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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb How much wage is enough?

    I'm curious. How much is enough? I think we all agree that technical jobs should pay more for the skill involved but how much is a no skill/no experience job worth?

    How much for a Walmart shelf stocker?

    How much for barn help?

    And, do you think everyone is owed a job? Can we feel entitled to getting a job that pays what we decide is "enough"? Does that mean limiting or putting a cap on profit? So the stocker gets $9 an hour, the manager $12, the Gen Mgr $14 and the Execs around $20 or maybe $30 an hour???
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.


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  2. #2
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    I'm curious. What do you do for a living? What is your annual income?

    Do you have benefits, and health coverage? Do you pay for your health coverage?


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    I'm curious. How much is enough? I think we all agree that technical jobs should pay more for the skill involved but how much is a no skill/no experience job worth?

    How much for a Walmart shelf stocker?

    How much for barn help?

    And, do you think everyone is owed a job? Can we feel entitled to getting a job that pays what we decide is "enough"? Does that mean limiting or putting a cap on profit? So the stocker gets $9 an hour, the manager $12, the Gen Mgr $14 and the Execs around $20 or maybe $30 an hour???
    Are you lumping managerial-type jobs into "unskilled labor"?

    And if you're recommending companies be forced to standardize wages or cap profits your actual beef is with the entire concept of capitalism.
    "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings


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  4. #4
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    Even technical jobs aren't paying well these days. Outsourcing and temp-contracting (under the premise that you might get hired after 3-12 months) have ruined wages in many technical fields.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!


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  5. #5
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    I don't think you can talk wage and salary specifics for the nation as a whole. Cost of living varies wildly across the country. What is poverty wages in one place may be livable in another.


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  6. #6
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    I guess I'll just be crass and sum this up with what my awesome farrier told me many years ago when I was looking to buy a horse and asked him what he thought she was worth: "She's worth what someone is willing to pay for her."

    That applies across the board. A job is worth what someone is willing to pay and what someone is willing to do it for.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


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  7. #7
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    Thanks Lex, Canaqua and Buddy for answering I hear so much about how companies/businesses need to provide a living wage. The only thing I don't hear is what does that mean? What is a living wage? And yes, I agree it will fluctuate from region to region--or I agree that it should.

    I hear a lot of complaining but no real solutions. The first post after my OP was met with a demand for what I did, not an idea or potential solution for living wages.

    What about minimum wage? Is it enough? Should there be raises based on tenure? On performance? No raises? I see a lot of the bigger companies going to Performance Based Pay and there are goods and bads on both sides for that.
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.


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  8. #8
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    I don't think that there should be an "expectation" that a business provide a "living wage". I believe in the market.

    For example...I left my company this last month and they tried to find a replacement cheaply. Well, the guy is good. But he doesn't have my experience and can't do my job. To get someone who can truly replace me, they need to spend more money. <shrugs> works out for me as they'll pay me to handle some big things. Supply and demand.

    I won't get paid enough to live on working that part time.

    But he's taking a full time job with benefits and he's going to be okay. Better than unemployed.

    I dunno.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


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  9. #9
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    I am a department head at a small local department type store. I make $9 per hour which averages out to be around $23,000 a year. I do not make enough to fully support myself. My father is helping me pay rent and fuel for my truck. I pay for food, utilities, and any "extras". I do have health insurance offered to me but I cannot afford the deductions from my paycheck. I do not currently have insurance. I am slowly working my way to my degree (which Dad is also paying for). Hopefully this is only a temporary situation.

    I live in Northern Colorado which is significantly cheaper than anywhere else I've ever lived (coastal SC and Traid area NC). I would probably have to take government assistance if not for my Dad.
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate


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  10. #10
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    Thanks for sharing that dani. So, to you, how could it be a living wage? Could you have roommates? Would living in the city with public transportation be easier?
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  11. #11
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    I feel like in my area $30,000 per year would be absolutely minimum for a single 20-something (like myself) without government assistance. My area does have some, albeit crappy, public transportation. Unfortunately for me that wouldn't be an option because I travel far out into the country for my side job (riding lessons). I am in the process of looking for a roommate but have been thus far unsuccessful. People are not willing to take, or pass, background and credit checks.
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate


    5 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    Thanks Lex, Canaqua and Buddy for answering I hear so much about how companies/businesses need to provide a living wage. The only thing I don't hear is what does that mean? What is a living wage? And yes, I agree it will fluctuate from region to region--or I agree that it should.

    I hear a lot of complaining but no real solutions. The first post after my OP was met with a demand for what I did, not an idea or potential solution for living wages.

    What about minimum wage? Is it enough? Should there be raises based on tenure? On performance? No raises? I see a lot of the bigger companies going to Performance Based Pay and there are goods and bads on both sides for that.
    That is because you asked a question without giving your own parameters..

    I make a very good living. We have 3 employees. We pay them well.

    And when I engage in a discussion about wages and fairness, I'd appreciate disclosure from the OP as to her current career/wage situation.

    So, again, if you want to open this question, I think it's fair to ask what do you do for a living, what is your education background, and what are you currently being paid?
    All of the above factors into a wage discussion.


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  13. #13
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    I don't see how the OP's salary plays in.

    But I'll play.

