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40% of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

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    40% of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

    40% of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage | The Contributor

    As someone who falls into this category (by $7,000/year), this hurts.

    #2
    But if you ask some folks, there isn't an income inequity problem in the country.

    I'm sorry you're in that position. Even Janet Yellen, Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, acknowledges that a fundamental goal must be to pursue maximum employment, and beyond that we need to do more to ensure everyone jobs within the system aren't offensively exploitative but rather that they pay a living wage.

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      #3
      misleading article....

      The minimum wage would be $16.50 an hour — $33,000 a year — if it had kept up with the growth of productivity since 1968. To put the effect of this a different way, 40 percent of Americans now make less than the 1968 minimum wage, had the minimum wage kept pace with productivity gains.
      set the minimum wage at $16.50/hr and watch the unemployment rate climb.
      Gunga galunga...gunga -- gunga galunga.

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        #4
        There shouldn't have to be a choice between deepening working-poverty and increasing unemployment. If there is such an either/or situation, as you suggest, then that reflects a broken, corrupt system.

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          #5
          If there is such an either/or situation, as you suggest, then that reflects a broken, corrupt system.
          Utopia? Sure. It's down the street, and take a left, then another left, and another left. One more left, and you're there.

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            #6
            In my opinion, striving to acquire educcation and/or skills which command a decent wage is MUCH more beneficial than waiting for legislation requiring your employer to pay you that same decent wage.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Wino View Post
              Utopia? Sure. It's down the street, and take a left, then another left, and another left. One more left, and you're there.
              You do realize that there are countries that have a higher quality of living than the States, yes?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Petunia 100 View Post
                In my opinion, striving to acquire educcation and/or skills which command a decent wage is MUCH more beneficial than waiting for legislation requiring your employer to pay you that same decent wage.
                Except that this is exactly what people have been doing since 1962. The number of people with college degrees and graduate degrees has increased exponentially, while salaries have stagnated and the gap between what top management makes and middle management/white collar workers make has also grown exponentially and most production jobs have been shipped overseas. There are far more skilled, educated workers out there today than half a century ago.

                I am not sure setting a minimum wage is the answer either, but having belonged to a generation of which everyone I know went to college, and 75% went on to grad school, in well-recognized fields deemed to be money makers at the time -- and watching many struggle to treadwater, let alone live simply a comfortable middle-class existence -- I don't think what you have stated above is enough. The problem is that this group is being taken advantage of -- most of the profits are going to top management and shareholders - and skilled workers are learning they can be easily replaced.

                (For example - many of my friends that went to law school are now saddled in debt with few job opportunities. Many studied computer science and have jumped around to unstable positions with little salary progression even with 10 years of experience.... )

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Wino View Post
                  If there is such an either/or situation, as you suggest, then that reflects a broken, corrupt system.
                  Utopia? Sure. It's down the street, and take a left, then another left, and another left. One more left, and you're there.
                  As if they only possibilities are a broken, corrupt system OR utopia.



                  Get a grip.

                  Originally posted by Petunia 100 View Post
                  In my opinion, striving to acquire educcation and/or skills which command a decent wage is MUCH more beneficial than waiting for legislation requiring your employer to pay you that same decent wage.
                  Though you're still talking about a gamble. While I don't see a problem with that affecting access to luxury, in a nation as prosperous as ours, it's offensive to have access to essentials subject to such chances.

                  Originally posted by Mjenn View Post
                  Except that this is exactly what people have been doing since 1962. The number of people with college degrees and graduate degrees has increased exponentially, while salaries have stagnated and the gap between what top management makes and middle management/white collar workers make has also grown exponentially and most production jobs have been shipped overseas. There are far more skilled, educated workers out there today than half a century ago.
                  Excellent point: A degree doesn't provide assurance of freedom from destitution, and in actuality the proliferation of degrees has essentially made the degree less reliable as a means of escaping destitution.

