Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Who is more guilty of using Government handouts, Employees that are not paid a living wage and rely on them just to put food on the table at the end of the week, or employers that don't pay a living wage knowing the employees can access it to put food on their tables at the end of their work week?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (19395points) April 22nd, 2015

And lets not start, defending the below living wage, stating that it’s just kids on this wage and all they really need it for is party money.
Didn’t we use this style of argument with women saying all they were working for was personal money thus didn’t need to make the same wage as men who were supporting the family.
I know there will always be different wage scales, that depend on experience, or education but even the lowest wage should be a living wage and not need government help at the end of week just to put food on the table.

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55 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Conservatives scream for smaller government, so stop making the lowest income earner depend on it so much, maybe if these people didn’t need it at the end of their week you might just get your wish.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Out of these two examples, I have to place the onus more on the workers who are working for wages they cannot survive on. They (the workers) may have had to start out there, but nothing in the rules say they have to end there. While they are there, they should be doing everything in their power to increase their income or education that will thus garner them a higher wage in their job (J ust O over B roke) endeavor. If they are content to be a wage slave all their life and work for another, they should make themselves more valuable, even if it takes a couple of years at some sacrifice. I would say they should channel their ”inner immigrant” and find a way to generate an income working for themselves.

Wages went down for men when women flooded the workplace, logically there were fewer jobs to go around, and when you toss in affirmative action it made it more profitable to take a minority women than a white male, even if he was three times better at the job.

jerv's avatar

Low-wage workers often lack the upwards mobility and options Conservatives claim. One cannot increase their education when they can’t even afford day to day living expenses. And it’s not like jobs for those without $80–150k degrees are as plentiful as is claimed by those who disregard reality in favor of dogma.

There’s no way any sane person could blame workers, so by default it must be employers.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@jerv I totally agree with you but I know a lot won’t.
A living wage is more complicated than minimum wage, and has to be set for the area they live in, that is if you ever want these low end earners off the Government tit.

gorillapaws's avatar

I choose option C: the government. I would blame B over A, but if you’re a CEO and your competitors are paying their low-end workers minimum wage and competing with you on price, then you may be legally compelled (because CEOs are legally required to do what’s best for their shareholders) to also pay the absolute minimum. Even if you were a good CEO and wanted to pay your employees more, you don’t have a choice or you could face a massive lawsuit from your shareholders.

Minimum wage sets a floor that all companies have to respect and levels the playing field so you can’t be undercut for doing the right thing.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@gorillapaws That is why minimum wage ,must give way to a living wage, and should at least in my opinion be set to the area the work is done in.

johnpowell's avatar

….Sigh

because CEOs are legally required to do what’s best for their shareholders….. Not fucking true in any way. WHERE IS A KITTEN>> I NEED TO PUNCH SOMETHING…..Stop repeating this fucking lie.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@johnpowell Maybe not legally required to, more like obligated to, because they know if they don’t kiss their shareholders ass they can get kicked out on their ear.

jerv's avatar

@gorillapaws Not quite that simple. Government is there to fix things that society can’t (or won’t) fix themselves. Wages are one of those things that the private sector refuses to regulate themselves for the good of society and the nation as a whole, which is why government even makes laws regarding wages in the first place; if all employers paid enough for their workers to live without relying on government assistance, they wouldn’t interfere.

However, enough employers pay low enough wages that even many working class people do rely on government assistance. In effect, taxpayers are paying the operating expenses that businesses should be paying. In the case of small businesses, it’s okay to allow them tax breaks and such as they are reducing government costs (and therefore taxes) by giving their workers at least something. But larger businesses generate enough revenue to make their executives into billionaires, yet somehow can’t afford to offer their workers enough to both eat and pay rent in the same month. Sure, they are also providing jobs, but at what cost?

There are plenty of businesses that do what they can to care for their workers. CostCo, for instance, has pretty damn high wages, yet somehow each store is more profitable than Walmart. Part of that may be because the CEO has a pretty small salary considering the net revenue of his company. Of course, larger companies can operate on slimmer margins and make it up on volume, and if buying in bulk from their distributor makes their costs low enough, they can sell to consumers at lower prices than smaller businesses can buy from distributors and still make a profit.

There is plenty of irony there in that there is a snowball effect that reduces competition. And as smaller businesses get increasingly steamrolled, unemployment rises. Since most of the jobs are created by small businesses, it’s easy to see how this can be a problem, though it takes a bit of objectivity to see how Capitalism is it’s own worst enemy here. The solution is regulation.

