November 13, 2006

Living Wage Hero

So, with the newly-Democratically controlled Congress, a minimum wage increase in the near future seems quite likely, and it looks like the national minimum wage will be raised from $5.15 to $7.15 an hour. Without getting into the argument of whether or not government wage control is economically beneficial for the country, I have a question to pose regarding this new "living wage". What does a "living wage" mean? When do we raise or lower this "living wage"? When one person can afford a modest mortgage payment, utilities, savings, etc? Or what if they're married and the spouse does not work? Or what if it's just one person raising five kids by themselves? Who is supposed to be able to live and in what quality with this "living wage"?


Arcane Rest said...

It is funny you bring this up because on the way home from class I was just thinking about it. So what is this living wage. Many people complain that if they work 40 hours a week at $5.15 an hour they cannot live. However, those people are the same that instead of working in those jobs picket outside Walmart or Target at $0.00 per hour. It does not make much sense.

Also, the person/people that are making minimum wage had to have made choices that put them in that position. For instance, they choose to not go to college or not finish high school. Or they chose not to stay with their job because they did not like it enough to stay until they get promoted to manager. Everyone is given that opportunity to be a manager at McDonalds or taco bell. So if a person makes consisently bad choices, why should they have $2.00/hour ($4000/year) more to make bad choices with? Our wage should be determined more by our work ethic and our willingness to stick with something.

I guess that is why I went/am going to college for 7 years so I can make money so I can be comfortable and love what I am doing.

Next, people will want living 'wage' welfare checks and social secruity.

Eric Olsen said...

...again, the goal of this post is not to argue the ethics of a minimum wage. This post questions that if a minimum wage is updated for the goal of becoming a realistic "living wage", how is that wage determined?

Arcane Rest said...

sorry, about the last post, the whole thing is crazy. How to establish a living wage: First one must establish what is necessary to have a job and also live: shelter, clothes, food and water, transportation (car and gas or maybe public transportation), electricity, tolietries. That is probably sufficient.
A ficticious national average:
Let's say the average 1 bedroom apt. will be $495 a month; clothes allowance/year $200; food & drink $200/month; transportation: $10/day five days a week 51 weeks a year; electricity $89/month; tolietries $15/month. Total is $12338 round to $12500. So if someone works 40hours/wk 51 weeks a year: $6.15 will suffice. But what about taxes, a person will be taxed 10% on the amount up to $7550, so $755 and 15% on amount over that so, $742.50 totaling $1497.50. And they recieve no tax credit. So I guess if they need to pay taxes at the end of the year. They should make around $14000 ($6.86/hour) to be able to comfortable pay taxes and living expenses.

So I hope that is pretty good for you. Determine what is necessary to live and work, find out average prices, and go from there.

Eric Olsen said...

what about single women with children?

Arcane Rest said...

the women receive a tax credit for each child like $2000 or something. Also, child care is typically paid for by the state, they just have to apply, or mostly paid for by the state. When Diana's mom had kids from low income families they would pay little out of pocket ($20) and the state would pay the rest to Diana's mom every month or something. This allows the mom to work full time.

Anonymous said...

Work ethic doesn't mean we are entitled to wealth. God had given us everything we have... not our work ethic.

If we all gave more instead of demanding our fair share by how much we've "earned" by our work ethic, this world would be in a better place.

We should waste less time assuming that we understand every situation and how easy or hard it is to change that situation.

1 Timothy 6:18-19 says:

Tell people to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven—it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well”

Anonymous said...

If Eugene Peterson said it, it must be true!

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