Living Wage: Semi OT
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Living Wage: Semi OT (by S i d [MO]) Nov 10, 2022 9:26 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Larry [MN]) Nov 10, 2022 10:45 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by WMH [NC]) Nov 10, 2022 10:54 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Sisco [MO]) Nov 10, 2022 10:56 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Richard [MI]) Nov 10, 2022 11:11 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Tima [PA]) Nov 10, 2022 11:31 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Paulio [PA]) Nov 10, 2022 12:00 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Nov 10, 2022 12:26 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by John... [MI]) Nov 10, 2022 12:49 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by John... [MI]) Nov 10, 2022 1:03 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by WMH [NC]) Nov 10, 2022 3:31 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Ken [NY]) Nov 10, 2022 4:03 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by DJ [VA]) Nov 10, 2022 4:59 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Nov 10, 2022 6:18 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by S i d [MO]) Nov 10, 2022 6:34 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by LTD [AZ]) Nov 10, 2022 6:43 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by BillW [NJ]) Nov 10, 2022 8:11 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by S i d [MO]) Nov 10, 2022 8:23 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by 6x6 [TN]) Nov 10, 2022 8:39 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Ken [NY]) Nov 10, 2022 10:01 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Barb [MO]) Nov 10, 2022 10:02 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by WMH [NC]) Nov 11, 2022 12:36 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by MAT [PA]) Nov 11, 2022 7:42 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by 6x6 [TN]) Nov 11, 2022 7:58 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Robin [WI]) Nov 11, 2022 8:20 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Ken [NY]) Nov 11, 2022 8:30 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Richard [MI]) Nov 11, 2022 10:15 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Barb [MO]) Nov 11, 2022 10:47 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by S i d [MO]) Nov 11, 2022 11:09 AM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by LTD [AZ]) Nov 11, 2022 12:39 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by MAT [PA]) Nov 11, 2022 12:43 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Ken [NY]) Nov 11, 2022 1:32 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by John... [MI]) Nov 11, 2022 3:31 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by S i d [MO]) Nov 11, 2022 4:09 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by S i d [MO]) Nov 11, 2022 4:10 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by 6x6 [TN]) Nov 11, 2022 6:19 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Hoosier [IN]) Nov 12, 2022 2:11 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by 6x6 [TN]) Nov 12, 2022 10:35 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by RB [TN]) Nov 13, 2022 5:45 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by 6x6 [TN]) Nov 13, 2022 6:57 PM
       Living Wage: Semi OT (by Mark [AL]) Nov 15, 2022 11:31 AM

Living Wage: Semi OT (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 9:26 AM

I was reading back over a thread from August "living paycheck to paycheck" and realized I had never followed up through the end of the discussion. There were clearly two "camps" of thinking on this: one side that said a living wage should be required and that anyone who works 40 hours a week should be able to do more than meet basic needs and the other side that focused on the tradition market rate approach to wages that says you receive money in exchange for the level of value provided.

My desire isn't to reignite the debate (back 'n forth between 2 or 3 posters), but rather to seek clarity on some of the issues that didn't appear to get resolved. In that spirit, I have some questions for the the board of advisors...

1) If you support the "living wage" concept, does that include ALL jobs? For example, should a life guard at a swimming pool who sits on his chair all day watching people swim and occasionally blowing his whistle at kids who splash too much deserve to have a home big enough to raise a family of 4 people in on his single income, receive paid medical coverage, get 2 hours of paid vacation per year, have an employer matching retirement plan, be able to afford a "safe" car in the range of $20,000 or so, and still get enough money to "enjoy" some things in life? If you do not support the living wage concept, then I don't see any reason to answer this question.

Yes, I kinda cherry picked that example, but we can all think of other similar "low impact" jobs that are easy, kind of fun, and require little special training beyond basic level skills and maybe a week or so of semi-skilled specialized training (CPR for our lifeguard, for example). Other examples would include Whopper floppers (i.e. fast food entry level), data entry, ticket scanners at sporting events, etc.

2) The middle class. By definition, if we have a middle class, then there will be a lower class. What level of workers/persons would fall into this and would be exempt from the "living wage" concept, if any? Part time workers only? Non-workers? This goes back to the "if everyone is middle class, then no one is middle class" logical conundrum.

