# A Livable Minimum Wage

1. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,763
There are 45 million people in the U.S. below the poverty line. The poverty line is defined currently at about $12,000 yr for an individual. Let's say we decided to give 45 million people$10,000. That would cost 450 billion dollars a year.

We could do that if we came close to eliminating the military. There would be a political and motivation price to pay as well. How would the people making only $20,000 year feel since they feel poor but they wouldn't get anything. If they dig ditches for a living, they would probably just stop working and stay at home to collect that extra$10,000.

Maybe you could give people some money on a declining scale until you get to about \$50k a year and then it wouldn't be much of a problem but there probably isn't enough money to do that.

I'm not saying you are wrong. I just thought I'd look up some numbers and put them out here just for interests sake.

I'm guessing if I did more "research" I'd find out that there aren't enough "rich" people who wouldn't miss the extra money to fund this kind of thing long-term.

I actually agree with a more socialized system. Still capitalism but higher taxes to be used for minimum income purposes (rather than for the military or corporations). There is an interesting dynamic that occurs at a certain point though.

Look at the more socialized countries (even the "good" ones) and you do see less innovation and potential sustainability problems over the long haul.

However, given the size of our debt, I see similar problems on our horizon anyway.

It seems, human nature requires some stress for motivation and innovation to occur. There aren't a lot of global companies coming out of France and Scandinavia and there are plenty of social problem in France and the populations of Scandinavia are small enough to not be all that comparable (and Norway has large oil reserves owned by the state).

I agree that we could do more and I've had similar thoughts to your comments about creating jobs for the poor even if it isn't efficient since it's probably more efficient than having them remain poor.

The devil is in the details to make sure that you don't just create more people who are willing to be "poor" and work at make-shift jobs for the government.

If you lose motivation and innovation then you lose the economic engine that can produce the kind of income to fuel this kind of plan.

3. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

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3,995
Wow almost half the defence budget.

Build the wall or they will start getting away.

I was going to look up some numbers as well so thanks for looking at the numbers.

You still ignore the inefficiency of centralised capital.

Maybe the problem cant be solved but to have a class paying little tax is wrong and inefficient.

Money that goes to the bottom end gets spent..thats what we want. ..turnover...much better for everyone...maybe even better for the rich.

Inovation does not necessarialy turn on reward.... so many do what they do not because of money.

Inovation probably suffers from capital accumulation...but when it all boils down all the people need a fair go and what ever adjustment need be made should be made even if it means all must take a step back.

Sure but when I left school I could get a job..everyone could get a job..everyone had pride and looked forward to a future.

How would you like to be leaving school now...where are the jobs for all..even folk with high education find they get work as a waiter or similar.

What has changed...folk at the top get more and folk at the bottom get less..even your middle class gets less...is that not clear...back then there were inefficiencies but generally all had a job...even the wild ones had jobs.

Now look at the situation...certain industries get a huge amount...banking for example...and really what do they do..

Why is a farm labourer on xip and a banker on millions...who really produces something..who really works the hardest...

Why do you think inovation will go...can you not think of anyone who is motivated by more than money...I never was..I wanted to be good at what I did and be a benefit to those who used my service...I was never motivated by the money..

Why cant inovation take place when wealth is redistributed...

Do you think the founders of utube got it started to make billions... only one example of inovation without consideration of reward.

You fall for their talk but what is worse you dont find anything that suggests the current inequity is wrong and unjustifiable either through moral grounds or those relating to economic efficiency.

Nice chat.

I did not lnow I held most of thrse thoughts so thanks for stimulating my thinking.
Alex

Last edited: Feb 3, 2018

5. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,763
I'm not talking about what people say. Sure, we all consider job satisfaction, pride, etc. but I'm just looking at what actually happens. Most of the companies are in the U.S. and not in the more socialized nations. That's just a fact.

You don't have to be materialistic for what I've described to be a problem. You can decide to leave the rat race and live on little and smell the roses if you have that option and have a small guaranteed amount.

It's hard to keep an economy going on that though. Someone has to work. I'm not "falling" for anything. You seem to consider that anyone who doesn't completely agree with you is just "falling" for something. You can be both educated and disagree you know.

"Bankers" don't make huge salaries. Some Wall Street Investment Bankers and traders and hedge fund managers do. I worked in the international department of a bank and made a very ordinary salary, for instance.

The founders of YouTube weren't thinking about money (I'd guess) when they first started the company but to raise money and stay with it they would have to be in a capitalistic system with the possibility to create wealth.

Do you see innovative companies coming out of Greece, Norway, France?

7. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

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3,995
You are right and I appologise.
I dont know but I think France and Norway do rather well.

Sorry if I go over the top.

Alex

8. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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25,007
Not really. Especially, several punch above their weight in innovation.
France, sure - also: Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, a couple of others. Don't forget Cuba, China, and pre-collapse Russia. Especially Taiwan.
The US has been taking advantage of the attraction of its university system and wealth to those raised and educated elsewhere under more socialist setups.
Better for the country than a whole bunch of people forced to be poor and working halfassed jobs for Walmart.

9. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,763
No worries. I find other systems to be interesting as well. I have a friend from Belgium who has now lived over here since just after college and she is now close to retirement age.

Recently her parents died. They owned a small house in Belgium and her mom had recently inherited a small house from her Aunt as well. As soon as both parents had died (within hours) the government put a hold on their bank accounts.

My friend explained the differences between what would happen their during probate as compared to here. The bottom line in her case was that the government would end up with all the bank accounts and they would have to sell one of the houses to give the proceeds to the government as well.

She would end up with the one small house. Her parents, during their working life didn't earn what they would here and the taxes were much higher.

In return they had much more of a safety net throughout their lifes and a decent pension in their retirement. They had more security, slightly less options and luxuries in exchange for less assets and less to pass on to their kids.

It's a balancing act under any system. The U.S. does particularly poorly in providing guarantees to the poor. If you can make money, you can keep much more of it.

10. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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25,007
You die, and can't keep it, in the US also.
Your heirs get more of it, is the difference. Between that and marrying the boss's son or daughter (the percentage of top execs who married up is quite high), most fortunes are founded.

11. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,763
No, it's not.

12. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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25,007
? What's not what?

13. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,763
The percentage of top execs who married up isn't quite high.

14. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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25,007
Ok - as long as you're sure - - -

15. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,763
Sorry, you made the claim so feel free to back that up with any data at all.

16. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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25,007
Too much work - don't care enough. It's just a factoid I ran into years ago in one of those snarky leftwing rags, and never forgot (although I did forget the exact percentage). It's one of the most common career paths to high office - up there with military command - among those without inherited wealth.

Not really relevant here - the "what do they deserve" types of argument always struck me as beside the point, in a minimum wage or guaranteed income discussion. It's what's best for the country and its citizens, long term, that seemed more to the point.

Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
17. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,763
I guess you're just out of luck unless you think you've got a shot at moving up by marriage?

This country seems pretty hopeless. You can't get paid to stay at home and not work at crummy jobs like Walmart, you can't get ahead without inherited wealth unless you marry into it.

The rich have it all and no one else can get ahead or improve their lives. If only there was somewhere else to move to?

Vociferous likes this.
18. ### VociferousRegistered Member

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339
Yeah, no one ever invents anything, or starts a business on their own, or works hard to advance on a job, or saves money, or makes small investments....

19. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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25,007
So which came first: conservative pseudo-realist authoritarian ideology, or the reflexive posting of bullshit Fox News style "questions" reflecting a denial of argument and an establishment of bad faith?
Did the lying come first, or the stupidity?
As long as conservatives insist on being full of shit like that, this country is hopeless. Seriously: it's too big a fraction of the population, and if they are going to behave like two year olds forever we're fucked.

20. ### VociferousRegistered Member

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339
So invention, entrepreneurialism, hard work, saving, and investing are, what, immature?
Yep, you're doomed. Might as well face it now. It's all over but the ... no, the crying already started.

21. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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25,007
For example:
Oh bullhsit.

A guaranteed minimum income replaces tens - maybe hundreds - of billions in current welfare (social security disability, for starters), and feeds in on a sliding scale on top of existing wages. Most poor people work. So it's not going to cost anything like that, net.

Plus it encourages social cooperation, rewards ethical behavior, backstops labor mobility and proper medical care, removes desperation as an incentive for destructive and predatory actions, replaces current makework programs, - the monetary savings are spread throughout the economy. It probably pays for itself, just in outlay never mind side effects - if it can be established well. All you have to do, to see this, is consider it a minute in good faith. There will still be objections, doubts, arguments against - but they will be legitimate arguments made in reason.

Besides: of course a reduction of the military - for any reason - would be all to the good. It's far too big.

Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
22. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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25,007
Forty years ago there were conservatives who were adults. They could deal with the world as grown men and women. They just valued tradition and time tested customs, however unjust or somehow deficient, because they had delivered the benefits of the civilization extant - and that was a great and good fortune, not to be risked on the fad of the day.

When did "conservative" come to mean "childish"?

23. ### VociferousRegistered Member

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How are they childish?