Monday, June 26, 2006

What's a living wage in the States?

Thought I'd start out my blog today, with a great quote by one of the most important "Fathers of America."
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. - Thomas Jefferson

Man... What the hell's HAPPENED to my country? Shite.

Anyhoo... Hello kind and gentle readers. I hope you're all doing well. I am. Finally. Better. I finished off the last of the antibiotics yesterday, although they're meant to "linger" or something for yet another five days. However, I haven't had a fever since "day two" of the course of antibiotics, and although I still have a bit of a cough and runny nose, I'm definitely feeling better. That... And My Lady has let me return to the marital bed! Yep... I am not relegated to the couch anymore due to me being: "Too hot, too snore-y, too snotty, and too bloody annoying" to sleep with.


Okay, so... What's up in the world today that has raised my ire? The fact that the Senate of my great and wonderful country has decided to maintain the $5.15 per hour minimum wage for the ninth year in a row. This comes up in the Senate basically every year, and... It's stuck at a very, very... Low number. How low, you ask? Okay... Let's do a bit of maths, hmm???

$5.15 per hour X 40 hours per week (usual full-time schedule in the States) = $206.00 per week.
$206.00 per week X 52 weeks (the space of a year) = $10,712 per year BEFORE taxes.
Basic tax rate approx. 1/3 of your income if you claim "Zero exemptions"... $10,712/3= $3570.67
$10,712 - $3570.67 = $7142.00 per year "take home" money.


$7142.00/12 months = $595.16 per month
Basic one bedroom apartment rate in Minneapolis = $750.00 per month


Get it?

Yeah? Really? Are you seeing my point here? If you work FORTY HOURS A WEEK at what is usually a pretty crap job, you don't make enough money to have a PLACE TO LIVE! Let alone buy FOOD, buy CLOTHING, Pay UTILITIES... Nothing.

You get under $600 a month, and that's it.

People wonder why there are "So many homeless, starving people in the 'richest country in the world'" and... They don't get upset that the government doesn't see it necessary to actually supply a LIVING WAGE to it's workers.

Okay... So, here's what I'm going to do... Do you want to know what a "Liveable wage" is in the Twin Cities? Here you go:
A "single" person living in a single one-bedroom flat in Minneapolis, living "frugally" PER month:

Cheap Flat in shit neighbourhood = $595.00
Food and beverage costs = $300.00
Bus/train transportation = $80.00
Utilities (water, gas, etc) = $150.00
Fun (one night per week at pub) = $120.00
Credit card bill (we all got 'em) = $50.00
Misc. Expenses = $80.00

Total? = $1375.00 per month

Salary needed for year = $17,875 take home
Before Taxes = $26,812
Hourly wage? = $12.89 per hour

So... There you go. To live "cheaply" where I live, one must make at LEAST $12.89 an hour.

What is the most I've made in my temp jobs, since being home? $12.00 an hour. Meaning that I wouldn't be able to "live" in the Twin Cities without some sort of monetary assistance. The budget above, does NOT take into account MY STUDENT LOANS or a CAR... Both of which I have... Making my "hourly wage needs" quite a bit higher than $13.00 per hour. So...

My government has decided that the minimum wage of $5.15 per hour should stand.

Kinda makes ya think, doesn't it?

-- Tuckmac