3) What do we mean by "Getting ahead"? This is a vague concept when talking about anyone, but especially the middle class. In the last thread, several folks threw out different numbers, but generally somewhere between $60,000 - $140,000 household income for a family of 4 seemed to be the accepted range of for "middle class". I would put the top end higher than that, since I know doctors and lawyers who also have a professional spouse and their combined household income is north of $300,000, but they still aren't jet setters nor do they have two Porsches in every garage. I think we can agree they are ahead of most middle class folks, though. So what does it really mean to get ahead? What financial abilities does that include? How much more must one earn than to afford basic food, clothing, and shelter? Enough to take a fun family vacation each year to a semi-exotic location (airfare, hotel, restaurants, and adventures included)? Enough to have a late model car for each driver in the driveway and 3-4 weeks paid vacation per year? We see here that to define getting ahead, we must first define what is par/average. Let's see if we can define that clearly and concisely. Not that we will all agree, but if we're going to talk about it, let's see what it looks like in specific detail.

4) And finally, local cost of living. If the concept of "living wage" is to be adopted, does it make sense to adjust it for the market, or does it make more sense to keep it the same across all markets, which then causes the old invisible hand of economics to push some people to live in less expensive markets, thereby lowering demand in the more expensive market? Another way to look at it is this: If a living wage is implemented and has a COLA (Cost of living adjustment) so that anyone who works 40 hours can live in the Bay Area or Manhattan, that will obviously push demand for housing in those areas through the roof as they are both very popular places, and if anyone can afford it comfortably then it quickly becomes a game of whoever gets there first can stay there forever. There is no incentive to move to a less expensive market. We see this already in rent controlled apartments where empty nester families who have a 3 bedroom apartment stay put, because their rent is still cheaper than if they moved to a smaller 1 bedroom apartment and had to pay market rent. Thus, they stay put and deny the space that could house a 4 - 6 person family.

Above all, let's keep it respectful. None of us are evil persons, and indeed many of you I've met and chatted with over the years have a general good will toward mankind; but still we do disagree. I'm interested to see what we all think, not how much you can attack each other. You can probably tell my thoughts already based on my examples, so I'll leave it at this: I think the concept of a living wage, especially if it must be adjusted for COLA, is a fundamentally flawed concept that will only lead to super high inflation and inefficient allocation of resources.

So rather than directly responding to how "dumb" someone's idea is, just leave your thoughts here and let's all get a variety of perspectives.

Ready, GO!


Living Wage: Semi OT (by Larry [MN]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 10:45 AM

I don't think anyone's definition of a living wage is to be able to raise a family on single income.

It's much simpler. Can someone work full time and afford a place to live and buy groceries without direct government assistance. That's it.

This topic is somewhat moot these days. Anyone can get a job paying $15 - $20 per hour which is the range defined as a living wage.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 10:54 AM

Just had a long discussion about this last night with my son who is visiting us from Mexico (age 50) and my granddaughter's friend (age 24) who lives with us.

Nothing was decided except both my son and I agreed with the idea of UBI as proposed by Andrew Yang. YES government spending on other projects would have to be shifted to accommodate it, and a radical shift in our thought processes as a country to accept it, but we *can* afford it without raising taxes if the right fat is cut from the pork.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 10:56 AM

First, I think you should better come to terms. I read your post and it reads Middle income rather than Middle Class.

Middle Class is about values,interests, likely characteristics, accumulated wealth, definitely not paycheck to paycheck.

I know many middle class folks with very low earned income.

INMO, we in this country in the past 100 years have done a terrible job at encouraging people to live the good life. We instead focus on encouraging them earn a good living.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 11:11 AM

Universal Basic Income on;y means that pretty much anyone that thinks they are not getting "enough" will just quit, unless of course if they already don't work at all.