Of course, government regulation tends to be ham-fisted at best, so it’s a problem that would be solved in a more efficient manner if the business community self-regulated. But they won’t. In fact, even implying that they should is considered Socialism, Communism, Satanism, and hating America by many; enough to cause voters to put some real characters in high office.

In theory, there is no problem with a CEO earning a percentage of their company’s profits. In practice, there are problems. With so many companies recording record profits, why do we have stuff like this happening? And if letting the rich have more money was supposed to create jobs, why does unemployment still even exist in light of the fact that 90% of our rather substantial economic gains have gone to those who were already at the top of the income scales?

The root problem is that some things don’t scale. For instance, Democracy works in small groups, but once the group reaches a certain size, it’s too cumbersome and must yield to some form of representative government. Note that we have 535 people in Congress instead of 206,072,000 (That’s how many eligible voters there are in the US as of 4/15/15). The economy is similar in that once it reaches a certain size, you must do things differently. However, we still do things the way we always have.

Another thing I find ironic is that those who call for running government like a business will gladly cut costs now even if it means paying FAR more later. But it’s better to pay poverty wages and have people on food stamps at taxpayer expense than to have big businesses pay their own bills, just as it’s better to trample small business and put more people on unemployment than to regulate large corporations in ways that force their CEOs to live on mere 7-figure compensation packages.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Super excellent post @jerv , really going to be interesting if any of our Rep/con friends defend any of that.

josie's avatar

@jerv
Government is there to fix things that society can’t (or won’t) fix themselves.
Government is separate from society?
Capricious assertion.
Nothing in the establishment of the American civilization supports that.
Assuming you are an American…
Where does that come from?
Who says so?

jerv's avatar

@josie Perhaps you could enlighten us on the role of government then? Why is it that we have a system other than anarchy?

In theory, the actions of government are driven by the will of society insofar as we vote for officials we feel will make laws and enact policies that reflect the sort of society want.

That is theory. Reality is different… though it seems that that fact is lost on many people.

In practice, government makes laws that are often not what society wants or needs. The fact that they even have the ability to make laws while the vast majority of citizens hold no office to give us that authority separates government from society. The fact that they don’t always do what’s best or what we want proves that they act with some degree of independence from society.

Now, can you look me in the eye and tell me with a straight face that everything government does is either in accordance with the will of the majority of the citizens or for the betterment/protection of society? Are you claiming that not once in the history of humanity has government (or even a single elected official) had an agenda other than altruism and/or patriotism? If you can’t tell me that, or are not making that claim, then you and I actually agree more than you think.

Oh, and it comes from living as a being with the ability to observe, to remember what I observe, and to draw conclusions based on observations both past and present. And I’m saying it. Me, an American citizen with a constitutional right to freely voice my thoughts.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with what @jerv is saying, I’d contribute more but I am sick right now and have little energy to organize my thoughts. I will say that lets not forget that many people that end up on food stamps or medical aide have been taxpayers for years as well. This recession wiped out tons of people, many in their middle age and nearing retirement, like myself. There are PhDs on food stamps right now and people that have been canned within hours of being fully vested in their companies retirement and prophet sharing. Finding decent work after age 50 is very difficult even if you have advanced degrees and many years of experience

People that need to take advantage of government programs they have paid into for years and years themselves are not getting handouts, they are getting back what they already put in.
Also, from someone who once looked into food stamps only to find that I qualified for something pathetic like $51 a month…well, you can take your food stamps and shove them. haha

stanleybmanly's avatar

Our problem lies in defining the truth of this issue. From my viewpoint, if you are working a full time job, and are yet eligible for food stamps, it is YOUR employer who is being subsidized. After all, when you think about it, the pool of available noneating workers is pretty much negligible. There is a much less than subtle necessity in this country to associate poverty with defects of character. Why? Well the answer is simple. It is essential that we lump those on the dole in with dope addicts and winos, otherwise unavoidable questions pop up with inescapable embarrassing answers. The solution is a system wherein the employer is in fact subsidized, while the employee is forced to run the very visible and degrading welfare gauntlet and wear the pejorative “freeloader” label in order to eat. It’s a handy way of deflecting the attention of stressed out taxpayers left with the delusion that it is the have nots who are taking money from their pockets

