# A Livable Minimum Wage

1. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,763
You seem to expect one person without a reliable job to buy a house on the first day they arrive in town. When has that ever happened?

Who, these days, regardless of income level, has a "completely reliable" job? I've been laid off several times in my life. Many people decide not to have kids or to drive used cars or take public transportation.

Walmart pays full time employees an average of $13 (for example). What are your expectations for the various segments of society? Those who can't work do get some help from the government in general. What are the expectations for those who can work but who aren't educated beyond high school and who aren't particularly marketable? Do they move, get more education, do nothing and wait for the rich to quit making so much money? I know people here in Seattle that didn't go to college. They generally live in a rented house with several roommates. The ones that live downtown take public transportation for the most part and work downtown. Some have cars and work in warehouses or offices and work away from the downtown area and live away from the downtown area. Some have been able to buy a house by getting friend as roommate and by renting out rooms. I don't know anyone who only makes minimum wage for long. Even going to the dentist and doctor are luxuries in many cases when money is tight. If you need surgery, have cancer, etc. obviously you need a doctor. Otherwise, most times the doctor doesn't really cure anything. You recover on your own. Brush your teeth and you don't need to go to the dentist all that often. I'm just mentioning these things, not as ideal, but as to how people actually do save, make do, and still have a decent life. Most people don't make the same amount all their life. Sometimes money is tight and you have to do some of the things I've described. You will eventually get a better job and be able to catch up. You can always save a little. It's just a habit. You know that unexpected things will come up. People who make less are actually usually better at saving for a rainy day than some people who make more, spend more and are shocked when times get tough. Last edited: Feb 3, 2018 2. ### Google AdSenseGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 3. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member Messages: 3,995 Dont worry I understand to raise the minimum wage will ruin the economy just as would a method that seeks to redistribute wealth from the super rich to the lower and middle classes. I guess that is true in fact I did observe earlier that even to be on minimum wage puts one at an advantage compared to most. I propose a minimum income irrespective of being employed or not...Is that unreasonable? Capital gets income all the time why not labour. Like if capital just rests in a bank account its owners expect at least a small return...why not labour...just because you are out of work why should your income be expected to stop.. The benefit of course is that folk even if not working will still buy stuff and that is really what we want... I am not suggesting that it should. My suggestions relate to redistribution of wealth. Certainly off topic but my posts are not the first to wander off topic. You certainly make a convincing point that huge accumulations of wealth is good for the average person. And so we dont get away from the fact some stay homeless and others have multiple houses ...that is what is wrong. Do you think so. How many billionaires? How many poor? Maybe there is no problem and I just envey rich folk...that is a good put down why have you not used it. I have no problem with there being folf who are better off but not while there are so many who are well and truely screwed...it is not right. I know total equality is a myth but you cant tell me the monopolization of resources such as we now have is in anyway acceptable...sure if there is a minimum income in place let folk have more but the situation now is like ten people in a boat with nine starving and one content not to share...it is that simple. I tead where the actors in the show "friends" were at one point in time recieving each$20 million a year via royalties ...not doing anything other than the acting years before...so is that ok when other folk get laid off and left on the scrap heap.
Are you blind to the crazieness of one person doing so little work for such high reward and others who work very hard can never get ahead...
Could things not be better?
Think of the friends thing..what is the problem to implement a fairer pay system?

It is outrageous ...the life boat is the planet Earth but you dont see it.

Alex

5. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,763
The people on Friends make that because the show became popular and generated more than that in advertising revenue for the show. You can take the show off the air and they will make much less but that doesn't give any more money to the poor.

The pie is expanded generally and that is what ends up going to the rich. Under a system that you may envision you just wouldn't have as many rich or just generally well to do people.

Where is there a system where income is artificially redistributed where there are no rich (officials, party members) and where the average citizen is better off?

Generally the average citizen is better off in a messy, chaotic system such as is found in the U.S. Now you could argue that the truly median citizen is better off in a country like Norway or Sweden. There are a few rich and many that are doing OK but not with a lot of upward mobility and not much innovation. It's quite likely that such a system isn't applicable to a diverse country like the U.S.

