Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Some Food for Thought on This Morning After Labor Day

VIA Altercation: Here's a letter to the editor from this morning's New York Times discussing what the bare minimum to achieve the "American Dream" actually costs today’s economy. Note the person who wrote the letter lives in Wisconsin. Now image what that cost is for a person living here in San Diego.

To the Editor:

Yesterday I was offered a tech-support job for a publicly traded company. It pays a paltry $9 to $10 an hour. When I squawked that this is not a livable wage, I was hesitantly offered $11.75.

There are no benefits, other than the fact that this is a “great company” and would look “good on my résumé.” Oh, did I forget to mention a company picnic each summer?

I added up the cost of the two-hour-a-day commute, a mortgage on an average home, health insurance that kicks in only if I am at death’s door, home and auto insurance and utilities. The break-even point was $10.35 an hour. Take into account laundry, groceries, clothing and other basic expenses and I am working at a deficit. No more movies, concerts, sporting events, family or friends because I simply cannot afford them.

Why are some in this prosperous nation of ours so challenged when it comes to comprehending something as simple as paying workers a livable wage? Pay workers sufficiently and they will be loyal and dependable. Stiff them with low wages and they immediately begin to look for something better. Workers are this nation’s greatest asset.

Or is this all a ploy to hold workers hostage between their low-pay jobs and debt so they don’t interfere with the lifestyles of those who have more?

Charles McEniry Stoughton, Wis., Aug. 29, 2007 [Link]


Anonymous said...

Would you like cheese with that whine? Maybe if you had more experience or training you would be able to get a better paying job. But know you're prbably one of those whiny Liberals that bemoan the fact that you didn't a starting salary of 100,000 a year instead of 35,000 that you should be getting. You sometimes you gotta sacrifice to make it and nothing is handed to you on a silver platter. But that's the type of thinking that Liberals want so they can debase our country and weaken it into a nation of welfare queens and lazy slackers just wanting hand outs...

Anonymous said...

I think there is more to this letter concerning a livable wage. It's not about demanding what one thinks he/she is worth, it's about earning enough to pay rent, buy groceries, make car or transportation payments, provide for healthcare, etc.

Granted entry level jobs pay less, this does not mean the "less" cannot support basic human needs.

Liberal and conservative are overused and misused words. It's about being human and treating others as we would want ourselves treated.