In the end, all the noise about the evils of public assistance, along with the never ending war over the minimum wage,........all of it is in reality a battle over ever diminishing crumbs. They’re distractions from the central issue. And the issue is this: It is clearly impossible to make a rational case that there isn’t enough to go around in the United States. So if in fact “it ain’t goin around”, the questions must arise: “where’s it goin and WHY” And here is where those who enjoy very much where IT’s going have the great advantage over the rest of us. For they have ALWAYS understood (unlike the vast majority of the rest of us) that it is the GOVERNMENT which decides where IT will go, as well as who will pay. This is why they have endeavored (with great success) to buy the government, and the results speak for themselves.

johnpowell's avatar

@stanleybmanly :: I was working 40+ hours a week at a movie theater and still made so little I got food stamps. And the company bitched and moaned when they raised the minimum wage.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The united states is now obviously an oligarchy. Getting into a pissing contest about gov’t and business is utterly pointless. The two serve each other. The only reason we peasants are allowed to have anything is that the act of giving us stuff makes someone else more wealthy.

johnpowell's avatar

And giving us just enough to not use the second amendment.

jerv's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Not quite. See, there are many, many, *MANY small business owners that are in the same predicament as us citizens. People who bust their ass the same way those of us who work for someone else do, with the only appreciable difference being that they sign their own paychecks just like the big boys. Government most definitely doesn’t serve them despite being “business”.
Now, if you want to separate businesses by size in order to differentiate the mom-and-pop convenience store from Walmart, that opens up a new can of worms that I would rather not take the lid off of.

You are correct insofar as this nation is an oligarchy that serves the wealthy though. The authors of the study that proves it also had some other interesting things to say

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@stanleybmanly It is clearly impossible to make a rational case that there isn’t enough to go around in the United States. So if in fact “it ain’t goin around”, the questions must arise: “where’s it goin and WHY” And here is where those who enjoy very much where IT’s going have the great advantage over the rest of us.
There is enough to go around in the US, we have so many multi-millionaires, and billionaires you can swing in any direction and hit a few, the trouble is they have it and they are hiding it, not dividing it. How they got it may have been by various reasons, they had it left to them, they were at the right place at the right time, they cheated their way to it, or their parents did and left them the spoils. I am sure 20 billion dollars could do a lot if flooded into the economy. Maybe it won’t fix it, but it will do much. The trouble with the rest of us (I am reprograming my thinking) is that the only way to make it is to be a wage slave and working for those we will complain are rooking us and robbing us blind. If you can’t beat them, join them, figure out how to get your millions than you won’t have to worry about how you will eat or if you can keep the cable bill paid. In the US there is an invisible ”cash ceiling”, once you break through it, your money starts making you more money, then you find yourself making more money while you are asleep than you can spend while you are awake.

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central That makes the assumption that there isn’t a paradigm shift, even one as slight as doing things how they do in the rest of the industrialized world. There is a difference between dumping billions/trillions into a flawed system and just revamping the entire system.

But you are entirely correct about the “cash ceiling” in the system we have now. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates gave away half their fortunes to philanthropy and are pretty much retired, yet their net worth still grows.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I’m not talking about the small businesses. They are but small blips on the radar, like peasants trading with each other. They don’t really have a say.

jerv's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Precisely so, yet given what percentage of the working class are employed by small businesses, I think it’s important to separate by scale. After all, government regulates both roughly the same, though the smaller ones tend to suffer from regulation as they don’t have the resources to dodge nearly as effectively.

This is one of those rare times I wish @Jaxk would chime in.

Coloma's avatar

@Hypocrisy Central
Really? Sooo, you mention inheritance of wealth, cheating, right place/right time but totally exclude attaining wealth through a good education, being bright, innovative, an entrepreneur or many other honest and morally sound ways to acquire wealth. Talk about biased!
Ass-uming that all wealthy people came into their wealth by dubious means and somehow “owe” the less fortunate is no better than assuming that all people receiving food stamps or other public aide are deadbeat, lazy boozers and druggies.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having wealth and nobody is obligated to share, though most do, in one way or another.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Coloma [… but totally exclude attaining wealth through a good education, being bright, innovative, an entrepreneur or many other honest and morally sound ways to acquire wealth…]
I include right place, right time, to those who created or invented something that made them wealthy, like Mike Zuckerberg and Facebook. Being bright, and highly educated is fine, but if you are working in a situation where someone else controls your lateral mobility, you would have a very hard time being wealthy unless you created it apart from your job (J ust O ver B roke endeavor).

