Sunday, June 10, 2012

living wages

In the course of discussion people say things that don't really make sense. This happened today in a discussion I was having about wages with a business owner.  His comment to me was minimum wage is not a living wage and it is not meant to be.  What does this mean?

He was correct with one part of his statement, minimum wage is far from a livable wage.  It is impossible for two people to work a 40 hour week at $7.25/hr and be able to even consider raising a family. Between the two they would bring home less than $600 a week, and that is before figuring in taxes.  Check out this graphic below and decide for yourself.

The part that confused me though was the comment that it's not supposed to be a living wage.  I guess what he meant was someone is supposed to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.  To which I got no reply.

The conversation then turned to vocations and trades and training people to work jobs that pay more than minimum wage.  This sounds good in theory, but business owners aren't as willing to train people for jobs as they had been in the past.  One comment I've heard from an owner of a logging operation is, "why should I invest time training an employee so they can leave and take the skills to another job?"  If you treat that employee with respect and dignity they will be more likely to stay with an employer.

Hell what do I know though I'm just a poor working slob who works three jobs 7 days a week to make my ends meet.