I don't think you could argue that it worked out well in Russia or Cuba. Things are improving in China but most anyone in China would prefer to move to the U.S.

So, I guess my argument would not be to argue that the U.S. is anywhere near perfection but rather that it just tends to result in a better outcome for most people than most other existing systems.

What do you disagree with in that statement?

I see that many people from all walks of live move to the U.S.. I mentioned two doctors, one from Slovakia and one from Norway.

The poor from most countries do quite well in the U.S. because they have initiative and work hard. A friend uses skilled workers from Moldova to do renovations in her house. She pays them well and they do more for that money than the U.S. born workers that she was using before them.

7. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

Messages:
25,007
My statement? My statement was that the poor people were in Chicago. The ones you think could easily buy houses in small towns somewhere else.
For a poor black person?
iirc: When the Nissan plant opened in Tennessee it had 26,000 applicants for 850 jobs. And a local Klan chapter. The median wage otherwise, in the region, was under ten dollars an hour.
Hyundai: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/workers_at_selma-based_hyundai.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...g-industry-looks-like/?utm_term=.37a7009a85eb
Those are the very high end working class jobs - best you can get, moving to those small towns in the south.
What's this "blaming" language all about? I'm just describing a physical reality. I'm not blaming. People are going to behave normally, and without particular malice - and as a consequence if you don't put a floor under wages, or in some other way guarantee a minimum income for the working poor, certain consequences of capitalism are all but inevitable.

It's not a panacea, it's a necessity. Unless you want to suffer, as an economy and a civilization.

8. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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13,112
Because countries aren't like lifeboats. People in the US tend not to die of thirst or starvation.
They should cooperate. The question you should ask is - to what length should you go to force that to happen?

9. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

Messages:
3,995
You speak the truth on the one hand but you will not face the truth I place before you.
There is something wrong with a system that lets the market and the monopolists of power and wealth dictate unreasonable terms.
The market the market...damn the market or call it God.
Or is it beyond management such that inequity is addressed.
No I would simply not have poor people, how wealth is distributed after they are threated fairly is not the issue.
The country that exists in my imagination.
Yes probably because no white trash or coloured folk.
I dont know anything about either so I can not comment...how do they manage health care?
I think our country cant boast the poor that your country can...but to a large degree I suspect you are right..and the fact your country is really outstanding I fail to understand why you have homeless or poor people or that you dont seem to treat your war veterans better ... I have heard war vetrans do it very tuff in your country. ..maybe you can put me straight ..is it a fact or not?
Yes and no.
Alex

10. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

Messages:
25,007
Which, as I pointed out, makes your idea of moving to a small town and buying a house on minimum wages like that a fantasy.
No children, no ownership of real estate, limited education, and limited dental or medical care. Yes, that is how one can make do. I did it, except for the education, so can you, with a little luck. But realistically - that's not a decent life for most people. It's not a solid foundation for an economy, or a civilization.

11. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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25,007
It is a fact.

12. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,763
You're dealing only with a country you see in your head, as you say. I can't deal with that anymore than I can deal with the God that seems to be in the heads of many.

If you can't address Cuba or Russia because you haven't been there or because you aren't informed in those areas then isn't it likely that you aren't particularly well informed in economics?

In this particular conversation I was mainly just commenting on reality as we know it. I'm not arguing against an intellectual concept where things could be better or due to the unknowns it could be worse due to unintended consequences. We know, with Mother Nature, that when we make one positive change we often get unintended negative consequences. It's that way with closely interrelated systems in general. It's the same with economics, incentives, and the best way to predict what will happen is to look around and see what has happened in other countries when things have changed.

13. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,763
Are we talking about the minimum wage here, or income redistribution or war veterans? How about how crowded some of our cities are or how loud it can be in the cities or how less than helpful our cops can be or how we tend to have to work more hours per year than most other industrialized countries?