Ass-uming that all wealthy people came into their wealth by dubious means and somehow “owe” the less fortunate is no better than assuming that all people receiving food stamps or other public aide are deadbeat, lazy boozers and druggies.
Actually my position is opposite that. I think what they should teach in school is how to create wealth, not slave a way in some job. I believe those who for whatever reason should be retrained, retooled to create an income if they don’t want to work for anyone else. If they do not want to learn to do that and want to grift, leech, or mooch off society and those who have put in the effort to obtain a decent income or wealth.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having wealth and nobody is obligated to share, though most do, in one way or another.
In my belief it is not wrong to have stuff, wealth, but it is a requirement to help the needy, not those who are foolish with money and always broke, or lazy and don’t want to work, that some people always mistake as needy when they are really just broke.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Hypocrisy Central Therein lies the problem. I’m pretty cynical, but I really believe that the vast majority of people are fundamentally decent. And this is the exact reason it is NECESSARY that the needy be characterized as craven defectives of questionable morals, while the rich are deemed virtuous and pious. The inequities associated with our society are maintained and encouraged through powerful myths drummed into us from birth. Of course there are decent ethical rich folks, as well as criminally indecent poor people. While we are intellectually capable of distinguishing that not every soul with food stamps is shiftless and lazy, it takes real effort and vigilance to remind ourselves of the ACTUAL realities, as the demographic best equipped to shape and perpetrate those myths relentlessly defines reality in the furtherance of its goals.

cheebdragon's avatar

Maybe we should just cap the amount of wealth any one person is allowed to aquire. No one needs more than 1 billion, if you can’t live off 1 billion, you are a shitty person and you should probably be forced to die, Bill gates can go first.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Better yet to shift the onus of shame and revulsion where it belongs. To satisfy the perpetual lament of conservatives that the government can no longer afford to feed the working poor, require employers to issue food stamps to underpaid workers.

Afos22's avatar

I would blame the average ignorant American consumer that buys from a company regardless of what that company pays their employees. You want people to earn a living wage? Reward companies that pay well, by doing business with those companies, and the rest will follow. It doesn’t make financial sense for these companies to pay their employees pennies unless it effects their bottom line. Watch where your money goes. If you support low wage companies, you’re part of the problem.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Afos22 I think that is very true to a point, does a low wage earner trying to eak out a living really have a choice as to which company to support?

jerv's avatar

@Afos22 Choice is a luxury that only those with wealth have.

If you had $5 for lunch money, would you buy the McDonald’s meal deal, or the $8 burger from the locally-owned burger joint? If it were as you say, tell me which of your bills you left unpaid to come up with that extra $3.

Afos22's avatar

@jerv let’s not deal with hypotheticals here. There is more choice than that. Bring your lunch.

jerv's avatar

@Afos22 Are you incapable of understanding analogies?

sigh

Well, since I am bored, I may as well humor your literalist nature and give you more concrete examples, like a more detailed representation of the stuff I see every day and have seen for most of my life, both first-hand and otherwise.

Suppose that housing costs are such that, after rent and utilities, you have $400/month left over. That’s not unreasonable in an urban area or places like the Northeast with high utility costs. In fact, median rents in many places are $1,200 or higher. Those places with cheaper rents tend to have lower-paying jobs while those with higher minimum wages tend to be that way due to high cost of living. But read this article before spouting nonsense like renting a room or splitting costs with a roommate or anything like that; assume that $400 is after any such bill-splitting.

Sure, you can save some money by getting a place in a bad neighborhood, but I kind of like being able to sleep with a fair degree of certainty that I won’t get robbed in the middle of the night. I am lucky enough to be a tradesman that earns enough to afford the luxury of living in a neighborhood where not only do the police actually respond to 911 calls, but I can leave my bike locked up outside and still have it be there in the morning.

Now, you live 10–25 miles from work and just plain cannot get a job closer to home or find an affordable place closer to work (fairly average). Do you take the bus at $3.50/trip, or pony up for a car with mandatory insurance (call it $100/month for the minimum legal coverage) and $3/gallon gas? Or do you just walk for hours, even in the snow? Again, not hypothetical; I personally know a few HUNDRED people who have that sort of commute, and I only know a very small percentage of Americans. I also know how to find statistics.