Why work at all if you can get some other sucker to pay you? The govt will just take even more from those who do work to hand out to those who don't feel like working. If that's not enough, they will just print the money and send the bill to you and your kids and grandkids. Soon, pretty much no one will want to work. Of course, also soon those getting the free money will decide that whatever they are getting is not enough for their "needs" and will demand more. Of course, since the govt wants their votes, they will give them more -- of your earnings.Pretty soon, there will be no incentive to work when they just take all you own. --75.7.xx.xx

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Tima [PA]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 11:31 AM

I just start working with Amazon $18 per hour part time. I am happy with that, just enough to survise.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Paulio [PA]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 12:00 PM

UBI is a recipe for inflation. Letís say I have a potential tenant pool where everybody is getting a free $1,000 per month on top of whatever else they normally get. Do you think Iím going to keep my starting rents the same? Oh heck no. And other businesses will simply do the sameÖ.auto repair, local eateries, etc. Their free UBI wonít go far. --174.198.xx.xx

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 12:26 PM

All I know is if the government wants to hand me enough money to live a decent life while I do nothing at all, I am going to stop working.

We've already got a substantial welfare class who live that way. Do nothing productive and get free rent, free medical, free food, free phone, free transportation. It leave them with plenty of time to fill up with complaining about how they aren't getting enough free stuff.

Sadly, it looks like American has voted. More socialism, please.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 12:49 PM

I don't feel like re-doing that post, so I'm not going to. But I did find one thing interesting about your first statement and your first question. You divided us into two groups:

1. a living wage should be required and that anyone who works 40 hours a week should be able to do more than meet basic needs

2. you receive money in exchange for the level of value provided.

I think it is more complex than that, but for the sake of not wanting to argue, let's leave it as you put it.

You then go into your first question and want to know if a lifeguard who "sits on his chair all day watching people swim and occasionally blowing his whistle at kids who splash too much" should qualify under #1.

But, for me, I see that question more of a question of how you see it under #2. He's a lifeguard. His whole purpose is to save lives. I've personally witnessed a lifeguard who "sites on his chair all day" save a toddler whose parents put him down a waterslide without thinking it through. That kid would have drowned had the lifeguard not noticed and saved his life.

So, how do you rank the lifeguard when it comes to "the level of value provided." He saved a life. I've never done that at my job that pays rather well. Shouldn't group #2 be paying that lifeguard rather well when the "value provided" is saving a toddler's life?

So, again, I think you've over-simplified the "two camps" -- and then you used an example that you thought was great for "camp #1" in being an example of a person that likely shouldn't get paid much for sitting around all day -- while I can't help but see the same job as someone that "camp #2" should say provides an incredible "value" in saving a life now and then...

Living Wage: Semi OT (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 1:03 PM

Oregon Woodsmoke: I don't see how discussing a "living wage" for people working has anything to do with "the government wants to hand me enough money to live a decent life while I do nothing at all, I am going to stop working."

Unless you mean that you are FOR a living wage so that people will work. In which case, that sounds like a good thing.

Otherwise, you seem to be mixing two very different groups of people in the same bucket. We're not talking about people getting a handout and not wanting to work.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 3:31 PM

I had just watched a brief YouTube on lifeguards before you posted SID...And John, my own family has been saved by lifeguards SEVERAL times...riptides are a huge and sudden problem here on the OBX. So maybe wasn't a great example for me. :)

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 4:03 PM

I believe you earn what you are worth and the govt gives you nothing.In the case of the lifeguard if there are not enough lifeguards this year the pay will have to go up to attract someone who can do the job,if there are more lifeguards than needed the pay will go down,pretty simple.Universal basic income is pretty pathetic as far as i am concerned,basically you dont think certain people can survive without the govt intervening and giving them free money,everything will go up in price as a result.Poor people will never stop being poor by giving them free money,without a mindset change and some hussle they will always be poor --74.77.xx.xx

Living Wage: Semi OT (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 4:59 PM

Isn't this what the minimum wage requirement is supposed to do?

Make sure that working people can earn a sufficient amount to live on?

Would UBI be a supplement above that? Makes no sense.

Must be something am I missing/misunderstanding?

BTW: every time I hear a definition of "middle class income", I think it is way too high. Including yours, Sid.

The amount I have heard stated (in news reports) that is the cut-off for getting assistance always makes me think - you really should be able to manage with that much - I have & can.

Theirs an unbalance / problem of people thinking they "need" so much more than they (we) really do.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 6:18 PM

As a child our household had only one car. We also only had one bathroom. We had a party line on the landline where you had to share. Some how we survived. What is the norm in our culture today? What will be the norm for tomorrow?

So what is a living wage?

Living Wage: Semi OT (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 6:34 PM

Good chat so far.

