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unsinkable

Unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled labor

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The idea that millions of people — people who are working 40-60 hours a week, not lying around doing nothing — should be forced to live in abject poverty, go hungry, and forgo needed medications and medical care, so that businesses don't have to cut their profit margin, is a concept I have a hard time wrapping my head around. If the only way a business owner can earn a comfortable living is by exploiting the labor of people living in poverty, then maybe that businessman is the one who needs to "find a better job," not the poor guy who's working for $7.25/hr and depending a food pantry to feed his kids.

 

Edited by Corraleno
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10 hours ago, unsinkable said:

IMO, Insisting that unskilled labor is really skilled labor diminishes those who do unskilled labor...And shows an unacknowledged prejudice AGAINST unskilled labor, bc it seems  that the language has to be changed to make the job *more important.* 

Being a housekeeper is *enough.* Being an unskilled laborer is *enough.* Someone's humanity makes her worthy and enough, not the type of labor she provides.

Right. There’s “skilled” by industry definition, which is pretty much a firm concept, and then there’s “skilled” by individual opinion, which doesn’t really matter in the context of industry/economic conversation.

I consider myself pretty well-educated, especially in certain areas. I don’t label myself a highly educated person because I do not have a college degree.  In the context of formal education, my feelings about what I know, and even what I actually do know separate from my feelings, are irrelevant when categorizing me for an official position.

My dh has experience with using temporary labor companies, almost always in the category of “unskilled labor”.  There were always some who did much better than others, and those individuals would be requested for subsequent projects. Colloquially, you could say they were more skilled in what they were doing than the people who weren’t called back, but the work itself required no training at all. Considering that dh started out as one of those temp laborers, with zero experience or training in that area, I don’t have anything against the term “unskilled”. It’s a categorization that, in context, serves a purpose. It sure as heck didn’t mean he was a lesser person.

(P.S. He did make more money than he would have with his college degree.)

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I understand the rationale for saying unskilled labor is labor that doesn't require professional training.  But, I'm not really sure that's true of many jobs.  I think about in the olden days and apprenticeships.  Housekeepers/ house cleaners were definitely apprenticed and trained by others.  I think to be a really good house cleaner, it IS a skilled profession.  I'm TERRIBLE at it.  Honestly, I didn't even know one was supposed to clean baseboards until I came here, in my 30's.  Obviously, we have all survived.  But to be GOOD at most jobs (house cleaner, lawn care, etc.) there's an element of training that could be considerable.  It might not be formal education, like training to be a lawyer or a doctor is, but it's still real.  You can certainly have "good enough" work that is unskilled (teen who mows the lawn but doesn't do any trimming or maintain bushes or the like, someone who deals with their own traffic ticket, people like me who are like, "Eh, the house is clean enough that probably nobody will die today," even some homeschoolers, Walmart greeter vs high end hospitality worker at fancy hotel).  But that doesn't mean that the job itself is inherently unskilled.  It just might not be formal.  But, that's my way of thinking through it.

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14 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

 

As to the concept of "a living wage."  I actually DON'T think that every single job should be paying a living wage.  I don't believe that every single job out there should be meant for people to live off of.  I am a SAHM.  And while I understand that is a privilege , it's one that DH and I spent many hard years working towards.  And if I go back to work, it's not because I need to, it's to supplement our family's income.  I shouldn't have to go through all the rigamarole of a full time living wage position just to earn a little bit of money to save for a family vacation.  A college freshman who's parents are paying for school shouldn't have to either.  Neither should a retiree who just wants to get out of the house and maybe get paid for doing it.  There is a whole segment of the population that doesn't NEED a living wage, that only needs supplemental income and I don't think it's wrong that there are jobs and pay grades at that supplemental level.   My grandfather is NINTY ONE.  He's not able to do a whole lot anymore, but he can still drive, and do tasks that don't require a lot of physical labor.  He was an electrical engineer for years and saved responsibly through his entire career so when it came time to retire, he had plenty of retirement savings.  He doesn't NEED to work, and can't do a lot of work, but he wants to do SOMETHING.  So he does.  And I don't think it's wrong for him to get paid a little bit for that, even if it's not "a living wage."  

He can volunteer if he doesn't need the money. you can work fewer hours if you don't need more money than that. 

11 hours ago, Junie said:

 

My dd16 works at a clothing store and makes $9/hr. 

Yes, teens often work at a clothing store, or at a fast food place, and those examples are given as to why those jobs don't need to pay a living wage. Except....those places are open when high school students are at school, right? So, no, the majority of people working there are NOT teens in high school, the majority of the work day those teens are at school, and actual adults with bills are working those jobs. If fast food or retail jobs were just "high school" jobs the places would be closed during high school hours. 

9 hours ago, TechWife said:

 

The people that are currently making $15 an hour can also get a raise when minimum wage is increased to $15/hr. if their position/experience/performance/etc. calls for it. There is no "ceiling" on wages, so nothing preventing companies from raising wages overall.

 

Exactly. When I worked at a library as a teen, way back when, I made, after my first raise, more than minimum wage. But when minimum wage was increased we all got a raise. 

8 hours ago, Junie said:

I don't know what the economy is like in other areas.  I only know what it is like where I live.  There are many jobs currently available in my local area.  And many fast food/retail jobs are held by teenagers.  Ds18 is currently looking for a second job to supplement his college fund. 

I lived in poverty for a few years after graduation until I got married.  I have some idea of what it is like, although I did not live in poverty with children.  If I hadn't gotten married I would have had to find a different job that did pay more, even if it meant relocating.

 

See above regarding the idea that fast food jobs and such are teen jobs. As for relocating, how does a person in poverty DO that?Moving costs money! 

7 hours ago, Corraleno said:

 If the only way a business owner can earn a comfortable living is by exploiting the labor of people living in poverty, then maybe that businessman is the one who needs to "find a better job," not the poor guy who's working for $7.25/hr and depending a food pantry to feed his kids.

 

yes.