Okay, what’s left of that $400 is what you have to eat on for the month. Unless you need something medical; doctors visits and medication also come out of that $400. So does replacing clothes that is too worn out to wear.

You want a better job? You have plenty of money left over to further your education, and plenty of time to take classes!

Oh, and that assumes a two-income household, so unless you’re working two full-time jobs, your food budget is going to have to be a little higher than if you were solo, and your other expenditures will likewise be larger. In many places, the only way to support two people on one income is if that one income is at least double the federal minimum wage, and its rough on even triple that.

So tell me, @Afos22, what do you do when you cut costs to the minimum and still can’t make ends meet? How many times have you gone without food because it was -20F and you spent your grocery money on propane? How often have you called in sick because you couldn’t afford the gas to get to work? Have you ever actually been homeless?

Afos22's avatar

Doesn’t matter. How ever you come up with your money to spend, you still have a choice on what to spend it on and where, if you’re in a populous location.

jerv's avatar

@Afos22 Technically true. And if a pack of wolves chases you to the edge of a cliff, you could jump to your death to avoid being eaten.

Some people have weird ideas about the definition of “choice”... and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they all seem to be Conservatives.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@jerv If it were as you say, tell me which of your bills you left unpaid to come up with that extra $3.
What about that person coming up with an extra $6 dollars by creating a way to earn off a talent or skill they have? With the Internet, it doesn’t take too much to enter the open market If they have a knack for knitting, let’s say, they can knit sweaters for rat-dogs and sell them online through various vehicles.

Afos22's avatar

@jerv I heard you like straw men, so I put a straw man on your straw man, so that you can straw man while you straw man. There is not just one place that you have to buy commodities from, in America. Stop making analogies. This is about choosing companies. Where do you shop?

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central If it were that easy, then we’d all be wealthy. Apparently you have optimistic delusions about the success rate and ROI of such ventures. It takes only slightly more time to be undercut unless you buck the odds.
It takes a sizable up-front investment, and those who spent their grocery money to pay rent aren’t about to buy yarn. Such things may work for those who are merely slightly struggling, but as someone

@Afos22 Well, I really don’t have much else to say about finances other than things that involve both the earning and the spending of money. Since you consider income and expenses “Straw men” when discussing personal finances, I’m not sure anyone has anything they can add.

You are correct that we have choices though. We could live on the street so we could shop at Trader Joe’s instead of Super Walmart. We could live in the dark and cold so that we could afford to shop locally instead of at someplace that buys in bulk enough that they can charge less than the mom-and-pop store.

As for where I shop, that depends on where I CAN shop. My preference is to shop at local businesses, and I am usually in a position where I can afford to do so. However, that isn’t always the case, and for at least one-third of Americans, it never was an option; necessity forces them to go solely by price.

You can probably afford to shop at nicer places than most people because you live with your father and thus have far lower expenses than independent adults. Imagine if your dad wasn’t there for you and you had to put a roof over your head on what you make now though. Where would you shop then?

* * * * * *

One thing I noticed about both of you that is a common trend is a total lack of comprehension that reality does not always align with your theories on how the world works. Do you realize that it’s possible to do everything right, work hard, and still not get wealthy? Or that many people have unplanned things that knock them from financial security to destitution almost instantly?

I take it that both of you are in 100% perfect health, always will be, and will never have any sort of accident, nor will you ever have an employer go under and lay you off, and if you do, you will have another job within 48 hours that pays at least as much. You always have and always will live perfect lives, free from major problems beyond your personal control; EVERYTHING is a choice.

Afos22's avatar

@jerv that was inappropriate. Do not get personal. Beyond that, I don’t have any idea how you assume so much and want your arguments to be taken seriously. Good luck with that, and please stay within the expected decorum of this forum.

jerv's avatar

@Afos22 ” I don’t have any idea how you assume so much and want your arguments to be taken seriously.”

I make those assumptions based on the fact that you have the opinions you do. Those who have ever had something bad happen to them like an illness, accident, or no-fault long-term unemployment know how hard it is to survive without a handout at some point in your adult life, whether from family or from the government. Since you think it is so easy, then the only logical conclusions are that either you live an impossibly charmed life, or that you are a hypocrite who takes handouts then belittles others for taking handouts. I felt the latter (calling you a hypocrite) was more of an insult than the former (assuming you were very lucky) and chose the nicer of the two options.

