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(Detroit Free Press)   Study finds you can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps on minimum wage because bootstraps are all you can afford to eat   (freep.com) divider line 545
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11322 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Jun 2011 at 1:43 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-06-06 09:44:02 AM

vudukungfu: Are there no work farms?


they're getting pirvatized so that corporations can get in on the incarceration industry, too. We still pay them 40k per prisoner to keep them in concrete toilets and feed them peanut butter, but whatever foreced labor they do is now billed to the state, too and they keep that. Find a vein that hasn't been tapped and stick a needle in it. It's the American way. Or at least it seems to be, lately. Whoever the f*ck though that installing 19th c. England here, with a dash of Soviet Russia, was a good idea should be shot, though.
 
2011-06-06 09:44:06 AM

FredaDeStilleto: So, what happens is the burden of providing for the working poor is shifted from the employer to the state. What's wrong with this picture?


PRIVATIZE WELFARE NOW!
 
2011-06-06 09:45:27 AM

derpdeederp: Seeing that the programmers were making way more than I was, I did another 2-3 years of database administration and programming courses. And now ten years later, living in the expensive Fairfax County Virginia making $53,000 a year, .


You're a DBA with two degrees and ten years experience, working in Fairfax for $53,000/year? What's wrong with you?
 
2011-06-06 09:46:04 AM
"Social programs are an insurance policy against revolution."

No they aren't, they are a vote-buying tactic by a certain political party. Always were.
 
2011-06-06 09:50:20 AM

Weaver95: what I don't get is how someone making less than $250,000 a year can vote Republican. Even the Jesus option doesn't explain it - Jesus was pretty clear on the whole 'help the poor' bit, which our corporate overlords don't do.


If you are young and republican you have no heart. If you are old and democrat you have no brain.
 
2011-06-06 09:51:10 AM

Ludendorff's Ghost: "Social programs are an insurance policy against revolution."

No they aren't, they are a vote-buying tactic by a certain political party. Always were.


Yup s'em dang libatards and kneegrahs and muzlims and communiss and and.. terrists and libtards given all the money away!

Dude?

I hate to break it to you but that whole dog and pony show and the people who can't wait to pick up their custom tailored flag and yell the loudest is the crux of the problem.

Honest.
 
2011-06-06 09:52:22 AM
My plan was to start having kids right away and let the job/income thing work itself out later.
 
2011-06-06 09:52:38 AM

Headso: No, of course everyone who is poor never had some bad luck in life or health problems that restrict their ability to earn money, of course it's silly to believe that anyone who is poor more than a few years is at fault for their situation and has no right to complain.


So, nothing. But, again, you're putting words in my mouth. I didn't say anything about poor. I said something about minimum wage. If you do the Venn, you'll see that they're aren't 1:1.

BolloxReader: The problem is the economy is a big pyramid, and there is NO WAY for everyone at the bottom, regardless of their abilities, skills, education or ambition, to "move up."


There absolutely is a way for everyone to move up, just not for everyone to be at the top.

This is where the whole "bootstrap" thing fails. Everyone who successfully uses their bootstraps eliminates the ability of a half dozen others (at the minimum) to use their own bootstraps successfully.

Those of you who have jobs, go to your boss and ask him or her what you can do to get their position.

Then come back next week to this thread and report whether you were laughed at, reprimanded, fired or actually given reasonable advice on career advancement.


No, this isn't. Again, the point isn't to get to the top - it's to get to a point where one is living what they consider to be a comfortable life where they can provide for children (if they elect to have them), weather financial storms, etc. With planning, hard work, and scrimping it's not that difficult to get there.

As for the challenge, yeah - I got good advice from my last boss. In fact, I'm now in a lateral position to him. If the current boss isn't willing to give good advice, keep working hard and start looking elsewhere.

Some bosses will actually be helpful, but the corporate world is a zero-sum game, and in fact a subzero-sum game, since eliminating existing positions is a goal of many corporations. People are expenses and liabilities on the company ledger. You always have the "golden child" of the office, the superstar, who is often kept around to give everyone else hope, but in my experience usually that person is being given a LOT of "extra help" behind the scenes to force that person into superstar status. It's not always the case. But I've also seen a lot of them self-destruct quickly once on their own because they bought into their own hype.