Okay, so lifeguard was a bad example. I wasn't imagining a sea coast guard who deals with rip tides, sharks, and jelly fish. I'm talking about the 16-year-old kid who gets to work on his tan all day at my neighborhood association pool and talk to girls in bikinis for $15 an hour. The point was to consider a job that requires little to no formal training, little to no experience, and is very "entry" level. Keep in mind the others I mentioned... the burger flippers and ticket scanners, jobs that may be on the chopping block as "living wages" make more economic incentive to replace humans with digital drones.

We used to hire men with shovels to dig foundations: then it became cheaper, faster, and more reliable to rent a bulldozer. Same will happen when low skill, low effort jobs cost too much for humans to do.

I guess that's another reason I'm not a fan of the living wage for ALL jobs, especially entry level. There are teens, stay-at-home moms/dads, and older folks who just want to do something productive and have a way to keep themselves busy in their spare time. All they want is a little pocket money to supplement their pension or retirement savings. I think it's great to have jobs that allow you to work a little and earn a little.... not necessarily to raise a family or be the sole support for a lifestyle.

Living wage would likely price many lot of those kinds of jobs out of the market.

DJ, I wasn't creating what I think is a middle income range: I was summarizing what others said in the August post. Seems like everyone has a different definition. It's funny to because $60K will get you a decent house and two cars in my town, but in Kansas City or St. Louis it barely affords a 1 bedroom bungalow. This again raises the topic of "If we're going to use living wage, do we adjust it for the area, and if so won't that just drive prices up even further?" Still haven't heard much discussion on that except from Ken.

Good point on middle class values vs. income, Sisco. I would add to those hard work, religion/faith, and a strong family structure.

Keep the thoughts coming...


Living Wage: Semi OT (by LTD [AZ]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 6:43 PM

I'm sidelined with an infection and an icky drain in my side, so I'll take a stab at this. If I sound like a crackpot blame the fever... (I'll be fine folks. No idea what caused it, may have been bit by a spider on my side.)

This is a complicated subject, but as investors and capitalists we need to consider it to know how to address long term future plans. Not that all of us need to worry about long term, but our families will. And I worry for them.

I believe we (globally) will ultimately need UBI as robotics take over. The alternative is mass starvation, crime and social collapse. But climate destruction may solve that problem for us anyway.

Right now, we need a minimal sustainment wage for all. When an apt and utilities costs $1,400, $15 an hour doesn't cut it. But, who can pay untrained laborers $25 an hour or plumbers $150 and still operate profitably? As a developer I am stuck with a finite sale value, my costs don't matter to a buyer. If I can't meet the buyers needs they buy something else and I close up, taking jobs with me.

But wage increases turn directly into price increases, we are seeing that. Any 6th grader could have told the idiots in the state house what would happen.

We are looking at the future restructuring of numerous industries due to automation and tech. As a kid in Orange Cty, CA I remember page after page of electronics tech ads in the Register. Thousands of jobs. The city of Irvine was built on manufacturing. ALL those jobs went to China, or were replaced by automation.

For housing providers, UBI could solve a lot of problems, by providing regular rent payments. In the long term I suspect state housing will return, at least in urban centers. When nobody can afford your rental because your costs and taxes are too high, there are two options. A tent or public housing.

High density cities are the only practical "sustainable" mass housing future, along with public mass transportation and shorter lines of supply to more consolidated markets.

Much of rural America is dying from loss of industry, resources and good jobs. Add climate change and a disaster is unfolding in slow motion. Already crime is increasing in many places as large numbers can't support even basic lifestyles.

Our western public lands are being OVERRUN with "nomads" and homeless in motor homes, causing increases in crime. These people need something to sustain them. Social security or ssi is not sufficient.

But - who's going to pay for it? I don't know about you, but I'm tapped out.

Someone pointed out they wouldn't work if the govt gave them enough to live nicely. Exactly, nobody would, we could devote ourselves to education, improving humanity and stopping climate change or concentrate on infecting other planets with our ilk. Some people would become drug addicts, some would want more. But many would be happy and productive.

Half our problem is we have raised three generations since I was a kid, each one dumber and more "thuggy" than the last. We elect idiots to office who hurl insults instead of solving anything.

