-not" -Philip J. Fry


We had ta do that once, you end up spending half of what you make in gas and THAT was seven years ago, I couldn't imagine doing that now...

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Saturday, May 5, 2012 5:24 AM

WHOZIT


I agree, Obama should be making minimum wage. That jugeared douche is WAY over paid.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012 8:19 AM

FREMDFIRMA



I think ALL members of the Gov oughta make minimum wage, while not explicitly stated, careful reading of the founders documents does indicate that was pretty much the intention, the only reason they were even paid in the first place was so that they'd bother to show up.

-F

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Saturday, May 5, 2012 1:47 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


I think you need to change the system so that only millionaires appear to be able to get themselves elected in the first place.

I think what that comparison does not include is things like cost of utilities and weekly transport costs for a family. It maybe that the cost of petrol has not increased in terms of time, but people use a hell of a lot more in order to get to work.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012 4:27 PM

WISHIMAY

"Well, so long Earth...Thanks for the air... and what-not" -Philip J. Fry


Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
I think you need to change the system so that only millionaires appear to be able to get themselves elected in the first place.




Wha? Are trying to say it seems only millionares are elected, or that only millionares SHOULD be? 'Cause that last one is scary... And yeah, it does seem only rich people get elected...The rest of us are too busy chasing meals and rent...and sanity...I've always said "Anyone who WANTS ta make rules for other people is not firing on all thrusters!" I'm not sure you could pay me enough to do that.

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Monday, May 7, 2012 5:28 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


In OR minimum wage = 8.50 per hour. A lot better than many states.

I assume you're my pal until you let me know otherwise.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya.

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Monday, May 7, 2012 6:06 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!



Or, you could do what I did. Work 3 jobs until you find something that pays better and or which you enjoy doing.

Life isn't a guarantee. Nothing is. No one owes you a damn thing.

No one got 'rich' by working for minimum wage, twice that. So stop your class warfare b.s.

Get over it. ( And yourselves )



" We're all just folk. " - Mal

" AU, that was great, LOL!! " - Chrisisall

"The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012 2:56 AM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by Wishimay:
Quote:

Originally posted by Magonsdaughter:
I think you need to change the system so that only millionaires appear to be able to get themselves elected in the first place.




Wha? Are trying to say it seems only millionares are elected, or that only millionares SHOULD be? 'Cause that last one is scary... And yeah, it does seem only rich people get elected...The rest of us are too busy chasing meals and rent...and sanity...I've always said "Anyone who WANTS ta make rules for other people is not firing on all thrusters!" I'm not sure you could pay me enough to do that.



Oops sorry. That does read badly. No I think the current system in the US appears to be only milionaires get elected and that is a bad thing.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012 6:50 AM

WISHIMAY

"Well, so long Earth...Thanks for the air... and what-not" -Philip J. Fry


Quote:

Originally posted by AURaptor:

Or, you could do what I did. Work 3 jobs until you find something that pays better and or which you enjoy doing.

Life isn't a guarantee. Nothing is. No one owes you a damn thing.



Yep, life isn't a guarantee. It isn't a guarantee that ANYONE will always have money for the kids they have no matter how hard they work, should we let kids starve or go without healthcare? Would you like to see the world they inherit? Their stability affects the world YOU live in too, yanno...Wait, do you have kids???? 'Cause if you don't you don't have a clue what it takes these days... If no one had kids there would be no humanity, and no one to diaper your ass when you get too old to wipe it, so yeah, you are part of the system and you should help others, because they will probably have to help yer grumpy butt someday. Unless you think we should just murder off anyone who has slight disabilities, Hitler?
BTW, Not everyone CAN physically work three jobs, nor do they qualify for disability, (or would even take it) like me. I am thankful my husband can work, because if we had to depend on me I would be a severe drug addict in weeks, just trying to cope. People aren't an all or nothing thing. They have real problems that they don't use just as an excuse just to piss you off. You can tell yourself that you did the noble thing, and lucky you BTW, but you are just trying to find a way to deal with something you don't have the emotional capability to do so...

Grow, learn empathy! I'm not saying you gotta be a sucker- nor your brothers keeper, but stop kicking people when they're down. All that does is make everyone less human.


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012 7:41 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by AURaptor:


No one got 'rich' by working for minimum wage, twice that.



No one said that, you fuckwit.

Have you ever said anything honest?

"Goram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Engage!"

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012 9:55 AM

ESTEAD


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:

No one said that, you fuckwit.