Not necessarily. Creating more business means more profit, which in turn leads to new jobs. It's not zero sum unless the business is making less profit.

Personally, I don't think that the problems in the US are fixable. I see no possible solution that would not create an all-out civil war if put into action, and not because of the old "haves vs have nots." It would be the "have nots vs the have nots" because of the stupid, blind ideology that is clung to by people desperate to justify their poverty. For example, when people living on $20K a year blast a teacher making $40K a year with a master's degree for "making too much." Seriously? Stop being satisfied with $20K a year. Stop meekly accepting the crumbs that are given by institutional shareholders-- because they are really the ones controlling things. The same pension funds etc that the middle class relies on are the same funds ruining their prospects of stability. But unless we are willing to change the laws severely restricting shareholder rights and executive compensation, the system won't change. And out of sheer stupidity, the underclasses will fight to the death to protect the system that screws them.

This situation has existed, to one extent or another, for quite some time. Remember the 70s?
 
2011-06-06 09:52:41 AM

Linoleum_Blownapart: derpdeederp: Seeing that the programmers were making way more than I was, I did another 2-3 years of database administration and programming courses. And now ten years later, living in the expensive Fairfax County Virginia making $53,000 a year, .

You're a DBA with two degrees and ten years experience, working in Fairfax for $53,000/year? What's wrong with you?


not sure. but whatever it is, its no small thing.

those guys got 120k in Los Angeles.
 
2011-06-06 09:53:04 AM
Well, to be fair, the people selling flags and giving welfare to the filthy rich are part of the problem, too but don't worry. That trickles down!

www.x-entertainment.com
 
2011-06-06 09:53:15 AM

RandomAxe: Remember Joe the Plumber? A living archetype of Fooling Yourself right-wingers. Joe would have paid higher taxes under McCain, but he planned to vote for McCain because he planned to be a millionaire. He had no actual plan or means to become a millionaire. He just figured if he hung around the club long enough and sucked up hard enough, surely they'd give him an honorary membership.


Do you really think you are authorized to speak on Joe's behalf? I don't. You are making shiat up to fit your preexisting views.
 
2011-06-06 09:54:07 AM

LouDobbsAwaaaay: Joe Blowme: Maybe its it's that whole "Punnishing Punishing success" thing the Dems spout. Jealousy is most unbecoming.

A third grade reading level is most unbecoming.


And yet i have a much better job than you, a spelling nazi on the intarwebs. Maybe that is why you fail, more worried about my lack of spellchecker instead of the point which keeps you in your moms basement.

/i was told there would be no test
 
2011-06-06 09:56:03 AM

alltandubh: dittybopper: Middle and upper income people generally don't get their children taken away by Child Protective Services.

Social workers are generally drawn from the middle class, so there can be an element of class bias in their assessment of children's living situations. A couple of years ago I was speaking to an acquaintance of mine who was a social worker on the verge of retirement; her opinion was that the new generation of workers were more dogmatic and narrow- minded, and that they had a tendency to mistake the ordinary messiness of poverty for actual neglect or abuse. In the vast majority of situations children are better off with their parents, even when they are poor.


In those circumstances, and it does on occasion happen, generally get their children back fairly quickly.

For instance, we got a child placed into our car on suspicion of abuse. A relative had reported the mother going out to a party, and seeing the toddler with bruises. CPS visited based upon the allegation, noted the bruises, and yanked the kid out of the home and placed him with us.

After the first hour or so, we knew why he had the bruises: The kid was a natural daredevil. He liked to climb up on furniture and jump off, that sort of thing, and he had two speeds: Stop, and full speed ahead. The kind of kid who is going to grow up to be a natural athlete.