                  Originally posted by Mjenn View Post
                  I am not sure setting a minimum wage is the answer either, but having belonged to a generation of which everyone I know went to college, and 75% went on to grad school, in well-recognized fields deemed to be money makers at the time -- and watching many struggle to treadwater, let alone live simply a comfortable middle-class existence -- I don't think what you have stated above is enough. The problem is that this group is being taken advantage of -- most of the profits are going to top management and shareholders - and skilled workers are learning they can be easily replaced.
                  We live in a capitalistic country, one which has become far more capitalistic over the last forty years, but irresponsibly we haven't matched that move toward more capitalism with other measures to ensure equity. We've essentially crafted a far less fair economy, and that's what needs to be fixed, either by pulling back on the extreme capitalism, back perhaps to where we were forty years ago, or some new measures layered on top to increase economic inequity regardless. I'm perfectly happy with the extreme capitalism approach, myself, as long as society recognizes and fully makes-up for the inequity that extremism causes. It's time to stop making excuses and stop presenting rationalizations to forestall doing what's right.
                  Last edited by bUU; 02-22-2013, 10:44 AM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Mjenn View Post
                    Except that this is exactly what people have been doing since 1962. The number of people with college degrees and graduate degrees has increased exponentially, while salaries have stagnated and the gap between what top management makes and middle management/white collar workers make has also grown exponentially and most production jobs have been shipped overseas. There are far more skilled, educated workers out there today than half a century ago.

                    I am not sure setting a minimum wage is the answer either, but having belonged to a generation of which everyone I know went to college, and 75% went on to grad school, in well-recognized fields deemed to be money makers at the time -- and watching many struggle to treadwater, let alone live simply a comfortable middle-class existence -- I don't think what you have stated above is enough. The problem is that this group is being taken advantage of -- most of the profits are going to top management and shareholders - and skilled workers are learning they can be easily replaced.

                    (For example - many of my friends that went to law school are now saddled in debt with few job opportunities. Many studied computer science and have jumped around to unstable positions with little salary progression even with 10 years of experience.... )
                    The definition of "comfortable middle class existence" is a moving target, too. The average middle class family in 1968 had a smaller home, had 1 car, did not consider shopping to be a recreational hobby, and considered a meal out to be quite a luxury. I posit that while the average salary of today's degreed individual may not afford today's definition of "comfortable middle class existence", it does afford 1968's definition of "comfortable middle class existence".

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                      #11
                      There are notable exceptions, though. Back in 1968 a meal out was generally an order of magnitude more expensive than you could prepare a meal in the home. While that's still true of fine restaurant meals, the vast majority of meals out now are at fast food restaurants, and the cost of a fast food meal is often either close to, or lower than, an average American home-cooked meal.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by bUU View Post
                        the cost of a fast food meal is often either close to, or lower than, an average American home-cooked meal.
                        Really? I don't go out for fast food that often mainly because of the health concerns but a secondary reason is the cost. I'm not spending $6 or $7 for a crappy meal at McDonalds when I can prepare a healthier and better tasting meal at home for half that.
                        Steve

                        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          That's part of the problem... the people who have the greatest need for low price groceries have the least access to low priced groceries.
                          http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/921672/aer759.pdf

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Petunia 100 View Post
                            The definition of "comfortable middle class existence" is a moving target, too. The average middle class family in 1968 had a smaller home, had 1 car, did not consider shopping to be a recreational hobby, and considered a meal out to be quite a luxury. I posit that while the average salary of today's degreed individual may not afford today's definition of "comfortable middle class existence", it does afford 1968's definition of "comfortable middle class existence".
                            Except that for many it is not even an option. To get a job many of my friends have relocated to metropolitan areas. Many have expressed the wish that they could find a decent paying middle of the road job if it meant they could work a reasonable amount 8-9 hours a day, and be able to enjoy some time with their family, even if it meant a smaller house and less stuff. But in order to afford housing in their areas, they need to tack on at least 1 hour commute to be able to afford a small home or rent an apartment in a decent neighborhood.

                            I think more people would eat at home, take time to cook if they had more time at home -- but when you are running around, leaving home at 6 am, working 10-12 hours, and then getting home late in the evening, cooking is not an easy option.

                            For many, even if they are responsible, the middle class dream is slipping away not just due to poor spending habits and investments, but due to a combination of circumstances one of which is written about in this article.

                            My family does not live in the US anymore because we prefer the lifestyle where we live, as opposed to the rat race of where we are from. We may make a smaller income, pay more tax, and have a smaller house -- but we have time to spend as a family, money to spend on travel and the family we remember having as kids.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The disparity between the haves and have-nots

                              When the gap between rich and poor becomes so great that the poor can no longer survive under these conditions they revolt and establish a system of wealth redistribution. Once the wealth has been redistributed the poor are happy again and eventually grow apathetic, then the rich begin their quiet revolution of taking the wealth back and continue to do so until the disparity between the have's and the have not's becomes so great that the poor can no longer....

                              The 1% got organized in the early 70's and started taking more and more of the wealth.

                              When the poor take from the rich, it's called class warfare. When the rich take from the poor, it's called an economic plan.
                              Last edited by Snodog; 02-22-2013, 12:38 PM.

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