It is not ok to talk to people that way. You should be embarrased.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012 9:59 AM

STORYMARK


Maybe you don't know Rappy. That was better than he deserves.

I see you havn't been around in a couple years. Rappy recently was deemed the poster who insults others the most frequently - even took a (too short) sabbatical from the board in response. So, sorry if I offended thine cyber-ears - but I'll never be showing that tool any greater respect than what you see here.

"Goram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Engage!"

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012 2:35 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Actually Kiki won that contest, followed by Raptor in second place and Story in third. It was the biggest upset this board has had in a while, I'm thinking of what earth shattering experiment to do next, just to see what will happen if I do, given the rous that ensued, who knows what lurks after my next sojourn into stirring the pot.

I do miss Kiki though, not having her here makes me miss her, I find myself hoping she'll come back soon.

I assume you're my pal until you let me know otherwise.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012 2:44 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Allow me to chime in this conversation with a unique perspective, if you will Niki,

Minimum wage in 2012 is NOT a livable wage for anybody if they're single and live alone.

With no mortgage, and relatively low property tax rates in my state, it's not enough to support me at 40 hours a week without dipping into reserves.

I admit that I do spend, on average, somewhere in the vicinity of $150-200 a month more on vices such as cigarettes and beer than the average person, but other than that, I don't go out to watch movies, I don't eat out at fancy restaurants or even fast food joints ever, I rarely buy any new electronics, and I only buy new tools when I need them for the house and I know that I'll have a future use for it.

The way I figure it, I need at least 1,000 bucks a month after tax, and at least 1,200 to never have to dip into savings. If I wanted to actually save money beyond that, I'd need to make more than 1,200 a month.

Basically, you're looking at a guy who pays no rent or mortgage, who lives in a place where taxes are very low compared to Chicago, and who could not even keep afloat unless he was making a guaranteed 9 dollar an hour paycheck for 40 hours a week guaranteed.




Although I'm opposed entirely to the minimum wage being raised simply because people who make moderately more are, on the flip side then making moderately that much less.... I understand where you're coming from.

I can't tell you that your point of view is wrong just because in this economy everything is askew.

Our homeowner's insurance doesn't justify their rates by how much our property is worth anymore... they have switched to the "replacement value". I bought this house for little over 67k cash. The county has it recorded in STONE that the value of the house is 149k... It doesn't matter that NOBODY would have bought this rehab-project-mold-infested-stripped-of-A/C-units,gutters,electric-to-the-garage shit-hole for anywhere even in the ballpark of 149k today.

No......

The fact that my house was purchased via foreclosure for as much as anybody humanly possible would actually pay for it in it's condition makes it an "invalid sale", so I have no legal recourse to call BULLSHIT!!!! on their "suggested" appraisal and I'm stuck paying 800 bucks more a year in property taxes and more than several hundred on top of that for property insurance.

My property insurance is based off of a "replacement value" of 239k if it was demolished by a tornado. (and that's only because they still think I only have carpet on the second floor and not the beautiful hickory/ash hybrid hardwood floors I refinished and threw 5 coats of Poly over.)

Truth be told, in this economy and housing market, even if I were to sell it today after all the repairs I made, I'd count myself extremely lucky that I got 90k for it!!!!!


As for the minimum wage.... not an F'ing chance I could live off of that full time without taking money out of the bank, and I'm in MUCH better position than most, although being single makes it a hell of a lot tougher than 2 incomes.

In 2000 it wouldn't have been a problem. In 2000 gas was under two bucks a gallon though and Milk still hovered around 1.50 a gallon. Not the 4 bucks and 3.50 we see today.




I find this post very much like my post about house prices as opposed to how many gallons of gas that money would buy.

I don't remember the exact numbers, but I wouldn't be far off to say this:

In 2005, when this house was purchased by the previous owner for 145k, and gas just over two bucks a gallon, i could have bought 72,500 gallons of gas for the price of this house.....

In 2011, when this house was purchased by me for 67k and gas was 4.20 a gallon, i could have only bought 16,000 gallons of gas for the price of this house.





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Tuesday, May 8, 2012 2:54 PM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


Quote:

was the biggest upset this board has had in a while, I'm thinking of what earth shattering experiment to do next, just to see what will happen if I do, given the rous that ensued, who knows what lurks after my next sojourn into stirring the pot.


(smiley emoticon)

It's not personal. It's just war.

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