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8 hours ago, Corraleno said:

The idea that millions of people — people who are working 40-60 hours a week, not lying around doing nothing — should be forced to live in abject poverty, go hungry, and forgo needed medications and medical care, so that businesses don't have to cut their profit margin, is a concept I have a hard time wrapping my head around. If the only way a business owner can earn a comfortable living is by exploiting the labor of people living in poverty, then maybe that businessman is the one who needs to "find a better job," not the poor guy who's working for $7.25/hr and depending a food pantry to feed his kids.

 

It turns my stomach honestly.  Sure every person has a story and some are in poverty from poor management of resources and or addiction or mental illness....but there are plenty more who are doing the very best they can and still don't have a living standard of dignity.  

Disparity of income and living standards has bothered me since I was a very little girl. Like 7.  I asked my mom if all the food in the world was divided by all the people would everyone have enough to eat.  I still often think of that same concept.

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As to skilled and unskilled....sometime a person starts a job unskilled and becomes skilled.  And when hiring you often hire for the education or experience a person has.  Or both.  And when they have neither that is another entry level.  One would think that young people could be hired on as  unskilled for many jobs and work their way up to skilled.  I am always sad when I see a 50 year old woman delivering food to my car at Sonic.  And most people can't keep doing physical jobs like housekeeping forever.  Heck I am only 54 and I can tell it is MUCH more difficult to clean my house now than it used to be.  So individuals should think that through and have a long term plan as to how they can keep supporting themselves as they age.  

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8 hours ago, Corraleno said:

The idea that millions of people — people who are working 40-60 hours a week, not lying around doing nothing — should be forced to live in abject poverty, go hungry, and forgo needed medications and medical care, so that businesses don't have to cut their profit margin, is a concept I have a hard time wrapping my head around. If the only way a business owner can earn a comfortable living is by exploiting the labor of people living in poverty, then maybe that businessman is the one who needs to "find a better job," not the poor guy who's working for $7.25/hr and depending a food pantry to feed his kids.

 

 

I'm not seeing that its all business that is responsible. I"m seeing a lot of taxation which is brought in by public employee unions and illegal housing conditions.  I"m looking to rent out my house while I travel, but I"m finding the rent will have to be too high for everyone that isn't a public employee or a couple w/both working more than min wage.  That is solely because of the property tax, which is currently running 6% of the average income in the state.  That's $500 per month on a 75-100 year old home on a 0.1 acre lot.  That money is mostly going to pensions for public employees.  The dc here don't even have a full schedule at the school, because they can't afford enough teachers....and that's with 45 in nonremedial high school classes. I"m also seeing a lot of homes with one family per bedroom -- and the school tax on that house is not enough to support 9 children.  Then add in the senior citizen tax exemption (it's 50% here) and jeez....its impossible to come up with affordable housing as the math doesn't work out. A one bedroom is going for 1200/month...the nongovermental wages can't compete with the public employee unions.  ymmv.

Edited by HeighHo

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8 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

I'm not seeing that its all business that is responsible. I"m seeing a lot of taxation which is brought in by public employee unions and illegal housing conditions.  I"m looking to rent out my house while I travel, but I"m finding the rent will have to be too high for everyone that isn't a public employee or a couple w/both working more than min wage.  That is solely because of the property tax, which is currently running 6% of the average income in the state.  That's $500 per month on a 75-100 year old home on a 0.1 acre lot.  That money is mostly going to pensions for public employees.  The dc here don't even have a full schedule at the school, because they can't afford enough teachers....and that's with 45 in nonremedial high school classes. I"m also seeing a lot of homes with one family per bedroom -- and the school tax on that house is not enough to support 9 children.  Then add in the senior citizen tax exemption (it's 50% here) and jeez....its impossible to come up with affordable housing as the math doesn't work out.  ymmv.

 

Well, we could stop funding schools (and related pensions) via local property taxes and instead fund them nationally (or at least state-by-state) by... oh, idk, taxing capital gains or moving the highest marginal tax rate back to where it was in the amply-lauded 1950s.

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14 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 

Well, we could stop funding schools (and related pensions) via local property taxes and instead fund them nationally (or at least state-by-state) by... oh, idk, taxing capital gains or moving the highest marginal tax rate back to where it was in the amply-lauded 1950s.

 

Agree. I think the biggest issue is the effect on the budget of special needs and remedial via the district hopping...that alone says funding needs to be at least at the state level and money needs to follow the child.  And neither federal or state gov is completely funding special needs and legislated mandates at the level needed for the mandated services.  

Taxing capital gains will never go...that's how public employee unions pay their pensions.  The school districts here have to make up for any shortfall in the pension fund....and with a predicted return that hasn't been adjusted to today's stock market, the districts are paying quite a bit.  For us its usually 1% of the budget.  You know people talk about sports costing a lot...its $150/athlete, with the boosters picking up about $30/athlete. The pension adjustment is $167/student. 

 

Edited by HeighHo

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13 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 

Well, we could stop funding schools (and related pensions) via local property taxes and instead fund them nationally (or at least state-by-state) by... oh, idk, taxing capital gains or moving the highest marginal tax rate back to where it was in the amply-lauded 1950s.

Amen. That how well your teachers are paid or the quality of the books used, etc etc is based on which school district you happen to be born in is ludicrous. 

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11 hours ago, Junie said:

What I mean is that people supporting families who only make $15/hour should get a raise before my fully-supported teenage daughter who does not rely on her paycheck to live.  (She is saving money for college.)

 

 

Do you think it is fair that when two people are doing the exact same job, with the exact same experience and the exact same work evaluation record, the one that "has a family" makes more than the one that does not? What makes the person with a family more valuable to the employer than the one that does not? Wages should be attached to the job that is done, not to what the employee does in their personal time. Thinking otherwise is why there is still wage disparity between men and women in the workplace.

Your daughter that is saving money for college - will she not spend that money to support her education and herself in the near future? Why is her work less valuable to her employer simply because she will be spending her money at a later date instead of right away?

This makes no sense to me. You seem to be promoting workplace discrimination. That has no value to me or to any worker. It only benefits employers.