It turns out that the relative had an ax to grind with the mother, and had reported things that were truthful in such a way she could get the mother in trouble but not get in trouble herself. She told the truth, but not the whole truth, which she did indeed know. The mother in this case did everything the court asked of her, the main conditions being getting a permanent apartment and attending child care classes, and did them so well that the judge gave her the child back within a month.

I'd also point out that there is a difference between being just messy, and being dirty. If you walk into a house and it smells of dirty laundry, garbage, and cat urine, it's not just messy.
 
2011-06-06 09:56:36 AM
Notabunny :
Occam's Chainsaw: CayceP: hey're going to be office monkeys for about $17/hr. Right now they're being paid $10/hr and treated like shiat. Management was all "OMG Y R U leaving??" today.

And that's the disconnect. Employers value their labor at X, because they have no reason to value them more.

2 weeks ago, my employer sent out a mass email saying that they are likely to significantly reduce salaries, benefits and retirement July 1. Last week, the 68 most senior employees, including managerial staff, submitted their retirement forms, and a large number of those unable to retire began submitting resumes and applications elsewhere. All of the clerical staff in one department have already accepted other jobs. The wizards on the top floor and utterly baffled and more than a little pissed at the prospect of reduced productivity effecting next quarter's bonuses.


Notabunny, hope you keep (better still, find a better) job, but I love stories like this. Employer making $$$, thinks 'Hey, good time for salary reductions/benefit reductions' and key people start quitting. I'm hoping you find a better job and the employer goes out of business, with LOTS of debt.
 
2011-06-06 09:56:41 AM
I

Headso: madcat2c: .went back to school at night for my MBA .

I am always curious when I read these "I did it" screeds if the people writing them have such low self esteem that they believe their accomplishments could also be made by the semi-retarded guy who sweeps the factory floor or are they so narcissistic they just can't see life from another's perspective?


I have the opposite of the "I did it" attitude:

I grew up middle class, went to state university on an academic scholarship and, like many college freshmen, had no idea what the fark I wanted to do with my life. Eventually graduated, with honors (not super-duper-honors, but not lol-barely-made-it, either) and took a lowlowlow paying job with a social services agency. For the next two years, I looked for something in my field and, eventually, by nothing more than dumb luck, found my dream job--I was told it was a single line in a resume, a throw away line I had literally just added for that application, that got me my interview.

I haven't "made it", but I'm on my way; and I'm very, very conscious that even though some of it has to do with my own intelligence and hard work, a great degree of it is dumb luck. For that reason, fark me if I ever look down on someone less fortunate than I am, because, in a lot of cases, the only thing separating me from the guy making minimum wage is chance.
 
2011-06-06 09:56:48 AM

madcat2c: FARK YOU if you think I should just turn over my families new check considering how hard I worked to get here. Unless you carried a gun in defense of this country (military) or you have a permanent disability, FARK OFF.


Ahh yes, because accepting a job from the military is the most honorable, decent thing anyone can do, regardless of whether you served the country well or beat some Iraqi chick because she wouldn't put out, you deserve the utmost respect. And obviously, the military isn't ever just a career choice, anyone who serves does it out of (misguided) love for their country!

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you already turn over a bunch of that check? Y'know, to pay for the military and police you so love, as well as the social workers, welfare, and roads that you absolutely despise?
 
2011-06-06 10:00:22 AM

Ludendorff's Ghost: "Social programs are an insurance policy against revolution."

No they aren't, they are a vote-buying tactic by a certain political party. Always were.


so when otto von bismarck (along w Alfred Krupp) instituted the first ones of their kind in the 1870s in Imperial Germany in the steel industry, he wasnt actually doing it to maintain worker peace and indeed restrict the rights of workers to unionize in exchange for job security, disability insurance and penions, he was actually just a bribin' lib dem bent on votes that they didnt have because they werent democratic?

i thought it was about maintaining order in an age of strikes and revolutions that organically grew slowly into universal welfare programs which then fluorished after ww2 across western europe and the US and were only recently systematically taken down in the US by the heavily ideologicially driven Right.

thanks for clearing that up.
 
