cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Thanks for responding with questions.  As you can see, it's a complicated issue.

 

What if someone wanted the job at the wages that you considered to low? 

 

Who makes that determination?  The employer or employee?  Have you ever heard of an employee or applicant telling the employer the wages he pays are too high?  Is there even a choice in the matter?  Generally, it's the employer that offers the wages, take it or leave it.  Of course, when given no other choice, sure, I will take it!  That's not an option. 

 

What if they disagree with your assessment of how much is needed to live on?  Okay, there are differences in what those standards are.  It's one thing to say there are different standards, it's another thing to actually live by them.  Say the family lives in a log cabin, no utilities, no running water, no vehicle, maybe a horse and a cow for milk and calf for meat.  It's a minimal lifestyle.  But we live in the era where people pay rent, own a car to go to work, pay car insurance, utilities and go to the grocery store at least once a week.  Our son's family spent a week living (food) on what people on welfare have to live, approximately $30 per week.  It's a very sparse diet.  Most family's food budget runs $80-150 a week for a family of 4.  And that assumes no outside dining.  A $400. a week wage leaves little for rent, utilities, gas, insurance and clothing.  Nobody is getting rich, believe me.

 

What if the person wanted a full time job but already had some assets to supplement this income?  Would the employer be wrong in hiring such a person?   Another way of asking this is, what business is if of yours what an employer and an employee agree to for wages?  They both might be happier than you think and they would be providing a product or service that otherwise may not be produced for the good of society.    Don't  get hung up on semantics.  You know the basic concept and justification for a living wage.     

 

Also in the article you posted they say that "low income" would be a family of four living on $45,000.  Would such a family really be in danger or malnutrition as the rest of your first post was concerned with?  $45,000 is quite a bit of money...   Depends where you live and the resources you have.  In NYC $45K will not be enough for renting an 800 sq ft two room studio, plus food and necessities.  And that's for one or two people, not a family.  Try renting anything in Farmtown, USA for under $400 per month and you have a real dump.  Your second question suggests doubt about the question.  Can you recognize malnutrition when you see it? For a pregnant worman, malnutrition begins in the womb for the child.  Lack of an adequate diet, essential vitamins and minerals, lack of a steady diet of good food, deprives the child of proper brain development.  The mother may look fine, but is she really doing fine?  I've seen malnutrition and its terrible effects on mental development from a close perspective.  It's not pretty.  I know several people, now adults, who were severely malnourished when they were children.  They will live in assisted care for their entire natural lives.  $45K is the number most used in census figures.  Not my number and apparently not yours, but, I seriously doubt it's much lower than that.   

 

If only 10% of a person's wages are used for food why would at least some of the other 90% not be available for buying food with higher nutrition?

 

You misunderstand her question.  It's not that they have the other 90% to spend on food.  This has already been spent on rent, utilities, gas, car expenses, clothes and such.  For most people living below the poverty line, the percentages are different.  The 10%-90% ratio is a general, average population number.

0 Kudos
Veteran Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Never really been a boss, but I've been a part time employee plenty. I have people I would rather work for, at barely sustenance wage, than some I worked for, if they paid me $100 an hour. A living wage is only part of the equation. Working conditions, treatment by the employer, etc. I once worked for a guy who put an ad in the paper, who had 80% employee turnover on the first day. Of the ten people who showed up, only ne and Chuck showed up the second day, and some didn't stay to the end of the first. The boss asked if we were all that were showing up. chuck said yup. Boss asked why nso few of us hillbillies came back considering the high pay (he was paint probably triple what going wages were, and wanted one specific job done, and that was it). chuck said 'because you're an a*****e'. Bosse said if he was such an a******, why were we back? Chuck said because we hired on for a three day job, and wer men of our word. We would work for three days at the promised wage, and collect our check. Boss asked my opinion, as I was quiet up to then. I said, treat me like you have been, and I'd quit, too. Treat me with a bit of respect, and I'd help finish the job. Boss grumbled to get to work, and spent all morning on his phone. Came out finally around lunch, and told us fairly nicely, here's some money for lunch, see you at one. We went to a local cafe, and the buzz was that our boss was trying to find a replacement crew, and no one would show up, after word got out how he was. By the end of the day, his phone battery was plumb dead, he was polite as could be, asking if we could please finish the job (the nature of the work required 2 or 3 guys minimum). He helped a time or two when we needed a third guy, but otherwise it was just us, working 6 or 8 days on a three days, tops, job when we started. Got a months wages for it, though. Don't care to go back there, though, because I never got over the feeling he was just being nice so we'd finish for him. Contrast that with a neighbor who I help from time to time, who is such a pleasure to work for, half the tome, I'd work for free, if he fed me, and gave me gas for the trip. I help him out only a day or two at a time, a crew times a season. Wages aren't everything.
0 Kudos
Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Man, I wish I had an employer around like you guys when I was younger.  Your awareness of the conditions you ask people to devote their lives to work in speaks volumes. 