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4 minutes ago, TechWife said:

 

Do you think it is fair that when two people are doing the exact same job, with the exact same experience and the exact same work evaluation record, the one that "has a family" makes more than the one that does not? What makes the person with a family more valuable to the employer than the one that does not? Wages should be attached to the job that is done, not to what the employee does in their personal time. Thinking otherwise is why there is still wage disparity between men and women in the workplace.

Your daughter that is saving money for college - will she not spend that money to support her education and herself in the near future? Why is her work less valuable to her employer simply because she will be spending her money at a later date instead of right away?

This makes no sense to me. You seem to be promoting workplace discrimination. That has no value to me or to any worker. It only benefits employers.

I'm not talking about people working the same job.  I'm talking about my friend who drives a school bus in order to supplement the family income -- in order to feed her children.  She has to have a CDL and proper training in order to do that job.  These are the kinds of jobs that I think need better pay first.

If the jobs that require training or a skill do not make more money than an entry level job in fast food or retail, then there is no (or little) incentive for the person to seek a better/more difficult/more rewarding job.

Entry level jobs should not be a stopping point.  They should be a stepping stone.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Junie said:

I'm not talking about people working the same job.  I'm talking about my friend who drives a school bus in order to supplement the family income -- in order to feed her children.  She has to have a CDL and proper training in order to do that job.  These are the kinds of jobs that I think need better pay first.

If the jobs that require training or a skill do not make more money than an entry level job in fast food or retail, then there is no (or little) incentive for the person to seek a better/more difficult/more rewarding job.

Entry level jobs should not be a stopping point.  They should be a stepping stone.

 

 

In some areas, there is nothing to step up to. Small communities only need so many HVAC techs, lawyers, teachers, or phlebotomists, or welders, or whatever. There are many areas of the country where populations aren't growing and skilled jobs don't open unless someone dies or retires. So, in reality, what you are describing as a stepping stone job can last 10-15 years or more.

Why should people have to seek a "better/more difficult/more rewarding job" in order to pay their bills? What if they like being a cashier at McDonalds or WalMart and don't care to do anything else?

Additionally, no one is saying that jobs that require training or skill shouldn't make more money than entry level jobs. We are saying that those in entry level jobs should make enough money that they can make ends meet.

You are assuming that only people in entry level jobs would be the ones to see wages increase. That simply isn't accurate. Anyone can get a raise. There are no wage ceilings.

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5 minutes ago, TechWife said:

In some areas, there is nothing to step up to. Small communities only need so many HVAC techs, lawyers, teachers, or phlebotomists, or welders, or whatever. There are many areas of the country where populations aren't growing and skilled jobs don't open unless someone dies or retires. So, in reality, what you are describing as a stepping stone job can last 10-15 years or more.

Why should people have to seek a "better/more difficult/more rewarding job" in order to pay their bills? What if they like being a cashier at McDonalds or WalMart and don't care to do anything else?

Additionally, no one is saying that jobs that require training or skill shouldn't make more money than entry level jobs. We are saying that those in entry level jobs should make enough money that they can make ends meet.

You are assuming that only people in entry level jobs would be the ones to see wages increase. That simply isn't accurate. Anyone can get a raise. There are no wage ceilings.

Regarding the bolded.  Yes, this could happen -- even now.  Except in many cases it doesn't.

I worked at a McDonald's when I was in high school.  I knew adult workers who didn't care about bettering themselves and were content to work at McDonald's for the rest of their lives.  I listened to them complain about gas money for their car and feeding their kids.  And I watched them smoke away a good chunk of their earnings and I watched them call in "sick" even when they themselves admitted (not to management) that they weren't.

I know that my experience is not the only experience.  But it is my experience.  Many of the adult workers in fast food that I knew didn't care if they earned enough money to pay their bills.  I agree that entry level jobs should be enough to make mends meet -- for that individual.  McDonald's salaries (other than management/franchise ownership) were not intended to support 8 people.  I should not get a job at McDonald's if I want to support my family.  I should look for something better/more difficult/more rewarding.  Because I am no longer just supporting myself.

 

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1 hour ago, Tanaqui said:

 

Well, we could stop funding schools (and related pensions) via local property taxes and instead fund them nationally (or at least state-by-state) by... oh, idk, taxing capital gains or moving the highest marginal tax rate back to where it was in the amply-lauded 1950s.

In my state, the majority of funding for schools comes from the general fund via personal income taxes, not property taxes. But we are still in a world of hurt due to the pension problem. However, the legislature here just passed a $1B per year business tax with all of the money dedicated to k12 schools and they are promising to tackle the pension problem next. I hope they follow through, even though I personally will be affected.

 

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15 minutes ago, Junie said:

Regarding the bolded.  Yes, this could happen -- even now.  Except in many cases it doesn't.

I worked at a McDonald's when I was in high school.  I knew adult workers who didn't care about bettering themselves and were content to work at McDonald's for the rest of their lives.  I listened to them complain about gas money for their car and feeding their kids.  And I watched them smoke away a good chunk of their earnings and I watched them call in "sick" even when they themselves admitted (not to management) that they weren't.

I know that my experience is not the only experience.  But it is my experience.  Many of the adult workers in fast food that I knew didn't care if they earned enough money to pay their bills.  I agree that entry level jobs should be enough to make mends meet -- for that individual.  McDonald's salaries (other than management/franchise ownership) were not intended to support 8 people.  I should not get a job at McDonald's if I want to support my family.  I should look for something better/more difficult/more rewarding.  Because I am no longer just supporting myself.

 

 

I'm only wanting to point out that it isn't an either/or situation - either minimum wage is increased/or people get paid above minimum wage. It's both minimum wage is increased/and people earn higher than minimum wage.

I think the goal should be to look for a job that can support those you need to support, without assuming the job will be better/more difficult/more rewarding. There are many people who make money to support their families that hate their jobs, their co-workers and don't get any personal reward for their work other than their pay check. They feel just as stuck in their job as some lower wage earners do in theirs.  I think you are unnecessarily conflating job satisfaction with pay. The two are not necessarily connected.

