03/15/2014 at 2:08 pm #62121
A few thoughts:
I have in fact lived on a minimum wage. They were hungry years. I lived in a small room with no kitchen and a mini-fridge. I took home stuff from Wendy’s they were going to throw out anyways or well, sometimes I swiped the frozen chicken because I got very little protein. I had only a toaster oven to cook with until I eventually saved my money to buy an electric skillet. Remember, many of these min wage jobs have “flexible hours.” That always means sporadic, random hours. This week maybe I get 40 hours, but next week when I really need money to pay deposits on my new place, I am working 6 days a week, but 15 hours total.
I have also lived on $10/hr (actually 9.85, but close enough). It was around 10 years ago and in a cheaper area than Seattle. It had finally gotten down to the point where it was a huge victory to find any place (in a not TOO crimey area) where I could live without a roommate. In order to do it, I moved into a basement studio with the bathroom down an unheated concrete hallway that I shared with another resident. The shower was an adapted hose and head that hung off of a coathanger from a pipe. I had to listen very carefully to the water pressure while bathing because there was one really cranked up hot water heater for the 8 unit building. When someone turned on a faucet (or washer), the water would either become icey or literally scalding. I can tolerate VERY hot water, but not scalding. I mention this to drive the point home what $10/hr gets you a decade ago and before the housing prices went through the roof in Portland. I am not complaining – the utilities were included in the rent and frankly, I loved that place even though other people called it a “hole” or “living on the edge” (I now understand they meant the edge of poverty, but I was so happy there). It had a gas stove (the oven would just barely accommodate a 14″ pizza pan, but I had an oven!), pretty big windows (that opened!) for a basement unit and the pipes that ran through the place were perfect for hanging all my computer cords on.03/15/2014 at 5:02 pm #62124
The key there is “lived” Phoo. I’m talking about the here and now.03/15/2014 at 5:45 pm #62125
Does that mean I’m disqualified from weighing in on the conversation because I merely remember what it was like to be poor because I now live on what the proposed min wage is? Being able to eat now does not mean I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be hungry. I will certainly never forget that shower.03/15/2014 at 6:10 pm #62126
Of course not. When I commented earlier, my main point was that people can’t live on minimum wage today. My previous comment was ridiculous, because obviously plenty of us did it without having to live at home.
It’s just strange that certain people here seem to think that raising the minimum wage is a bad idea. Jonathan said it better than I ever could. If you are prepared to strip your life down to basically nothing, you are good to go. Sort of.03/15/2014 at 6:18 pm #62127
Ah, I see. I think my second point still stands then. 9.85 was well above minimum wage 10 years ago and I had to strip my life down considerably to accommodate it without having a roommate. It stands to reason that after ten years of inflated living costs and in a more expensive market, living on that same wage even in the same manner (since I did eat and have spending money in that place, but no car) would be nigh on impossible.03/16/2014 at 11:38 pm #62135
Sounds like they are now proposing a three year phase-in for small businesses and non-profits but not large business. I can understand why they are proposing it but it does seem that having a two tier minimum wage is somewhat self-defeating.
http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/kshama-sawant-proposes-small-businesses-phase-high/nfDqX/03/17/2014 at 6:30 am #62140
They kind of need to define “big” and “small”, like which category does a Subway franchise fall into?
The Devil is in the details…03/18/2014 at 3:09 pm #62287
We were sold the bill of goods called “Trickle Down/Supply Side” 30 years ago. Sadly, raising the minimum wage is more contraversial.
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