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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 02:04 PM
Original message
We're doing this wrong: instead of debating cutting services vs raising
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 02:08 PM by hedgehog
everyone's taxes vs raising taxes on corporations and/or the rich.....

we need to get back to square 1 and make sure people are paid what they are worth. Has anyone's salary gone up in proportion to productivity gains in the last 30 years? Has anyone's salary really kept up with inflation?

I live in a rural, Upstate New York county. I estimate housing prices around here are about half of what they are in most other places. Around here, the minimum wage is $7.25/hr. A living wage for one person would be $8.86. A living wage for an adult and child ( say a Mom and 1 kid) would be $ 17.49. A living wage for 2 adults, two children would be $29.50!

http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/counties/36075

Now, although most families today need two full time wage earners, I propose to you that the original minimum wage was designed to allow a male to support himself, a wife and two kids.

My point is, if the minimum wage was even $15/hr, and all other wages ratcheted upwards in proportion to that, then there would be more than enough tax money coming in to balance state budgets.
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Sal Minella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. But, thanks to our new wonderful "global economy," a corporation can
hire a worker for $7.25 a day* instead of $7.25 an hour.

*and a 12- 14-hour day at that.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It's comparing apples and oranges, but the median wage in the lowest paying part of
Switzerland is roughly $5000 a month. And, the Swiss get only 20 vacation days a year, plus the 8 or 9 national holidays.

http://www.swissworld.org/en/economy/workers_and_jobs/high_wages_long_hours/

Now, prices and taxes in Switzerland can be pretty hefty. There are weird things going on with exchange rates, too. One Swiss I work with loads up his suitcase with made-in-China shoes and clothing whenever he visits because it's cheaper than the same made-in-China shoes and clothes sold in Switzerland.

But get this - at least up to a few years ago - there was a labor shortage in Switzerland. ( I don't know how the world wide recession may have changed things.)

That's just one example, but wage rates aren't the only determination of where the jobs are. Some jobs will go to the cheapest labor supply, but not every job does. Also, maybe it's time we emphasize fair trade over free trade!




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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Yep. Labor shortage = higher value. That's why illegal immigrants and their proponents are NOT
your friends.
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sweetapogee Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. learn something new every day.

hedgehog wrote: "Now, although most families today need two full time wage earners, I propose to you that the original minimum wage was designed to allow a male to support himself, a wife and two kids."


It is true that today my partner and I both work full time but we lived on my salary for 10 years when our kids were pre-school. We had to make some lifestyle changes and we both worked misc. odd-jobs to help, like newspaper delivery and cleaning homes on the weekends. But we pulled it off even with a mortgage. So I disagree with the statement that it takes two full time wage earners to keep a family solvent.


hedgehog, I did not know that the minimum wage law was designed to allow a person to support a spouse and two kids. This has to be one of the best kept secrets of all time. Interesting OP.


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