2011-06-06 10:00:42 AM

ronaprhys: I didn't say anything about poor.


you don't think someone would construe your post here:

ronaprhys: their lives at minimum wage


as a synonym for poor? ok I get it you are trolling... have fun with that.
 
2011-06-06 10:01:08 AM

Aidan: Headso: madcat2c: .went back to school at night for my MBA .

I am always curious when I read these "I did it" screeds if the people writing them have such low self esteem that they believe their accomplishments could also be made by the semi-retarded guy who sweeps the factory floor or are they so narcissistic they just can't see life from another's perspective?

Lesson #1: Everyone perceives others in relation to themselves. Short version: Everyone thinks everyone else is just like them.

I'm not being insulting, btw. I'm still trying to internalize this lesson, myself. :)

Lesson #1 in practice: Whatever person X is accusing YOU of is what THEY would do in your circumstances.


Intelligence allows many of us to learn and understand, if only partly, things we haven't experienced.

I don't have to be below the poverty line to put myself in their shoes.

Though I have met a handful of folks without this ability. I've seen them say things like everyone is turned on by the opposite sex and gays choose to be different because they hate God. I've seen them say they don't understand what depression is, and say people should just be happy. They also tend towards having poor logic and reasoning skills.
 
2011-06-06 10:05:55 AM

CalvinMorallis: I haven't "made it", but I'm on my way; and I'm very, very conscious that even though some of it has to do with my own intelligence and hard work, a great degree of it is dumb luck. For that reason, fark me if I ever look down on someone less fortunate than I am, because, in a lot of cases, the only thing separating me from the guy making minimum wage is chance.


youre selling yourself short.

you got in by chance, sure. everyone gets that shot.

if you keep it for 2 years, you earned your place at the table, and its not chance anymore that keeps you at that table, that enables you to ascend. and that son aint chance, that means youre good at what you do.

sure there are alot of people who got lucky, but people dont stay lucky for very long,
 
2011-06-06 10:07:25 AM

dittybopper: For instance, we got a child placed into our car on suspicion of abuse.


Is that like a reverse car jacking?
 
2011-06-06 10:11:40 AM

Father_Jack: CalvinMorallis: I haven't "made it", but I'm on my way; and I'm very, very conscious that even though some of it has to do with my own intelligence and hard work, a great degree of it is dumb luck. For that reason, fark me if I ever look down on someone less fortunate than I am, because, in a lot of cases, the only thing separating me from the guy making minimum wage is chance.

everyone gets that shot.


Not always true.

if you keep it for 2 years, you earned your place at the table, and its not chance anymore that keeps you at that table, that enables you to ascend. and that son aint chance, that means youre good at what you do.

Quite true.

He has a point.

Flex your muscles a little. See what you can lift. Bet it pays more than what you're getting now.
 
2011-06-06 10:12:10 AM
"Herman Proby, who counsels low-income families at the Baldwin Center in Pontiac, spent a recent afternoon with a single mother of three who makes $7.54 an hour as a telemarketer.

"That's $880 a month," Proby said. "How do you live on that?"


Assuming an 8-hour workday, $880 a month at $7.54 an hour means you're only working 14.5 days. Perhaps that's part of the problem right there?

I understand that a single mom with 3 kids has little time to pursue any further education for career advancement, but it's not like you don't have any control over whether or not you have those kids in the first place.

I'm not suggesting that poor people shouldn't be allowed to have kids. We all have the right make decisions that affect our finances, but we also need to be prepared to deal with the subsequent financial position that those decisions put us into.
 
2011-06-06 10:12:32 AM

Arthur Jumbles: "Work smarter, not harder".


My dad always told me this. Fortunately, I listened.

*Paraphrasing from an e-mail he sent me recently* He grew up working as a deckhand, carpenter, then shipyard worker, then eventually getting into an apprenticeship as a boilermaker, which led to him becoming a shipfitter/layout journeyman. Then ***luckily*** (as RandomAxe mentions) he was chosen to be trained to lead a project which would modernize ship design and construction, which included frames and other structures for drilling ships and oil rigs for 13 years. He was laid off (making $11.50/hr) in 1983, three weeks before I was born. His knowledge with the emerging computer systems allowed him to get back on at one of the chemical plants down here (SE Texas) and has been there ever since, working as an IT Service Delivery Consultant.