    My current salary is 0/annually. I started a company in the US 10 years ago, another company overseas 6 mos after that in which I oversaw buildouts and put in the first VOIP over to Mauritius. I'm actually in some history books--not in the US of course.. I worked full time both in the US and abroad, I was also on call full time. I made 60k/yr at the high of my employment as I was on the ground level and took lower pay as part of my investment. I didn't take pay at all the first two years. BTW, I'd encourage people to get a really good contract if they do that because when I left, I got jack poo. I'm not even going to get my bonus this year even though I left 2 weeks prior to the bonus dispersal and have worked my butt off.

    Living wage? Depends on what living is.

    In my area at the time, that was enough for me to have a home, a car, and my horses. Then when my now husband lost his job, it was enough for me to pay for him, his kids and his ex wife for 2 years. I of course could not afford anything but the bare minimum. I don't shop so that was easy. But I'm wearing clothes I bought in HS 20 years ago. I had good taste then too so it works.

    Was it a living wage? Not for a family of 4 really. Not where we lived. Not in the homes we had. (we had 2 at the time). But I was told on more than one occasion when I was single that I didn't qualify for a raise because I had no one to support. Guys who did a sh!t ton less than me got paid more (and eventually got fired due to doing nothing) because they had "families to support."

    I'm not near as interested in living wage as I am in FAIR WAGE.

    But that's just me.

    And I STILL don't think the OP needs to say what she makes.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    7 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Around here, there is no way that minimum wage could be a living wage. Apartment rent starts at near $1000/ month for something that isn't a total dump and in a safe area. That's before you add in any utilities. You have to have a car, there is no public transportation and MD requires car insurance, so there's another big bite. Grocery expenses can be fairly inexpensive if you know how to shop, esp with all of the Amish markets available locally. I would think that to be self sufficient, one would need to bring home close to $30K/ year in my area.
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain


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  15. #15
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    Well, I'm not so sure that the "market" does really take care of it efficiently. When jobs are scarce, employers can get away with offering less than the market would ordinarily bear and less than a living wage. That leaves people *who are working* in a position of needing, and being eligible for, assistance from federal or state governments. IMO, that is CHEATING, expecting taxpayers to prop up your business. If you can't afford to pay a living wage in the area you do business in and still make some profit, your company isn't healthy and you need to revisit the viablity of your business. If you can afford to pay a living wage and are just paying out more profit to your shareholders by not doing so, shame on you for lying to your shareholders about the health of your business model...the board must be asleep at the switch.


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  16. #16
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    Working 40+ hours a week at an unskilled labor job shouldn't guarantee that you can send your kids to private school or have horses or even own two cars but it should be enough that you get food, rent, health insurance, public transportation or enough to keep a reasonably reliable, safe (not new or expensive) car going, cell phone/ utilities/ internet, basic clothing.

    Or we can let the market decide wages and then bitch when people decide it's not worth it to get jobs.


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  17. #17
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    I'm in Boston metro. If you want to live by yourself in an apartment or some sort of rental housing within 10 miles of the city and own a car, $40,000/year is pretty much the standard. Housing prices are outrageous here. If you have a roommate, you could scrape by on $30,000.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    I'm curious. How much is enough? I think we all agree that technical jobs should pay more for the skill involved but how much is a no skill/no experience job worth?

    How much for a Walmart shelf stocker?

    How much for barn help?

    And, do you think everyone is owed a job? Can we feel entitled to getting a job that pays what we decide is "enough"? Does that mean limiting or putting a cap on profit? So the stocker gets $9 an hour, the manager $12, the Gen Mgr $14 and the Execs around $20 or maybe $30 an hour???
    Here is a living wage calculator. Of course, it depends on your location. In some areas (obviously) you can live more cheaply than others. It was developed by MIT.

    http://livingwage.mit.edu/
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  19. #19
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    I'm kind of agreeing with you all about a single needing to make 30 to get by comfortably. Of course, 24 in some areas, 34 in other but generally. Now, can a small cupcake shop or small scale horse training barn afford to pay that much in wages?


    I just copied my info from another post in another thread. I make at the very high end of the 40s annually. I have health and my employer contributes $800 monthly for my benefits.

    -I worked in my parents deli (14-16) and then fast food (16-18) during high school.
    -I was active duty USAF for 4 years, I worked part time in addition to that and went to college part time during those years.
    -I worked from waitress to bartender to bar supervisor to restaurant manager from 1994 to 2008. Small business to corporate.
    -I worked as a groom for a small but successful training and breeding operation for a year.
    -I managed a customer care team for a Fortune 500 for 2 years.
    -I started and continue my own business as a braider.
    -I work as a Fiscal Supervisor for a community college
    -I am halfway through a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting

    Mercedes, what is your annual income ? And, payroll for 3 employees? What area are you in?
    Last edited by twotrudoc; Nov. 24, 2012 at 07:42 PM. Reason: add bennies
    The Knotted Pony

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  20. #20
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    Economic theory (at least, what I learned in University 10 years ago) says that minimum wage is a BAD thing. I assume this is in the context of a capitalistic society.

    The theory says it is better to have jobs available at whatever price, allowing workers who would work for that price to take them.

    Examples: dog-walking, part-time elder care, lawn mowing, apprenticeships etc.

    People doing those jobs may be young people just getting into the job market, and already have a roof over their heads. Or perhaps the less-than-min-wage-job is actually a second job for someone. They can pick up an extra few hours here & there. Or maybe they are a senior who just wants to work a few hours a week.

    Whereas if you limit the employer to paying minimum wage, that job may never be offered.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


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