There is also dis-incentive. In 2001 I was broke, with massive medical bills and a failed company. Nearly lost my house. Now, almost 22 years later I've done pretty well. But I left Cali 12 years ago because there was no incentive to work. I was putting in 80 hour weeks, risking a half million dollars and my whole future on each rehab. I had a payroll to meet. My mother was dying. And I was losing over HALF my income to taxes and fees. Add the traffic, crime, noise, I reached a point where it just wasn't worth it. I opted out.

The last couple years we did well. But I feel squeezed putting $150 in my gas tank. We traditionally go out for Thanksgiving. But it's $30 a plate plus drinks and tip, for cafeteria food. I bought a turkey for $11. And I'm thinking of getting a $20 tag on the reservation and shooting a goose for Christmas - cause I'm sure not paying $73 for one!

If I'm being squeezed to maintain a middle class life as a millionaire, how are the masses of humanity not rioting in the streets? They are in Haiti.

The problem is UBI is not realistic under the current financial model. There just isn't enough money on the planet. So do we go to a State control model of virtual slavery in exchance for food and shelter? I don't know about you, but that doesn't work for me.

I don't know how we make it so everyone can live a decent life, but we'd better figure it out, because what we are doing clearly isn't working.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by BillW [NJ]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 8:11 PM

Some thoughts:

Trying to quote Milton Freedman: the free market economy has done more to take a person out of poverty than any other system in the world, bar none. The further we get from free market the worse it gets, in my opinion (and Milton's too, I think).

Something I think you said before, is that we were born to work. It gives us meaning, confidence and helps us sleep at night. The more we take work from people, the worse it gets.

As with any price floor, the minimum wage causes excess supply (of labor). So there are people sitting at home, who would like to work, but their output is not worth the minimum wage, so they stay sitting and automation does their job instead. --74.102.xx.xx

Living Wage: Semi OT (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 8:23 PM

This discussion has prompted me to do more research. Here's some interesting YT vids I've found on UBI and topics related to our American social contract: Andrew Yang discussing UBI with Ben Shapiro Channel "Economics Explained" discussed the challenges faced by an increasingly automated society and how UBI is a useful thought experiment to discuss the topic. Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan discuss the fulfillment of purpose and how inequality leads to social unrest.

Check them out!

Btw, LTD good to hear from you. Your life experiences are always fascinating. --184.4.xx.xx

Living Wage: Semi OT (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 8:39 PM

I agree with Ken in that it would cause inflation.

I also think that this doesn't teach anyone how to budget money, and thus it will just lead back to the same thing.

Now, on a more serious note, if we could only go back about 150 years?

Would we even need to have this discussion if everyone were still self-efficient and self-reliant?

What if we went back to a time where we made our own clothes, grew our own food, built our own shelter, had plenty of furry friends to hug, I mean pet, repaired our own wagon wheels, didn't have to worry about the cost of electricity, and so on. What if we went back to a time before all of the media drama. Does, "what you don't know, doesn't hurt you", apply? Would we need ESA's at that point? We would be creating our own living wage.

I also think Ken is right, in that we need to change the mindset. I say this as I am working on mine.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 10:01 PM

6x6 the govt loves people who cant take care of themselves so a universal basic income fits perfectly into that,give them money and turn them into dependents and they have to vote for you otherwise they may starve,keeps the democrats in office --74.77.xx.xx

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Nov 10, 2022 10:02 PM

I read a publication in favor of UBI a few years ago that made a lot of sense.

Basically, if we took all the funds used for all the social support programs, AND all the salaries and benefits used to support those social support programs, we could provide a subsistance level of income to all citizens.

So, all the section 8 money, all the EBT money, all the WIC money, all the heating assistance money, TANF, etc, every state program you can think of. Add in all the salaries of all the state employees....

One estimate was $1000 per month per adult and $500 per month per child, at least in the state of MO. IT has been a while... so I may not be remembering correctly. Either way, it was subsistance level living, but it made sense in a way. The estimate was that only 10% of the overhead would be needed to administer the program as there would not be the same need to determine qualifications for the funding.

Interesting idea...

Living Wage: Semi OT (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 12:36 AM

SID, you listen to a lot of the same people I do. Though I do not agree with Ben Shapiro on a LOT of things, he is as smart as anyone I've ever listened to and he listens to others, even (especially) those who don't agree with him. I love the kid. Joe Rogan is a little strange, but he too listens to others of all opinions and ideas. Jordan Peterson has his issues, but he's as smart as they come.