/you've been favorited
//already checked to make sure you weren't my dad
 
2011-06-06 10:17:07 AM

Smackledorfer: Though I have met a handful of folks without this ability. I've seen them say things like everyone is turned on by the opposite sex and gays choose to be different because they hate God. I've seen them say they don't understand what depression is, and say people should just be happy. They also tend towards having poor logic and reasoning skills.


I think that it's something more central than that. Judging by the speech of 'those people', they seem to have very limited language processing abilities. Having graded a number of papers, I've seen some of the saddest excuses for 'thought' ever put on paper. The least creative thinkers tend to repeat buzz-phrases in varying orders, in a way that almost resembles those dummy placeholder sites that just have a giant block of crazy text.

It could just be general stupidity, too.
 
2011-06-06 10:17:14 AM

Father_Jack:
sure there are alot of people who got lucky, but people dont stay lucky for very long,


Lucky Ducky!
 
2011-06-06 10:19:35 AM

trappedspirit: dittybopper: For instance, we got a child placed into our car on suspicion of abuse.

Is that like a reverse car jacking?


sed 's/car/care'
 
2011-06-06 10:22:07 AM

Tsubodai: but it's not like you don't have any control over whether or not you have those kids in the first place.


That's really all you people have, in your arsenal of logical arguments. That, and "flat-screen TV". Really pathetic.
 
2011-06-06 10:22:26 AM
Not everyone can be smart. I would suggest that we find a way to single out those with lower intelligence and punish them, you know just for fun, but the system already handles that quite nicely. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. And for some people all they focus on are the exceptions and don't see the beautiful things going on all the time. But they usually have to be at the gym in 26 minutes, to start washing the towels.
 
2011-06-06 10:22:57 AM

Tsubodai: I'm not suggesting that poor people shouldn't be allowed to have kids. We all have the right make decisions that affect our finances, but we also need to be prepared to deal with the subsequent financial position that those decisions put us into.


yep.

my younger sister is a perfect example of this.

in her late-mid 20s (ie, should know better...) living with loser BF who cant keep a job. She makes the money as a contract graphic designer, not much, but got a steady income in the high 30s which i suppose in seattle if you share the rent is enough to get by on. she has this dog.

she then gets pregnant. decides to keep it. because its the US and a contract job, no benes, no PTO, the company is under no obligation to keep her on after the kids born. loser BF gets cold feet and bails. she keeps working till the birth, and now despite having siblings all over her city to help her she opting to move back to the buttfark midwest where theres no work and no future to live with her horrible mother because she refuses to get rid of the dog.

so she's going to be a student loan straddled single mom living with her own mom thousands of miles from any sort of economically vibrant place to build a career because of stupid choices. the dumbest of which i think is the keeping the dog thing.

if it was "lose the dog or move in with mom", wouldnt that be a pretty clear choice? sheesh.
 
2011-06-06 10:23:42 AM

Tsubodai: "Herman Proby, who counsels low-income families at the Baldwin Center in Pontiac, spent a recent afternoon with a single mother of three who makes $7.54 an hour as a telemarketer.

"That's $880 a month," Proby said. "How do you live on that?"

Assuming an 8-hour workday, $880 a month at $7.54 an hour means you're only working 14.5 days. Perhaps that's part of the problem right there?

I understand that a single mom with 3 kids has little time to pursue any further education for career advancement, but it's not like you don't have any control over whether or not you have those kids in the first place.

I'm not suggesting that poor people shouldn't be allowed to have kids. We all have the right make decisions that affect our finances, but we also need to be prepared to deal with the subsequent financial position that those decisions put us into.


Probably because the call center she works for are a bunch of bastages and only offer part-time positions to get around the lawful benefit requirements of full time employment. I worked for a year at a position in tech support where we were only allowed to work 37 hours a week and were written up if we clocked more than that. Employers dodging benefit requirements by having employees work just under full time and get by with paying part-time are the worst kind of evil.
 