I didn't initially think this was a conversation about "How well can you defend every aspect of life in the U.S.?". I'm not a flag waving Patriot. I was just trying to have an intelligent conversation.

14. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

Messages:
3,995
They certainly are not in the life boat everyone is equal, they tend to look after each other, they are all in the same boat after all.
In a country groups take separate positions that will see their group benefit over the other if they have their way.
I will goggle to check.
But there exists inequality in the eating I suspect.
Yes they should co opperate.
And perhaps that co opperation could be extended to the country.
The rich seem to look down on poor folk and with no compassion and I even detect what I call class hatred.
Well what to do.
First although you probably think you are talking to a communist I reject that approach..it must start with revolution and that is not good.
I like enterprise but it is only in recent times that the gap between rich and poor has become unacceptable, at least to me, and one could think the poor could have it much better with no noticable effect on the rich...a little more tax and a few more government programs to make things better is not unreasonable.
Look at the drug problem it continues to be yreated as crime because of the folk it keeps on work when clearly it is a medical problem.
But to be clear no violence even if that means nothing will change.
Alex

15. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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13,112
That's a great goal.
Hmm. I don't know many rich people like that. Indeed, some of the very rich people I know end up giving huge chunks of their money away to things like colleges, STEM programs, urban renewal programs, medical research and HIV/AIDS education.
How, specifically, does that happen? Do you give a drug addict an extra \$100 a week? Do you think that will help him or hurt him?
Well, there are, of course, cases where both are seen. Many drug addicts/alcoholics have serious medical problems. Many are just criminals - people without serious addictions who sell drugs to make money. Some are both.

16. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

Messages:
3,995
I was top of my class in the two years we did economics and I understand a little about Russia and Cuba.
Without getting deep their failures come from the same problem that I would like to see addressed everywhere...greed..good old human greed...Animal Farm by George Orwell is a satite on communism which although a very simple parrallel probably suggests why Russia may have had problems...and unfortunately in all system an elite appears and somehow they end up with more...
And as I have said the problem is gteater than ever in history in so far as rebellion will be the only option for the disgrunteled...look at the streets..they protest against a president they dont like but I suggest it wont be long before these young folk turn against the system as a whole because the system is guilty of no action to address their pressing complaints.
And how do you think things will go once a movement builds on face book for example...
I know I am just having a rant..if I was really concerned I would go out and help someone.
Yes. Nations rise and fall.
Why did Rome fall for example.
I suggest greed.
Alex

17. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

Messages:
3,995
I have dealt with them.
In my various professions I got close and observed attitudes. What I suggest exists...well realistically my experience is limited.
Just because you meet twenty Chinese does not mean you understand the nation.
Maybe better than locking him up and then letting him out with no progress.
Make it all legal and the criminal element would vanish...there will be folk who have a problem so treat them..taking drugs indicates something is wrong up there in their heads...I say address the problem and manage it..the current system is only making it worse by making it big business for those on both sides of the law.
Take away illegality and you destroy the business.
And if nothing else legit drug companies could be in control and the government could legislate to maintain standards monitor folk who have problems...At the moment its all under the rug and I say it would be better approached as a medical issue.
Alex

18. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

Messages:
25,007
The current opioid crisis is mostly via prescription narcotics from legitimate drug companies.

I have to say I've met more than a few, in the course of various jobs. Not all, or maybe even most, but it's not a small problem - and it isn't much ameliorated by charity and the like.

19. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

Messages:
3,995
Yes and the problem can be quantified somewhat.
The apparent failure could be addressed by regulation whereas the drug war can be seen as an absolute failure in its publicly stated objectives.
Class hatred in not recognised but it is clearly a problem.
The way employer groups speak about unions goes un noticed but if you look you can see the class hatred of which I speak.

Alex

20. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

Messages:
2,763
I have to agree that there does seem to be some class "hatred" among some of the wealthy but I don't come across it much. I don't agree that not being in favor of unions is necessarily a class hatred thing.

It's a business vs labor thing but not many in business are that fond of unions.

21. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

Messages:
3,995
I dont say that...but some folk will display it.
Alex

22. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

Messages:
2,763
A lot of people feel that way, mainly union members. There are usually two legitimate viewpoints for most any subject.

You look at capitalism and think (not trying to put words in your mouth) that it is broken and needs to be replaced because of how the poor are treated. I see the same things and tend to think, as messy as it is, that capitalism is still the best approach but that governments need to regulate it better and do a better job of providing for the poor. I only consider that it seems to be the best approach between that seems to be reflected in history.

It's the same with unions. While I don't have a blanket problem with them, in general I think there is a better way. Not because I "hate" workers but it's for much the same reason that a business owner wouldn't like dealing with the Mafia. It's extortion and blackmail in a sense.

I don't think the modern approach should be one that looks at companies as "us vs them". That may have had a place with assembly lines but today there is no real distinction in many industries and it should be about everyone being on the same "team".

It's the strike that I most disagree with. I have no problem with "professional" unions that are just there to collectively represent part or all of the workforce.

I don't think it's good for the company or the workers over the long run to be striking and that activity definitely makes it "us vs them".

I also understand that there are other viewpoints on this matter. It's not about "hate" is my only point.

23. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

Messages:
3,995
I probably sound like you suggest and in moments of frustration ...well...let me be clear...I think as I keep saying over and over..it is wrong to have the majority of resources in the control of a relative few.

The capitalist system can fix it rather than a communist revolution... I prefer capitalism adjusted for the new era of strange efficiencies and rewards....the capitalist system can fix better better in fact.

I dont know why such a simple suggestion meets such opposition.

We have laws that seek to eliminate monopolies and Cartels and certainly we think of corporations having too much control of a market as wrong for many reasons from inefficiency to a poor deal for consumers.

Why then would the concept of reducing cetralisation of wealth captital or resources be a repugnant concept.

And things could be much better for the poor with very little adjustment.

Consider full employement via more public servants...at least you could give everyone jobs and the pride that it gives folk..

And I suggest extention of public service to give jobs to folk who probably are unemployable in the real world...I can hear your question before you ask...the inefficiency etc..sure and yet the current system tolerates inefficiency in delivery of health care.

There is no reason to tear down anything but honestly this tireless defence of the ulyra rich makes no sense..if so get rid of the laws relating to monopolies and cartels...as that would seem somewhat philosophically consistent.

I think most folk can not get past the realisation that as it was tuff for them it should be tuff for all others but neglect to consider a more just tax system would profit more than it would harm and really those who it may harm wont feel the pain...Would you live a lesser life if instead of and income of 110 million you had to get by on only 105 million. Do you get my drift.
I agree.

Yet the poor are still poor.

As I said give them jobs keep them out of prison..stop the system that privatises and incentivises imprisonment.

Think about it if you are poor and have nothing to look forward to would you not be tempted to use drugs or booze ...if you have a job you at least have some pride and a reliable income to plan for purchases of stuff...would not such an approach be advantages to the economy.

Regulation of inflation is a problem but solving by intetest rates and therefore employment rates is so yesterday...there must be a better way.

What you find repugnant with unions I can not understand why you dont have a problem with how controlers of capital can be bullies and even Mafia like.

Consider the banks and insurance companies behaviour ... so wrong yet you may not think that because of your economic beliefs but tell me what is the difference ...the banks held the country to ransom and successfully it seems.

Consider the global financial crisis...dont you think that was a case of us and them...look who caused it, look who suffered and then look who was rewarded.
If you lost a lot of cash maybe you may feel hurt and not one of them.
Come on...get real.

You believe the propaganda. ..I was once like you ... you grow up with a belief that causes you to ignore facts...and the fact is you support unrealistic accumulation of capital which believe me poses a greater threat to the capitalist economy than unions or even communist.

It is wrong if nothing else for the inefficiency accumulation of massive wealth injects into the economy.

Just think of the tax that never gets paid for a start...controlers of massive capital pay little tax...

Ok but just look at how various folk look down on the poor...if you can not see the hate you must be blind..
.really.