Andrew Yang's case is spelled out pretty clearly on the UBI, and he convinced me. It's NOT welfare.

Side note: I noticed my son came down today wearing an old "Veterans for Yang" t-shirt, had to chuckle about that.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by MAT [PA]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 7:42 AM

Barb, the simplicity of replacing that laundry list of programs with one UBI of equal cost appeals to me, but it won't work for the simple reason that it requires people to spend their money wisely. Section 8 sends rent directly to landlords, without passing through the hands of tenants first. Otherwise your rent money might wind up as cigarettes and alcohol. Same for SNAP, LIHEAP, Pell grants, and a myriad of other government benefit programs. --173.49.xx.xx

Living Wage: Semi OT (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 7:58 AM

If we let them fall, will they pick themselves up?

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 8:20 AM

Seems to me that the first question we need to answer is, what do we as a "society" think is the responsibility of our self-selected government towards its citizens?

It started out as each citizen was guaranteed "life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness." That's it.

Now it seems like the definition of "life" has expanded to include free medical care/food/utilities/phone, etc. And I hear more and more that "housing is a right."

Personally, I think the most effective way to address the unmet needs of the truly needy (those with mental health issues, physical disabilities, etc.) is for the government to back off and private foundations and individuals to step in. If the government would allow people to keep more of their money, they'd have more to contribute to causes that they KNOW are worthy.

ďThe greater the distance between the giver and the receiver, the more the receiver develops a sense of entitlement."

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 8:30 AM

WMH- UBI is the definition of welfare how is it not welfare? i believe stop helping these people and force them to help themselves --74.77.xx.xx

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 10:15 AM

I read somewhere that a "robot tax" might be a partial answer. The article basically said that if the robots were going to replace certain workers, the cost of having the robot do the work verses the people would result in a certain total reduction in the unit cost. This "savings", whatever the number,was proposed to be "taxed" and the money raised by this tax would be put in a fund (maybe like social security) to be available to those who were displaced by the robots. An interesting idea, as there likely would be a savings.

I don't know how the robots would feel about this though/sarc. --75.7.xx.xx

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 10:47 AM

MAT - if people can't be bothered to use their UBI to cover their acdtual survival expenses, that is their problem. If they want to go without a roof and heat, again, that is there problem.

The likelihood of UBI replacing all the other social spending programs is so low, it doesn't matter.

While Yang calls is a UBI, another author I know calls it a BLS, Basic Living Stipend... and his opinion is that it would fail. I'm sure he is right.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 11:09 AM

More great info and thoughts. A few comments...

Ken, UBI isn't welfare because everyone gets it. You don't have to want it, need it, or qualify for it. Welfare you have to need it and qualify for it. You can spend it on whatever you want.

Richard, the robot tax is an interesting concept. I wonder how that would apply? We have bulldozers that replaced hand-shovel ditch diggers and Excel spreadsheets that replaced mathematicians and accountants. Would an technological improvement--be it software, hardware, or machinery--that replaces human labor be taxed as well? I'm not sure how that all would work.

Barb, I wonder if we'd really take a "it's your problem if you can't figure out how to spend this money properly" approach. The argument always seems to go back to "we can't have people dying in the streets", so for those people who did misuse and abuse the funds... would that argument still apply, or would we have politicians say, "If you can't manage with this money, then tough luck?" I think I know the answer already.

Good topics... keep 'em flowing.


Living Wage: Semi OT (by LTD [AZ]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 12:39 PM

Alaska has sort of a UBI with their oil trust. But that's only a couple thousand a year. But it probably helps offset the increased costs.

I think UBI would require some direct disbursment for housing, maybe state commissaries for food and other necessities, to ensure people don't shove all their UBI up their nose and end up homeless, again. You also need universal medical for all - and we all know how that is. My spouse and I both have VA - but if I hadn't had Blue Cross when I got cancer I'd be dead.

Rentals would have to be two tier. State run housing for the indigent subsisting on base UBI. And private properties for those with additional income sources (jobs, investment, business).

I think the robotax would be a trasitory action, on the way to society without monetary exchange. We wont see this in our lifetime, but we will see, and our children will experience the suffering caused by a concentration of wealth in the hands of a very few, who live lives of excess, paid for on the backs of economic slavery.

Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness was in a time of zero regulation or repercussions. If you were tough enough you could carve a King Ranch out of the wilderness with a six gun and a running iron. Or you could dig a hole and haul gold out, or oil. Or buy a chicken and open a restaurant. Now regulation, high taxes, licenses and state control makes it very expensive to start and difficult for businesses to succeed. There are no resources open for the taking.

I just don't know, maybe humanity is hosed and a dystopian "Blade Runner" future is all there is. I think it's pretty clear to everyone the current ways are slowly failing (evolving?). Look at our cities. The insane crime levels, the sidewalk zombies, the decay of our former industrial centers. Our empty rural towns, failing family farms.

The future looks bleak, and no political party will change it. No single country can change it. These are global issues and the old ways will not work much longer. Nobody is accounting for the population collapse in China. That will be an issue for the next century. Who's going to make our junk when there's only 550 million chinese? Robots.

Well that's my thoughts on this, my brain hurts.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by MAT [PA]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 12:43 PM

The robot tax sounds like an excellent way to stifle innovation. While we're at it, we should tax refrigerators to compensate all the ice cutters who are out of work now. --173.49.xx.xx

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 1:32 PM

Sid- as far as i am concerned it is welfare,the politicians have found a way to put everyone on the dole and become dependent.

LTD,the current system isnt working well because we are not operating under capitalism and not punishing bad behavior


Living Wage: Semi OT (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 3:31 PM

I feel like this thread really went off-topic -- and I think it is because of how a lot of people here think about things.

This thread was about a Living Wage. Now, it appears to primarily be about UBI (Universal Basic Income). They are two VERY different things. But I think some people here someone think they are one and the same even though they clearly are not.

We were talking about people WORKING who WANTED TO WORK and whether or not they should collect a "Living Wage" for that work.

That quickly turned into talking about people getting "money for nothing from the government" -- which is more about a UBI.

Why can't people here discuss a Living Wage without it suddenly turning into a discussion about people sitting around doing nothing and getting paid for it? They are very different situations.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 4:09 PM

John, you make an excellent point... we've strayed off topic. I take part of the blame since I mention UBI in the videos I watched. That said... it wasn't a wholly unproductive chat.

But let's get back on topic. I'd asked about living wage for ALL jobs. Let's start out really simple: Do you support a living wage for all jobs?

If yes, what do you define as the minimum living wage? Give examples of what that amount should provide and for how many people.

Does it include COLA for the area? If yes, what would be considered the "base" from which COLAs would be determined?

What would be the fate of businesses and people who want to pay/work for a living wage, but the law says they can't? --184.4.xx.xx

Living Wage: Semi OT (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 4:10 PM

Edit to the final question:

What would be the fate of businesses and people who want to pay/work for less than a living wage, but the law says they can't? --184.4.xx.xx

Living Wage: Semi OT (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Nov 11, 2022 6:19 PM

How much would a living wage be now, after inflation?

Would the living wage go up in inflationary periods, and would it keep up with inflation, as typically wages don't keep up with inflation?

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Nov 12, 2022 2:11 PM

1) I don't support the living wage concept.

2) I don't think you can define "lower class", but I suppose you could do something mathematically somewhat arbitrary based on net worth and say 10% is lower class, 80% is middle class, and 10% is upper class...or use 20%/60%/20% if you like. I don't see a particular "level" of worker in this class. If a frugal burger flipper is happy making $15/hour and working 20 hours/week and can make it work by having 4 roommates, then so be it.

3) Getting ahead should be defined by each person. If your desire is for having a wholesome life with faith being a large part of your life, and having a solid family, then getting ahead may mean you're in a good church, avoid dishonest people, and have a tight family who support each other and spend lots of time together. On the other hand, if you desire gold watches and fancy cars, then you are "getting ahead" when you get a raise or a promotion. I cannot define whether Sid is "getting ahead"...that's for Sid to decide. I do think that in financial terms, there should be a higher emphasis on net worth as opposed to income. A retiree with $3M in the bank and no job is in better financial shape IMO than a young doctor who makes $100k/year but has $400k in student loans, a $300k mortgage and no savings.