 

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1 hour ago, HeighHo said:

 

Agree. I think the biggest issue is the effect on the budget of special needs and remedial via the district hopping...that alone says funding needs to be at least at the state level and money needs to follow the child.  And neither federal or state gov is completely funding special needs and legislated mandates at the level needed for the mandated services.  

Taxing capital gains will never go...that's how public employee unions pay their pensions.  The school districts here have to make up for any shortfall in the pension fund....and with a predicted return that hasn't been adjusted to today's stock market, the districts are paying quite a bit.  For us its usually 1% of the budget.  You know people talk about sports costing a lot...its $150/athlete, with the boosters picking up about $30/athlete. The pension adjustment is $167/student. 

 

Coming from a state that funds schools from the state general fund and increases funding for schools serving populations with higher needs, it doesn’t seem to make much difference in equity or outcomes. We have one of the worst graduation rates in the country, shortest school years, largest average class sizes, and still have major inequity, even within school districts. Here, some districts are approaching 30% of their budget for pension payments.

Edited by Frances

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3 minutes ago, TechWife said:

 

I'm only wanting to point out that it isn't an either/or situation - either minimum wage is increased/or people get paid above minimum wage. It's both minimum wage is increased/and people earn higher than minimum wage.

I think the goal should be to look for a job that can support those you need to support, without assuming the job will be better/more difficult/more rewarding. There are many people who make money to support their families that hate their jobs, their co-workers and don't get any personal reward for their work other than their pay check. They feel just as stuck in their job as some lower wage earners do in theirs.  I think you are unnecessarily conflating job satisfaction with pay. The two are not necessarily connected.

 

When I said more rewarding, I was actually talking about pay.  I just didn't express myself very well.

I agree that the minimum wage could go higher.  I was just advocating for the jobs slightly above minimum wage that are greatly underpaid.  I understand about the need to get some minimum wage jobs better paid.  I am saying that the jobs slightly above that are often forgotten and should be included in any minimum wage push.  Relying on employers to do the right thing and boost everyone's check if the minimum wage increases is just not going to happen in many places.

I also do not think that every job needs to pay a living wage for a family.  A living wage for that individual (assuming 40 hrs/week), perhaps, but not for a family.

 

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1 hour ago, TechWife said:

 

Do you think it is fair that when two people are doing the exact same job, with the exact same experience and the exact same work evaluation record, the one that "has a family" makes more than the one that does not? What makes the person with a family more valuable to the employer than the one that does not? Wages should be attached to the job that is done, not to what the employee does in their personal time. Thinking otherwise is why there is still wage disparity between men and women in the workplace.

 

It would also mean that employers would have an incentive to only hire young, single people, not people with families. 

31 minutes ago, Frances said:

Coming from a state that funds schools from the state general fund and increases funding for schools serving populations with higher needs, it doesn’t seem to make much difference in equity or outcomes. We have one of the worst graduation rates in the country, shortest school years, largest average class sizes, and still have major inequity, even within school districts. Here, some districts are approaching 30% of their budget for pension payments.

Do you mean in your district compared to others in your state, it is the worst? Or that the state as a whole is bad, but evenly bad? Wondering if having it funded mostly at the state level evens it across the state, versus high and low districts. (only national funding would even it nationally)

24 minutes ago, Junie said:

=

I also do not think that every job needs to pay a living wage for a family.  A living wage for that individual (assuming 40 hrs/week), perhaps, but not for a family.

 

Right now many many many jobs don't pay a living wage even for an individual. And those people end up qualifying for social services like food stamps, WIC, etc that we pay for via taxes. The cost is still there..but the cost of a living wage is now split between the business owner and the taxpayer. 

Edited by Ktgrok
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12 hours ago, Corraleno said:

The idea that millions of people — people who are working 40-60 hours a week, not lying around doing nothing — should be forced to live in abject poverty, go hungry, and forgo needed medications and medical care, so that businesses don't have to cut their profit margin, is a concept I have a hard time wrapping my head around. If the only way a business owner can earn a comfortable living is by exploiting the labor of people living in poverty, then maybe that businessman is the one who needs to "find a better job," not the poor guy who's working for $7.25/hr and depending a food pantry to feed his kids.

 

Have you ever run a small business? 

The point is wages don't exist in a vacuum. If you think every business owner is swimming in cash like Scrooge McDuck and just refuses to pay his employees $5 more per hour, then I have to assume you have not. Employee salaries are a carefully budgeted item just like everything else. Comfortable isn't really the issue when many small business owners often forgo taking a salary themselves to get off the ground, get through tough economic times, or to try to grow their business. If I run a bakery and the price of grain goes up I have raise the sales price on my bread. Similarly, if the price of labor goes up, I have to make up that loss somewhere or go out of business. It's telling that you think no business is preferable to a business paying $7.25/hour when that bit of income could make a huge difference for someone for a variety of reasons.

It is denying economic reality to say that we can raise wages without causing a ripple effect in other areas of the economy. It does us no good to earn extra money if prices are higher or less people overall have jobs.

Your argument is emotionally compelling but doesn't address the actual issues with raising wages independent of other economic factors.

When unemployment is high, we don't tell businesses to just hire more people to solve that problem because in general people realize that unemployment isn't a simple matter of businesses being unwilling to hire people. I don't know why people seem to think the answer of low wages is just telling businesses to pay more.  

Everyone says, "Oh, I will pay a little more so that businesses can pay a living wage," but the problem is you've just also raised prices on those same people you wanted to lift out of poverty by paying them more. It's so obvious the problem can't be solved this way. And yet.

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Quote

If the jobs that require training or a skill do not make more money than an entry level job in fast food or retail, then there is no (or little) incentive for the person to seek a better/more difficult/more rewarding job.

 

There's plenty of incentive, it's just not monetary. There are enormous social benefits to having a "better" job, or one that's perceived as being more valuable to society.