2011-06-06 10:23:49 AM

Tsubodai:
"That's $880 a month," Proby said. "How do you live on that?"

Assuming an 8-hour workday, $880 a month at $7.54 an hour means you're only working 14.5 days. Perhaps that's part of the problem right there?


Or maybe you're also paying taxes on your wages, like a sucker.
 
2011-06-06 10:30:03 AM

Father_Jack: CalvinMorallis: I haven't "made it", but I'm on my way; and I'm very, very conscious that even though some of it has to do with my own intelligence and hard work, a great degree of it is dumb luck. For that reason, fark me if I ever look down on someone less fortunate than I am, because, in a lot of cases, the only thing separating me from the guy making minimum wage is chance.

youre selling yourself short.

you got in by chance, sure. everyone gets that shot.

if you keep it for 2 years, you earned your place at the table, and its not chance anymore that keeps you at that table, that enables you to ascend. and that son aint chance, that means youre good at what you do.

sure there are alot of people who got lucky, but people dont stay lucky for very long,


I don't think everyone "gets that shot" though.

Without going into too much detail about what I do, it's a position with the state legislature. For that one application, I added a line to my resume, under "extracurricular activities" or whatever, that I written the campaign literature for a friend's failed House of Delegates campaign. It was, literally, a single line, and one I hadn't used in any application before. When I got the interview and, ultimately, the job, I assumed it was my degree, or my work experience...but my supervisor said that they had decided to interview half a dozen people, and my resume got picked because they saw I had "campaign experience" and they thought I might enjoy the work.

I wrote exactly two campaign mailers, and one stump speech, for a guy that ended up winning less than 10 percent of the vote. I probably logged a total of 6 hours of real work to that campaign. And it was my, "Hey, why not add this in to the resume" decision that got me the job that's going to support me and family for the next 25 years and into retirement.

I did well in school; I have an inherent aptitude for the kind of work I do; and yes, it does take a level of personal commitment to apply, apply, apply for that Great Career; but all of that would have been for naught if not for that split second resume decision.

My point, I guess, is hard work carries you pretty damn far; but hard work without luck can be the difference between financial security and happiness, and 38hrs a week doing filing.
 
2011-06-06 10:34:35 AM

trappedspirit: If you are young and republican you have no heart. If you are old and democrat you have no brain.


That old saying might have had some merit when Republicans were about anything other than the complete destruction of the nation out of pure spite. I think it's now "If you are young and republican you have no brain. If you are old and republican you have no brain".

They are intentionally trying to tank the economy and drag us back into recession. It's economic terrorism. There's no justification for supporting them except for the sociopathic self-interest of the corporate elite.
 
2011-06-06 10:34:40 AM

trappedspirit: dittybopper: For instance, we got a child placed into our car on suspicion of abuse.

Is that like a reverse car jacking?


Jesus... I don't EVER want to be good enough to deserve that! Avoid! Avoid!

dittybopper: sed 's/car/care'


Oh, well fine then.
 
2011-06-06 10:40:25 AM

Aidan: ronaprhys: Aidan: I also read Scratch Beginnings which is intended to be a bit of a rebuttal to Nickle and Dimed. All it actually does is reinforce the argument, but I suppose it depends on how you look at it. :)


So, basically if you're a male who is willing to be homeless in a major city and are healthy & strong enough to work like a slave then you could work minimum wage and get ahead if you're lucky enough to not get hurt or have any other misfortune befall you. A woman who tries that will get assaulted/raped, without a doubt. Anybody who has any physical/medical issues which preclude hard labor is right out. Anybody who doesn't live in a big city is right out.

If sharing a cheap apartment in a small town with a roommate is "living above your means" at minimum wage, there is something fundamentally wrong with the whole farking system.

The whole idea behind "minimum wage" is the idea that having a job means you'll have enough money to live at least a rudimentary standard of living. Homeless shelters are below that. Trying to suggest them as a viable way of life at the minimum wage level is blatantly insulting.