4) Local COL is a big deal. I live in a town with a relatively low COL. I am astounded when I travel to big cities how people afford things...we paid $50 for 75 minutes parking in Hoboken NJ last year on a Thursday at lunchtime! A beer in a SanFran bar was $12 when we went in 2018, whereas that same beer here was about $5. I have friends in Massachussets with property taxes of $10k/year on a similar house to ours. However, if the local COL is significantly affecting your lifestyle, you have a choice to make. You can give up whatever is keeping you in that area (maybe it's beaches? Culture? mountains? friends and family?) and move to a lower COL area. Yes, this may mean you give up some things you love, but as I said...this is a CHOICE you can make. If you can't afford food or medical care just because you want to go to the beach, well...I don't know what to tell you. I see way too many examples in life of making poor life choices and then blaming their woes on others. Those who gamble at the casino every month and then complain they can't afford food. Those who buy lottery tickets every week and then say their job doesn't pay enough. Those who buy their milk and eggs at the corner gas station for $20 rather than going to a grocery store and paying $12...and the list goes on and on. Since I don't believe in the living wage concept, I don't believe in "adjusting" anything...let people choose to move to another area that is lower cost if they want.

There are some dynamics that I think would be interesting though. Let's assume that 80% of the low-paid service workers in SanFran did what I suggested. They looked at their $15/hour job and said "Gee, I could move to Montana/Texas/Iowa and make the same money, but afford much I'll do that." Let's say 80% of those folks did this...what would happen? IMO the answer is that many restaurants, movie theaters, amusement parks, etc. would begin to close due to lack of workers. People at the higher income levels would be deprived of their entertainment choices. Long lines would form everywhere to compete for the limited options that remain. Over time, I think this would result in those restaurants that stay behind raising prices and paying higher wages to get the service people to stay (or come back from Iowa lol) to fulfill the needs of the people who can afford those things. It's called supply and demand...and over time it usually works things out.

We (all people) need each other! The wealthy need people to design their watches, build their boats, and prepare and serve their meals. The poor need wealthy people to demand products and services so that they have jobs, pay taxes, and so on. And of course the middle class are doing both demanding products/services while producing/supplying them. We cannot survive without each other.

I think there are a few things that would help our society, but some of them are politically unacceptable and some may thing are morally reprehensible.

1) Our educational system should have within it a few classes on some basic things like how to cook, basic finances such as budgeting/insurance/investing, and a class on "the biggest mistakes I made in life"...where old people come in and tell stories of things they wish they'd never done.

2) Parents should be forced to take a basic parenting class to have many kids are abandoned, verbally and physically abused, and not taught values/ethics. I think parents should at least be partially responsible for the crimes of a child well past the age of 18....they brought that rapist/mass murderer up after all.

3) We are far too kind to criminals. I hear all the time about people with 5,8,10 felony convictions (often violent) that are out in society. I'm not a big believer in rehabilitation, although I think everyone deserves a 2nd chance (but not a 4th or 5th). Our prisons have way too many creature comforts and some prisoners live better than many of the homeless in terms of food and shelter.

4) We "prop up" far too many people in this country, and then we don't do enough to prop up those who need it most. I saw a statistic recently that about 45% of all Americans receive some sort of gov't assistance. IMO that number should be 5%, but we should give those people WAY MORE than what we give them today. You cannot convince me that almost half of our people can't survive without the gov't.

5) We are ultimately responsible. We want to blame the politicians but we vote them in! We want to blame the and celebrities, but we subscribe to their twitter feeds and buy their clothes/jewelry/perfumes. We want to blame the athletes, but we watch their games. Until WE decide that we want something different, it won't happen.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Nov 12, 2022 10:35 PM

I like Hoosiers answer.

Makes sense to me.

Living Wage: Semi OT (by RB [TN]) Posted on: Nov 13, 2022 5:45 PM

Beaver !!!

Living Wage: Semi OT (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Nov 13, 2022 6:57 PM

What do you want, Wally?

Living Wage: Semi OT (by Mark [AL]) Posted on: Nov 15, 2022 11:31 AM

This concept will never work. Once you define the pay,everyone would produce the minimum product.Everyone chooses the life guard job and no one wants to be a doctor. The path of least resistance is the easy life.The concept requires too much government to keep it going.

Subject: RE: Living Wage: Semi OT
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