Quote

Everyone says, "Oh, I will pay a little more so that businesses can pay a living wage," but the problem is you've just also raised prices on those same people you wanted to lift out of poverty by paying them more. It's so obvious the problem can't be solved this way. And yet.

 

And yet the data doesn't support what you consider "so obvious", so clearly it's a little more complex than you think. (I'm not actually going to link to the studies here because I am honest enough to admit that the data is unclear and often contradictory. What effect, if any, an increase on the minimum wage has on prices/inflation/involuntary unemployment is hard to tease out, and probably affected by any number of other conditions. I don't know what it is, and I have actually done more to learn about this subject than simply sitting on my butt and thinking about what seems obvious to me - which, for the record, is that at the bare minimum the minimum wage needs to be tied to inflation so it keeps pace with the actual cost of living.)

Edited by Tanaqui
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IMO, which is clearly fairly uneducated about economics.....the system of capitalism works against everyone having a living wage.  The goal from about age 3 is to beat out everyone and come out on top.   

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1 hour ago, EmseB said:

Everyone says, "Oh, I will pay a little more so that businesses can pay a living wage," but the problem is you've just also raised prices on those same people you wanted to lift out of poverty by paying them more. It's so obvious the problem can't be solved this way. And yet.

Except the data says that it isn't obvious. 

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5 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Except the data says that it isn't obvious. 

You're telling me the data says that the price of labor can be increased $5-7/hour for every job in the country without affecting any other economic indicators OR only affecting them in a positive way? Because I've looked at a lot of it and I've never seen that case made by really...anyone? People are seriously saying you can increase a business's labor costs by ~50% and they can just absorb that, no problem? Have you run a business or worked for anyone where that would be the case for their financials? In cities that have done this businesses haven't' closed? Moved out of town? Raised prices? Seen a slowdown in small business start ups? Seen an increase in the COL in their town? Seen a rise in youth unemployment? An increase in childcare costs? Are we saying if we implement this at a federal level then it will disappear the problems?

If that is the case, if there are no trade offs and the net effect of raising wages is positive, why not raise the wages higher than $15/hour? Why not $20 or $40? Almost everyone acknowledges there would be some sort of problems arising at the higher amounts, yet deny there is a problem at lower amounts because we'll all just absorb the costs and the unemployment won't be that noticeable, and if you couldn't run a business paying employees that much then you didn't really deserve your business anyway. What that really means is that the problems are so gradual that it's like warming up the pot of water in increments instead of just setting it on high heat to boil immediately.  The frog gets boiled either way, though.

So we raise the wage and we get more of Amazon and Wal-Mart who might be able to absorb that hit to their business on a large scale...maybe, I don't know for sure. We get less independent retailers and business startups. We get more factory farms and less independent growers. 

I mean, I'm all for efficiency, but I happen to like my kids' tiny ballet studio that in no way, no how could afford to pay their teenage teachers $15/hour to teach dance class to my little ones. Are those teenagers being exploited by the owner who makes pennies on her tuition dollar because she really happens to like to teach dance to kids in the community? Should she raise tuition so I'm priced out of classes? Maybe so. I see something like that as a net loss that perhaps your "data" wouldn't capture with any kind of accuracy, but maybe her dance studio is problematic for the community and the owner is perpetuating poverty.

This actually leads to the obvious prediction that once you raise the wage to $15/hour, that will be the new poverty line and the demand will increase yet again to a new amount because there will still be people working 40 hours/week at that wage who will still not be able to make ends meet. It will become inhumane to only pay people $15/hour because they are still at the bottom of the wage scale. Does anyone think once $15/hour gets passed that the campaigns will stop there? Really and honestly?

And the thing is, I've never personally met a business owner who doesn't want to grow his or her business in such a way that s/he would be able to afford to employ more people at higher wages because that means...they are successful! They can widen their applicant pool and be more choosy about who to hire. But to arbitrarily enforce a $5-7 wage increase would be no small thing for most of the people I know trying to make payroll.

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I haven’t had time to follow this entire thread but recently, raising the minimum wage to $15 was proposed in my state, but was vetoed by the Governor. I was absolutely shocked to learn that my dear friend, who is one of the most intelligent people I know, with a Bachelor’s degree, who fluently speaks a second language, who has worked at the same small company for more than fifteen years earns minimum wage. She was hoping the bill would go through because mandatory wage raises are the only way the company she works for ever raises her pay. What is this awful, menial job where she is given so ittle pay, you may wonder? She is a preschool teacher, for a small, private preschool. 

I find it horrifying that she earns so little money. One of the local representatives said to her, confident that she was being supportive, “Well, childcare workers aren’t really in it for the money.” Ummm...well, maybe not primarily, but it doesn’t bloody hurt to have some

I’m not sure personally how I feel about the raise to $15 (it is moot for the moment though). I do think prices go up, especially with small business; it is precisely why my friend makes such a small wage in the first place. The preschool can only charge the parents what the market will bear. And can only pay the teachers accordingly. So I am not sure what the solution is besides government subsidies, which are usually rejected by private preschools, as well as by the parents who send their kids there. But I personally find it absolutely galling that someone in charge of the minds and bodies of three-year-olds gets paid less than the guy working at the pizza place as a server. There’s something really wrong there. 

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3 minutes ago, Quill said:

I haven’t had time to follow this entire thread but recently, raising the minimum wage to $15 was proposed in my state, but was vetoed by the Governor. I was absolutely shocked to learn that my dear friend, who is one of the most intelligent people I know, with a Bachelor’s degree, who fluently speaks a second language, who has worked at the same small company for more than fifteen years earns minimum wage. She was hoping the bill would go through because mandatory wage raises are the only way the company she works for ever raises her pay. What is this awful, menial job where she is given so ittle pay, you may wonder? She is a preschool teacher, for a small, private preschool. 

