UNI88 wrote: ↑Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:13 am
∞∞∞ wrote: ↑Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:51 am
Yes, all jobs are worth paying a living wage; everyone should be able to live on 40 hours a week. It used to be that poverty was an issue of being unemployed, not that you weren't paid enough. If an employer can't pay a living wage, they shouldn't be in business (I think it was FDR which said something similar). When the minimum wage was created, it was intended from the onset to be a livable wage.
I can agree to a variable minimum wage adjusted for location though.
And housing needs to be built upwards, at least in urban areas. I live in NoVA and we're gonna become the next San Fran or Seattle because apparently people expect land in a densely populated area. Want to live in an urban area? You have to deal with density, housing included.
I'm not informed enough to tackle the education question...smarter people can figure it out. All I know is studies have shown that education, dollar-for-dollar, typically has the best ROI for a society: stability, efficiency, technologically, medically, socially, economically (all intertwined).
We disagree on paying everyone a living wage. I don't think a high schooler necessarily needs a living wage and I'm not sure that someone mopping the floors should be paid enough to make enough to support a family of four in Queens. I also think that employers that don't want to pay a living wage will automate some functions to avoid the higher costs of labor.
I agree that we should be building up in urban areas but that requires a change in expectations. Parents tend to dream of raising their kids in a house with a yard. They'll need to adapt to raising their kids in a highrise that is hopefully near a park.
I'm with you on education, I just don't trust the federal government to make it better. Education should be considered infrastructure to be invested in. It's a critical element of the USA being the land of opportunity. Give the states funding and more freedom to find what is best for them. I would rather have 50 states as laboratories working on improving education than a bunch of ivory tower academics coming up with a theoretical approach they think will work for everyone.
The living wage thing is far more complicated than what Trip is laying out. What does "living" mean anyway? What's included in that? Decent house? What kind of house? How big? Where's it located? Include 3 meals a day? What kind of meals? Only food you can make at home? What about takeout food or a restaurant, and if you do include going out for food, how often is the right amount? What about other things? How about a car or Uber service? Can you even take Uber while on a "living" wage? How about a cell phone for everyone? What brand and how current the version? Unlimited data? How about streaming services? Is Netflix included? How about vacations? Is it "living" to be able to afford a week down the beach or in the mountains? Renting a house or staying in hotels? What other kind of entertainment? How many movies in theaters or live music shows is included in "living" per year? Starts to get really complicated when you need to come up with a dollar amount of what constitutes "living". Especially when someone with more means can have more "living" than you do.
And UNI's right, you start raising the cost of labor, and it's not brain surgery to predict that people will reduce labor when the costs go up. Go into a McDonald's these days, one of the refurbished ones, and tell me what you see. Where you used to have multiple people at the counter ready to take an order, now you have kiosks that you walk up to, touchscreen in your order, and you wait until it shows up on the counter. You don't need to talk to anyone, which is great because there's so many less people working there than before. Sure, the ones left are probably making a little more money, but they're doing so at the expense of the elimination of several other positions. I work in manufacturing. We still manufacture a crap load of stuff in this country. Thing is, we do so by designing out the people - do everything with the fewest number of people possible, automate wherever you can.
And the housing thing is a tough one too. Again, if you have the means, you can always have more. You can have the big house, the big yard, the fancy lawn equipment, etc. So the poor guy on the "living" wage is going to wonder how come he can't live like that too.
I've always said, I'm fine with increasing the minimum wage. But we need to be realistic what that means and how long it lasts. Increase minimum wage and it absolutely means less employment in exchange for better buying power for those that get to keep their jobs, but it also leads to inflationary pressures that, in the long run, negate the increased buying power those folks had in the short term. It's a feel good measure that doesn't do a whole lot, but it does displace some lower rung workers in the meantime.