I'd take his book as more of an indictment of the system than anything else.
 
2011-06-06 10:42:52 AM

Silverstaff: I'd take his book as more of an indictment of the system than anything else.


I don't think we're necessarily disagreeing. However he does present his book as a "I can do it, so can you!" thing. I call it success porn. :)
 
2011-06-06 10:46:52 AM
Once you realize that minimum wage is a polite term for "slave pay, " it's not that surprising.
 
2011-06-06 10:53:07 AM

LouDobbsAwaaaay: They are intentionally trying to tank the economy and drag us back into recession. It's economic terrorism.


Oh my, you actually believe that, don't you?
 
2011-06-06 10:54:33 AM

Dictatorial_Flair: Once you realize that minimum wage is a polite term for "slave pay, " it's not that surprising.


And how interesting it is that we all want bartenders to bring us drinks we don't know how to make, fry guys to cook us hamburgers we're too lazy to grill, and poop scoopers to clean up grimy stuff in our public restrooms...but we absolutely bristle at the idea of paying these people a living wage for doing so.
 
2011-06-06 10:59:01 AM

Occam's Chainsaw: serial_crusher: multiple working roommates splitting rent and bills.

And when this luxury is unavailable and you must solo it? Your solution is to starve?

serial_crusher: enough to feed yourself and basic health maintenance.

Does this include health care? What measure of sustenance? Is borderline starvation enough, or can you afford meat? And if you get proper nutrition and health care, how would forgoing this not pay for the additional half-dependent discussed above?

serial_crusher: Not necessarily anything by way of saving money for college, etc.

Zero ability to save money. So every unscheduled expenditure would lead to insolvency? That's the scenario I describe above, where you do just fine at or near minimum wage, until the unexpected cuts your throat. Congratulations, you want the status quo. And it's working just fine, ain't it?


I'm in that boat. I make slightly above minimum wage with no cable (only Netflix) and my utilities are included with rent. My diet consists of ramen and canned veggies and every once in a while I can afford a fruit. I am a full time student with a full time job and in a typical month after paying expenses with no surprises I end up with about $12 to save and use as entertainment. When I end up with an unexpected bill I'm farked
 
2011-06-06 11:05:33 AM
derpdeederp: Seeing that the programmers were making way more than I was, I did another 2-3 years of database administration and programming courses. And now ten years later, living in the expensive Fairfax County Virginia making $53,000 a year, .

You're a DBA with two degrees and ten years experience, working in Fairfax for $53,000/year? What's wrong with you?


No, Im a social scientist who can interact with programming and databases languages. Also the two felonies dont help with the pay check.
 
2011-06-06 11:06:11 AM

CalvinMorallis: Dictatorial_Flair: Once you realize that minimum wage is a polite term for "slave pay, " it's not that surprising.

And how interesting it is that we all want bartenders to bring us drinks we don't know how to make, fry guys to cook us hamburgers we're too lazy to grill, and poop scoopers to clean up grimy stuff in our public restrooms...but we absolutely bristle at the idea of paying these people a living wage for doing so.


Relevant:
http://www.angryflower.com/atlass.gif
 
2011-06-06 11:12:42 AM

mrichmond3737: This isn't exactly a new study. This is more of a reevaluation of an older study from the nineties. I recall reading a very sad book written by a journalist/author who went undercover and worked minimum wage jobs at Walmart, a maid service, and a cafe. She tried for three months to live on exactly what her coworkers made and found, quite overwhelmingly, that she was barely making ends meet, let alone the single moms out there. And that's if you're lucky enough to be employed.

/Still believes in "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."


Minimum wage was never designd to raise a family on.
 