I find it horrifying that she earns so little money. One of the local representatives said to her, confident that she was being supportive, “Well, childcare workers aren’t really in it for the money.” Ummm...well, maybe not primarily, but it doesn’t bloody hurt to have some

I’m not sure personally how I feel about the raise to $15 (it is moot for the moment though). I do think prices go up, especially with small business; it is precisely why my friend makes such a small wage in the first place. The preschool can only charge the parents what the market will bear. And can only pay the teachers accordingly. So I am not sure what the solution is besides government subsidies, which are usually rejected by private preschools, as well as by the parents who send their kids there. But I personally find it absolutely galling that someone in charge of the minds and bodies of three-year-olds gets paid less than the guy working at the pizza place as a server. There’s something really wrong there. 

I'm honestly not sure what's horrifying about this. I've done "pre-school" with all my own kids to one extent or another without any formalized training. I've been in charge of the minds and bodies of 3 three-year-olds so far and no one is paying me a wage or really even thinks it's all that difficult. There are many people who can get licensed to do day care or pre-school in their own homes in order to make money for their families without leaving their homes and with minimal barriers to entry besides having a clean, safe home and some kind of minimal curriculum. Thus, there are usually some options available for people to choose from, making prices competitive. Your friend may love working with pre-schoolers but she's way over-qualified for a job that doesn't require any special training whatsoever in order to do it well. That's not wrong, it is just the reality of economics.

Even government subsidies usually don't make things like education cheaper, they just create a new baseline for tuition (whatever rate the government is subsidizing at), which then pushes prices up for the people who don't qualify for said subsidies (see: college tuition & health care).

On the other hand, I've never paid a good, reliable baby-sitter less than minimum wage (especially when I lived in NoVA and SoMD) and I know nannies make more than minimum wage usually as well. I'm actually less shocked at a minimum wage pre-school teacher and more shocked that someone with that kind of education would stay in the same job with the same company waiting for the state to increase her pay instead of looking at the many other options for people who are that qualified and want to work with kids, especially in the greater DC area where bougie nannies seem like they would be in high demand. Unless you're totally unable to work anywhere else or have no desire to work anywhere else, why stay and hope your pay is increased by the government forcing your employer's hand? I almost get the argument for people who are stuck because of lack of education or experience (almost, but not really), but for someone like your friend? It doesn't compute.

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I've been through multiple minimum wage increases,  live in CA, and my experience is that when minimum wage goes up only people making minimum wage get a "raise". There's a whole lot more automation going on now, too, at least where I live. 

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50 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I'm honestly not sure what's horrifying about this. I've done "pre-school" with all my own kids to one extent or another without any formalized training. I've been in charge of the minds and bodies of 3 three-year-olds so far and no one is paying me a wage or really even thinks it's all that difficult. There are many people who can get licensed to do day care or pre-school in their own homes in order to make money for their families without leaving their homes and with minimal barriers to entry besides having a clean, safe home and some kind of minimal curriculum. Thus, there are usually some options available for people to choose from, making prices competitive. Your friend may love working with pre-schoolers but she's way over-qualified for a job that doesn't require any special training whatsoever in order to do it well. That's not wrong, it is just the reality of economics.

Even government subsidies usually don't make things like education cheaper, they just create a new baseline for tuition (whatever rate the government is subsidizing at), which then pushes prices up for the people who don't qualify for said subsidies (see: college tuition & health care).

On the other hand, I've never paid a good, reliable baby-sitter less than minimum wage (especially when I lived in NoVA and SoMD) and I know nannies make more than minimum wage usually as well. I'm actually less shocked at a minimum wage pre-school teacher and more shocked that someone with that kind of education would stay in the same job with the same company waiting for the state to increase her pay instead of looking at the many other options for people who are that qualified and want to work with kids, especially in the greater DC area where bougie nannies seem like they would be in high demand. Unless you're totally unable to work anywhere else or have no desire to work anywhere else, why stay and hope your pay is increased by the government forcing your employer's hand? I almost get the argument for people who are stuck because of lack of education or experience (almost, but not really), but for someone like your friend? It doesn't compute.

There's a freaking galaxy of difference between teaching your own preschoolers at home and teaching an actual preschool class in a school. I homeschool my kids, no problem. I couldn't even begin to teach my toddler's ECFE class because holy migraine, Batman. You honestly think it's no big deal for qualified preschool teachers with degrees to make minimum wage???

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Also, just want to add that I don't think someone's job, wage, income, wealth or lack thereof, etc. as single factors are reflective of a person's inherent dignity or worth as a human being. I don't think a low wage says anything about someone as a person. If I did, as a SAHM I'd be the lowest of the low, doing mostly unskilled labor for no pay.

When hubby and I were below the poverty line, I didn't feel we deserved anything in particular from anyone else, we have both held undesirable jobs with low pay for varying times. It wasn't a reflection of our worth nor of the morality of the people who employed us at the wage we agreed to work for. Our station in life was not a moral issue except that we both worked and did our best at whatever job we had, same as now.

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59 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I'm honestly not sure what's horrifying about this. I've done "pre-school" with all my own kids to one extent or another without any formalized training. I've been in charge of the minds and bodies of 3 three-year-olds so far and no one is paying me a wage or really even thinks it's all that difficult. There are many people who can get licensed to do day care or pre-school in their own homes in order to make money for their families without leaving their homes and with minimal barriers to entry besides having a clean, safe home and some kind of minimal curriculum. Thus, there are usually some options available for people to choose from, making prices competitive. Your friend may love working with pre-schoolers but she's way over-qualified for a job that doesn't require any special training whatsoever in order to do it well. That's not wrong, it is just the reality of economics.

Even government subsidies usually don't make things like education cheaper, they just create a new baseline for tuition (whatever rate the government is subsidizing at), which then pushes prices up for the people who don't qualify for said subsidies (see: college tuition & health care).