0 Kudos
Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Looks like you learned from experience.  Yes, wages aren't the only thing.  Even so, if I get the general drift of your discussion, if the good pay hadn't been there, you would have left with the others right away. 

 

Some employers never get it that they aren't the Kings they think they are.  It takes loyal subjects to move their kingdom forward and the key to that is treating people well in every way.

0 Kudos
Veteran Contributor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

There was a lot in that message but I'll try to keep my reply simple. 

 

I don't believe the employer is doing anything wrong by simply posting a job listing for whatever he decides to pay.  The potential employees are not forced to apply for or take the job.  In that way, you are right that it is take it or leave it, but this job is not the only one offered in the world.

 

I think my real disagreement can be boiled down to the implication that an employer is bad or evil for offering a job at any wage.   I believe it is better for work to get done rather than hold back until "enough" can be paid, as if that could even be determined.  When work gets done then real wealth is created for all of society.

 

I do not believe an employer has obligation to make sure the employee has enough any more than we all have.  We all have an obligation to feed and clothe our neighbor when we see them in need.  We should all do that, especially if we are Christians. 

 

I'd rather applaud an employer for providing any job rather than scold him for not paying "enough".

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Senior Contributor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

maybe you guys don't realize how Walmart, Kmart, Target, Meijer's and probably most of the grocery stores you visit do it

nearly everybody that works there is part time at or just barely above minimum wage.  Only area managers are full time with benefits.  Part time is 36 to 39 hours a week no benefits what so ever, with hours cut if you start getting too many. 

For many people you see working the floors, stocking, or manning the register this is their second job.

I know I worked for Meijers.

0 Kudos
Honored Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Best book ever on the subject of the working poor in America...a few years old, but I am sure things haven't improved: http://www.amazon.com/Nickel-Dimed-Not-Getting-America/dp/0312626681/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=13241551...

 

Ehrenreich also wrote the apocryphal tome on being educated and unemployed in our nation.http://www.amazon.com/Bait-Switch-Futile-Pursuit-American/dp/0805081240/ref=sr_1_25?ie=UTF8&qid=1324...25

 

This author actually immerses herselp in the stew fo the situation she is writing about. The only abstraction is that she can eventually go back to dwelling in the middle class. 

 

Walmart was one plce she worked in the first book.  It really opened my eyes....

0 Kudos
Honored Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Raising hogs is hard, dirty work, and like most livestock production chores, has to be done when it has to be done.  Keeping up with the hay crop, and wrassling a couple hundred ewes and their lambs on deworming day isn't a walk in the park,  either.  There is a ton of maintenance and cleanup chores, nearly thirty horse stables to muck several tiems a week, and so on. 

 

Everything here is time-sensitive, and we try to let the two of them elect when to do their work that isn't tied to a trucking schedule. As long as the empty hog house is clean and disinfected for the refill, I don't  care if the guy does it all in one day, or spreads it out over two, for example.  If daughter wants to do her walkthroughs at five in the morning, or fine in the afternoon, eiher way, as long as it gets done.     

 

The got their Christmas bonus money this week.  It's been a less-than-stellar year in production, but they worked as hard as ever...so, the production slump was not their fault. 

 

I hope when I die, people can say of me that I have at least always tried to be fair.

0 Kudos
Veteran Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

The stream  of information I have read shows that the 10% is figured "before taxes"--- if it researched like other monthly or quarterly reports it could be interesting how the results are compilied--- guess I would be interested in one's diet at $7 per day---

0 Kudos
Veteran Advisor

Re: Latest survey on poor in America

Was reading the Lexington Ne news about the Boys Scouts giving a $1000 gift to the local food pantry to buy hamburger mainly---if I remeber the one big employer in town is a meat packing plant ? Thje news wire said the local food pantry helps out  200 to 300 a month---interesting ---the report was on the  radio station news---

0 Kudos