2011-06-06 11:16:25 AM

CalvinMorallis: I wrote exactly two campaign mailers, and one stump speech, for a guy that ended up winning less than 10 percent of the vote. I probably logged a total of 6 hours of real work to that campaign. And it was my, "Hey, why not add this in to the resume" decision that got me the job that's going to support me and family for the next 25 years and into retirement.


my equivalent story: i did a phone interview with a woman for an entry level HTML position in the bay area in 1999. during the interview i for whatever reason said "blessed be!" that i had seen advertised somewhere. turned out this woman was a wiccan and this is their "amen" equivalent, and so i got to interview and got the gig.

now, 2011, i manage multimillion dollar software development projects for a swiss bank and have worked for many of the big .coms.

i guess *my* point is, how far ive come isnt due solely to the fact that i read a billboard with a wiccan slogan on it.
 
2011-06-06 11:17:23 AM

Huggermugger: Tsubodai: but it's not like you don't have any control over whether or not you have those kids in the first place.

That's really all you people have, in your arsenal of logical arguments. That, and "flat-screen TV". Really pathetic.


Yeah, personal responsibility's a biatch isn't it?
 
2011-06-06 11:19:50 AM

Father_Jack: i guess *my* point is, how far ive come isnt due solely to the fact that i read a billboard with a wiccan slogan on it.


And THAT... is the problem. The meritocracy is a lie. You're obviously good at what you do, but.. nowha'amsayin'?
 
2011-06-06 11:21:39 AM

Arthur Jumbles: Pay attention in high school, don't gangbang and keep your legs closed. Fill out the FAFSA in January and use your Pell grant and free state aid to go to your local community college. Get a work-study job and work like a dog during summer to avoid taking out loans. Then transfer to a four year school or earn an associate degree in a field were you can immediately start earning a paycheck.


This is good advice, but it fails to acknowledge the basic math of the jobs available.

A certain (large) percentage of the jobs are shiatty. A certain (smaller) percentage of the jobs are OK. Smaller still segments of the jobs are good and great.

Yes, people should try to get into the better jobs. But, someone is still going to pick lettuce and work at Walmart and change Grandma's bedpan. The only question is just how shiatty do we make life for the people that work these jobs.

Again, it is a mathematical certainty that SOMEONE will work those jobs.
 
2011-06-06 11:21:59 AM

CalvinMorallis: Dictatorial_Flair: Once you realize that minimum wage is a polite term for "slave pay, " it's not that surprising.

And how interesting it is that we all want bartenders to bring us drinks we don't know how to make, fry guys to cook us hamburgers we're too lazy to grill, and poop scoopers to clean up grimy stuff in our public restrooms...but we absolutely bristle at the idea of paying these people a living wage for doing so.


Even I, bleeding-heart that I am, do this. It's really hard to stop oneself, even if you realize it. I keep telling myself that I can simply choose not to have that service or product, but I have NO right to biatch about the price if I want something done RIGHT and VERY little right to biatch about the quality if I want it done CHEAP.
 
2011-06-06 11:23:39 AM

Father_Jack: CalvinMorallis: I wrote exactly two campaign mailers, and one stump speech, for a guy that ended up winning less than 10 percent of the vote. I probably logged a total of 6 hours of real work to that campaign. And it was my, "Hey, why not add this in to the resume" decision that got me the job that's going to support me and family for the next 25 years and into retirement.

my equivalent story: i did a phone interview with a woman for an entry level HTML position in the bay area in 1999. during the interview i for whatever reason said "blessed be!" that i had seen advertised somewhere. turned out this woman was a wiccan and this is their "amen" equivalent, and so i got to interview and got the gig.

now, 2011, i manage multimillion dollar software development projects for a swiss bank and have worked for many of the big .coms.

i guess *my* point is, how far ive come isnt due solely to the fact that i read a billboard with a wiccan slogan on it.


I don't discount the value of hard work; and I also don't believe that if not for my own chance decision I'd be cleaning gutters. My Weeners was geared toward arguing the idea that "Well, if I did it all on my own, you can, too!" That's buillshiat. No matter how hard you work, no matter how bootstrappy you may be, everyone is helped out, every now and then, by a little luck. And I think it's terribly arrogant, meanspirited and wrong headed to look down on people who simply haven't gotten the same stroke of good luck as you may have.
 
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