On the other hand, I've never paid a good, reliable baby-sitter less than minimum wage (especially when I lived in NoVA and SoMD) and I know nannies make more than minimum wage usually as well. I'm actually less shocked at a minimum wage pre-school teacher and more shocked that someone with that kind of education would stay in the same job with the same company waiting for the state to increase her pay instead of looking at the many other options for people who are that qualified and want to work with kids, especially in the greater DC area where bougie nannies seem like they would be in high demand. Unless you're totally unable to work anywhere else or have no desire to work anywhere else, why stay and hope your pay is increased by the government forcing your employer's hand? I almost get the argument for people who are stuck because of lack of education or experience (almost, but not really), but for someone like your friend? It doesn't compute.

First, homeschooling or home pre-schooling or home caring for one’s own babies is in no way equivalent to teaching, preschool teaching or caring for other people’s kids. 

Are you really saying you’re perfectly happy for dim-witted, non-degreed warm bodies to fill those positions while the most intelligent, skillful, credentialed people run off to do something more worthy of their high competence? That’s what doesn’t compute for me...

I *think* (pure speculation) a major reason why my friend took that job and has remained there is because it is near to her home and the schools her children attend.   I imagine that is more desirable than driving to DC or Baltimore for a more lucrative job she could qualify to do. 

And I have to chuckle a little at “bougie nannies” because you are certainly right about that much; my dd works as a bougie nanny for people who would rather pay a bunch of money than have to wake up at night and feed their triplets. 

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7 minutes ago, Mergath said:

There's a freaking galaxy of difference between teaching your own preschoolers at home and teaching an actual preschool class in a school. I homeschool my kids, no problem. I couldn't even begin to teach my toddler's ECFE class because holy migraine, Batman. You honestly think it's no big deal for qualified preschool teachers with degrees to make minimum wage???

Assuming we are talking NT kids, I don't think there are a lack of people who can do that job and if you get a degree to tech pre-school you're probably overqualified. I taught pre-school as a high schooler with minimal training in a licensed facility. It was a vocational program, so I did it for free. One person working in that school, the director and our teacher, made a salary. Right now, there are at least three houses in my neighborhood that have a licensed pre-school program in their daycare, no degree required. I think pre-schoolers in general should mostly be allowed to play independently, be provided with food, and, love and safety.S o in some sense, degreed pre-school teachers are a bit silly to me which is a big reason why I didn't pursue my ECE.

But that's neither here nor there because my point isnt about daycare or "pre-school" specifically. I'm not saying the work itself is not taxing or difficult (again, cleaning houses is also taxing and not easy, IMO). But the amount of availability of people able to do those jobs and the specialization required directly affects wages. So does tuition cost. The pre-school can't magically pay people more without passing on those costs somehow. This doesn't reflect on how difficult or easy it is to care for children. But daycare wages can't ever go above the wages of the parents needing daycare, ever.

Again, a person's wage is not reflective of their worth or even the difficulty of the work itself. It is an emotional argument to conflate the two and has nothing to do with the economic reality. In my case, I would do a lot of things before caring for other people's kids precisely because I know how hard it is. That doesn't mean the market can bear the price I'd be willing to work for.

I can say that a good pre-school teacher is worth their weight in gold (this is why I pay my sitters well), but that doesn't mean it's financially feasible for a business to operate as if that is how much someone can logistically, financially be paid.

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15 minutes ago, EmseB said:

Also, just want to add that I don't think someone's job, wage, income, wealth or lack thereof, etc. as single factors are reflective of a person's inherent dignity or worth as a human being. I don't think a low wage says anything about someone as a person. If I did, as a SAHM I'd be the lowest of the low, doing mostly unskilled labor for no pay.

When hubby and I were below the poverty line, I didn't feel we deserved anything in particular from anyone else, we have both held undesirable jobs with low pay for varying times. It wasn't a reflection of our worth nor of the morality of the people who employed us at the wage we agreed to work for. Our station in life was not a moral issue except that we both worked and did our best at whatever job we had, same as now.

I also don’t think earning low wages is reflective of a person’s inherent dignity, but I also think people doing necessary work should be able to survive on the pay they earn. My friend would be up shit’s creek with no paddle if she were not married to someone making a strong wage. I think it’s nuts that the people who care for 3year olds would largely be unable to have that career if they were a single parent, say. 

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8 minutes ago, Quill said:

First, homeschooling or home pre-schooling or home caring for one’s own babies is in no way equivalent to teaching, preschool teaching or caring for other people’s kids. 

Are you really saying you’re perfectly happy for dim-witted, non-degreed warm bodies to fill those positions while the most intelligent, skillful, credentialed people run off to do something more worthy of their high competence? That’s what doesn’t compute for me...

I *think* (pure speculation) a major reason why my friend took that job and has remained there is because it is near to her home and the schools her children attend.   I imagine that is more desirable than driving to DC or Baltimore for a more lucrative job she could qualify to do. 

And I have to chuckle a little at “bougie nannies” because you are certainly right about that much; my dd works as a bougie nanny for people who would rather pay a bunch of money than have to wake up at night and feed their triplets. 

I don't think most of the daycare/preschool workers are dimwitted warm bodies because they get paid low wages. I don't know why that would be an assumption. Wage != skill or intelligence, obviously, but I don't think a degree does either, if we're not talking about a specialized field. I would much rather an undegreed grandma or high schooler with free time who wants to work with kids take care of pre-schoolers than someone who takes a million academic ECE classes, but that's personal preference I suppose. There are people like your friend who will take lower pay because they want to be closer to home, have more time with family, etc., etc. People make that trade off all the time...lower wages for other life benefits. I know retirees who taught at my kids private school, people who don't want to run the rat race so they do something slower paced even though they could climb a ladder. Your friend obviously has options and can negotiate a higher wage for herself and chooses not to do so. If the state stepped in and increased her wage would the school be able to operate? Would she be able to click the same amount of hours? Would tuition go up? 

But I don't see how the math works by just saying, "Pay people more." What do you do as a business owner if you can't financially swing that for your 12 employees? They'd be better off out of work? They are necessarily being exploited by some Mr. Burns caricature? That is not my experience with most business owners at all. 

It is nice feeling to want to pay teachers of little ones a ton of money because we as moms know how hard it is. The money has to come from somewhere. That doesn't negate knowing how hard certain jobs are and finding them valuable.