How you expect people to be accountable for their actions (as evidenced by your “everything is a choice!” argument) without yourself being accountable for your own actions and still be taken seriously is beyond me. Your “yo dawg/straw man” comment was an attack, so it appears that you aren’t the greatest at practicing what you preach, which does harm to your own credibility.

I will be more than happy to maintain decorum so long as you do. So long as you don’t continue to call my life and the lives of many millions of others impossible, irrelevant, or otherwise insult those who don’t have the luxuries that wealth affords, like the ability to choose where you shop, or pay every living expense that comes along. So long as you actually acknowledge that not all lives are like your’s. But I just can’t respect those I feel are disrespectful to me.

@Hypocrisy_Central It seems part of my response to you got cut off.

Anyways, I was saying that I know quite a few people who do do that sort of stuff to the best of their ability and their luck, and most as a side job that barely breaks even. In most cases, it doesn’t pay off.

The flipside of the internet is that you can usually find at least 12 other people (and likely far more) doing the same thing; open markets are competitive, and there is no guarantee of success.

Now, if you are in a position where such a thing is required in order to make ends meet, are you really is a position to gamble? I know that when I’ve been hard up, I tended to buy lentils and rice rather than lottery tickets.

Fortunately for me, I do have a skill that employers are willing to pay decent money for, and that is in relatively high demand. But part of the reason that it pays so well is that it’s hard to find people who are even able to learn to do it, and even harder to find people who actually do learn it. There are a ton of people out there that are not so lucky. Are they any less deserving of basic food, shelter, and medicine? Sure, they many not deserve filet mignon, mansions, and nose jobs, but they don’t deserve to sicken and/or starve in the streets.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Let me try and put this in the simplest terms, and lets do this with food(Just for an example)
Your a minimum wage earner and you need to buy some food are you going to go to wal-mart and get what you need for $20, or the Mom and pop food store and get what you need for $35?
I don’t think that is even a choice when you have to really account for every penny??
Now if these minimum wage earners are all of a sudden making a living wage instead of minimum wage going to the Mom and Pop food store then and only then might become a choice.

Afos22's avatar

@jerv My opinion here is that the majority of Americans do have choice in the places that they shop, and can influence companies that pay their employees very little. You haven’t changed my opinion on that. But you have changed my opinion of you.

cheebdragon's avatar

What exactly is the living wage though? A living wage for a single man living in a house with a roomate? it would be a lot easier for him to live on minimum wage than a family of five, correct? So what factors decide the living wage?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

In my opinion it would be based on the area that you live,and what to base that on???
I don’t really know,but some one living single or someone supporting a family of five right now makes no difference on minimum wage..
Personally someone living in downtown LA would have to have a higher living wage than say someone from Dirt city Alabama.

cheebdragon's avatar

Minimum wage is different in most states because it does reflect the cost of living. Why should an employer have to pay more just because you decided to have a family?

jerv's avatar

@Afos22 Enough lack that choice for companies like Walmart to still thrive though, and part of how they manage to stay around is through practices that cause smaller businesses to go under, thus reducing choice for all.

I know I cannot change your opinion on this issue though, as you are a hardcore fiscal conservative. You have however changed my opinion of you and of those who share your opinion; I no longer consider you capable of seeing beyond your dogma well enough to allow reality to deter you from clinging to fantasy and theories.

jerv's avatar

And location does make a huge difference in cost of living, but I don’t think we should give much financial incentive to becoming a professional baby factory either. If nothing else, it discriminates against the childless, whether that’s lack of children is by choice or for medical reasons.

Afos22's avatar

@jerv Keep it up. Keep arguing ad hominim. My stance is true. Also I haven’t expressed an opinion on rising the minimum wage. I merely added another dimension to this discussion. My stance is independent of any political label; It’s just an assertion, that american consumers, in general, don’t pay attention to the consequences of their purchasing habits.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@jerv If it were that easy, then we’d all be wealthy.
I never said everyone who did it would be wealthy, just showing how instead of skipping a bill to divert that extra $3 they can use the power of the Internet and their entrepreneur juices to create a way to augment their wage slave work, so they can go to a movie, eat a better hamburger, or heaven forbid, buy a new pair of shoes.

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central You realize that you are totally arguing against paying executives more than burger flippers, right? I mean, starting and/or running a business is a skill, and either it’s uncommon enough that most people can’t do it, or it’s common enough that it’s worth about the same as working a fryolator.

I could be wrong, of course. Maybe income really is unrelated to the relative rarity of skill. Maybe college degrees are worthless despite all statistics indicating otherwise because the don’t give any marketable skills that you can’t get with a 9th-grade education.

Of course, there are a few people out there who truly are lazy, and do mooch off the system. What you fail to realize is that the majority are not lazy. They may lack skill, they may lack other insight, but it’s not always by choice. That is why I disagree with the theories and hypotheticals that you come up with. Trust me, those that can pull it off are a step ahead of you; they’re already looking for ways to supplement their income as you suggest.

Oh, and if you haven’t done so already, check your messages.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@jerv You realize that you are totally arguing against paying executives more than burger flippers, right?
Not particularly, I see private business as different from a corporation, even if it is grand in size. In a corporation setting I would say some executives have value because of their college learned attributes. In a private business, especially the large ones, the ideal is to control what happens, not doing it hands-on. In a private business if you can hire competent people, then you just have to be able to handle them, they do all the heavy lifting.

Of course, there are a few people out there who truly are lazy, and do mooch off the system.
If the system offered more, greater numbers would be mooching. Greed keeps them off of it as they can’t get the toys and gadgets they crave on as fixed income. Others would rather have nothing or close to nothing so long as thery do not have to work for this near nothingness.

Yes, I read the email, and responded

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Yes, but it still requires a particular skillset that not all people have. In fact, many don’t.

Even if you run a truly small business, you still have to have a knack for wading through the paperwork full of legalese and fine print required to run your own gig, in addition to actually doing it. And larger businesses require a separate set of skills related to leadership such as delegation. Granted, those who run larger businesses don’t necessarily have to be hands-on, but all of the successful ones I know and know of have the skills that they could be hands-on if they needed to be.

If one is happy living a spartan existence, I don’t see that as an excuse to allow people to drop below UDHR guidelines. So long as they have the bare minimum, I am content. Article 25, section 1 reads;

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. ”

I don’t think that’s particularly onerous. However, Article 23, Section 1 allows them a chance at exceeding that if they have the ambition to do so:

“Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. ”

I think it safe to assume that most people do want more than near nothingness though. I don’t know anyone who is happy sitting in a grey room eating gruel.That is why many people try to get skills to get better paying jobs. But there are a few obstacles there that are getting increasingly difficult to overcome as time goes on and the situation continues to decline.

One problem is that there are those who honestly try to get off the dole out of pride and can’t because trading a welfare check for a paycheck would disqualify them for any aid (the cutoffs are often based on the cost of living as of 15–40 years ago) and thus lead to either an income drop that would leave them homeless and starving or a person actively held in the system.

So long as there are jobs that pay little enough where that is even possible, we have a flawed system. But since business won’t fix it, the government must, as a flawed system like that is an affront to decency that cannot be allowed to continue without at least attempting to right it. I think that the fact that government hasn’t managed to yet despite doing what it can is proof that we aren’t going to solve anything unless business budges.

Of course, there is no incentive for them to move a muscle so long as they can find the right loopholes to use US taxpayer money to cover their overhead costs, possibly by shipping money overseas to where cost of living is lower and thus allows them to cut payroll expenses considerably.

But how do you end that without regulating business at all levels? Anything you do to try solving that issue will affect the little guys (like the ones trying to supplement their income with an internet business as you suggest) too, often harder, and many times missing the intended target of regulation anyways.

I don’t have all the answers here. I don’t think anyone does. But what I do know is that it can’t continue, that the solution involves (in part) changing how business does business, and that it’s better to do things that have historically helped in the past than to take things that have worsened the problem and give them steroids and PCP.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

since business won’t fix it, the government must,<<< I think this little statement from @jerv‘s post is sad but very true.
A living wage is a must for the low end earners, anyone working full time should not have, to have Governments help at the end of the week to put food on their table.
Private business has proven in the past that if they could get away with paying $1 an hour regardless of what the cost of living is they most definitely would, and very little safety rules.
These items do need Government regulating because companies would most definitely exploit their employees if they had half a chance, a minimum wage that one can’t live off of proves just that.

jerv's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Not universally true though, and that’s where we veer from clear-cut answers into grey areas. Some employers try to do the right thing but honestly can’t unless they want to go under and add to unemployment. Still, I feel those employers should speak out more against their less ethical brethren… and some are. Just not enough to solve this problem without government intervention anyways.

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