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18 minutes ago, Quill said:

I also don’t think earning low wages is reflective of a person’s inherent dignity, but I also think people doing necessary work should be able to survive on the pay they earn. My friend would be up shit’s creek with no paddle if she were not married to someone making a strong wage. I think it’s nuts that the people who care for 3year olds would largely be unable to have that career if they were a single parent, say. 

Okay, she should make $50k per year (near DC). The single parent should make $70k. Now what for the day care?

I know that sounds snarky, but I'm seriously asking. Run a day care with 4 teachers (how many 3yos is that with ratio?). $200k payroll minimum, right? Rent, supplies, insurance, other bills. How does it work out? What are people proposing?

Oh, and now the wages are competitive so the people without degrees (dimwitted warm bodies?) don't have any chance of getting hired because they are priced out of the job. So where do they go?

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6 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

 

Do you mean in your district compared to others in your state, it is the worst? Or that the state as a whole is bad, but evenly bad? Wondering if having it funded mostly at the state level evens it across the state, versus high and low districts. (only national funding would even it nationally)

The state as a whole is in a bad way due to a combination of underfunding and a significant portion of the budget going to pensions for already retired employees who retired with very lucrative pensions, including many with 100% or more of their final salary (pension reforms make that impossible for new employees, but nothing can change the benefit system of those already retired). Also, despite equal per pupil funding throughout the state (due to general fund money being the source), and added money given for higher needs students (poverty, ELS, special needs), etc. there is still great inequality in resources and outcomes. Before moving here, I used to think not basing school funding on property taxes and having a more even distribution would make a significant difference, but it doesn’t. Interestingly, the one area where things seem relatively equal is buildings, and that is the one part primarily funded by property taxes.

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8 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I don't think most of the daycare/preschool workers are dimwitted warm bodies because they get paid low wages. I don't know why that would be an assumption. Wage != skill or intelligence, obviously, but I don't think a degree does either, if we're not talking about a specialized field. I would much rather an undegreed grandma or high schooler with free time who wants to work with kids take care of pre-schoolers than someone who takes a million academic ECE classes, but that's personal preference I suppose. There are people like your friend who will take lower pay because they want to be closer to home, have more time with family, etc., etc. People make that trade off all the time...lower wages for other life benefits. I know retirees who taught at my kids private school, people who don't want to run the rat race so they do something slower paced even though they could climb a ladder. Your friend obviously has options and can negotiate a higher wage for herself and chooses not to do so. If the state stepped in and increased her wage would the school be able to operate? Would she be able to click the same amount of hours? Would tuition go up? 

But I don't see how the math works by just saying, "Pay people more." What do you do as a business owner if you can't financially swing that for your 12 employees? They'd be better off out of work? They are necessarily being exploited by some Mr. Burns caricature? That is not my experience with most business owners at all. 

It is nice feeling to want to pay teachers of little ones a ton of money because we as moms know how hard it is. The money has to come from somewhere. That doesn't negate knowing how hard certain jobs are and finding them valuable.

To the bolded: because you said an intelligent, degreed person is over-qualified and should find a job that requires high competence. I’m saying if all the on-the-ball people leave childcare to earn better pay and have more mentally stimulating work, that leaves only the dim bulbs who can’t work someone else. 

As to the rest of your post, I don’t disagree; how do you pay people more is a difficult question and often has difficult answers. We ARE business owners. There have been seasons where we didn’t get paid at all because the money wasn’t in the coffers. So I am well-versed in the economic realities of not being at liberty to just pay what the employee is worth. 

In the case of the preschool, if minimum wage went to $15/hr here, I would pretty much guarantee tuition would increase. Because I agree, the money has to come from somewhere and I don’t think they are operating with high overhead. 

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29 minutes ago, Quill said:

I also don’t think earning low wages is reflective of a person’s inherent dignity, but I also think people doing necessary work should be able to survive on the pay they earn. My friend would be up shit’s creek with no paddle if she were not married to someone making a strong wage. I think it’s nuts that the people who care for 3year olds would largely be unable to have that career if they were a single parent, say. 

Also this is exactly why we can't take reliable data on this without taking personal choice into account and personal circumstances. Clearly we all can't choose to stay in a minimum wage job for 15 years. As you point out, that is a luxury. We work at those jobs, most of us, as stepping stones. She could have chosen to do something different, with kids even, for more money. That is an option some people want and if they were laid off because their wage was increased by law they would take a less desireable job or no job if that was their niche.

I happen to like my side hustle that pays by piece instead of min. wage, and if it was outlawed via wage laws theres not any other income I'd be able to make in such a flexible way. But if I were in a different situation it is not a job I wwould stau at with no possibility of a raise or promotion for over a decade. But if I stay there for 15 years as things stand now, I'd be fine with it. And it would look like, in analysis on paper that someone working below min wage for years and isn't that horrifying? When in reality, no...it's what I want. And there are tons of people across the network that have the same story.

Are there hard circumstances? Yes. Undeniably. But everyone generally starts at a low paying job and works upward. Those jobs do support an important function in the eeconomy, especially for people with no specialization or no specific marketable skills. My first job at fast food will likely not exist in the near future due to technology and unavailability to teens. I don't know if that kind of phase out, while inevitable, is going to be good.

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9 minutes ago, EmseB said:

Are there hard circumstances? Yes. Undeniably. But everyone generally starts at a low paying job and works upward. Those jobs do support an important function in the eeconomy, especially for people with no specialization or no specific marketable skills. My first job at fast food will likely not exist in the near future due to technology and unavailability to teens. I don't know if that kind of phase out, while inevitable, is going to be good.

I agree with you on the bolded, but I don’t think teaching and caring for children should be in that category, though I admit I do not know what the solution is. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Quill said:

To the bolded: because you said an intelligent, degreed person is over-qualified and should find a job that requires high competence. I’m saying if all the on-the-ball people leave childcare to earn better pay and have more mentally stimulating work, that leaves only the dim bulbs who can’t work someone else. 

My point was that not all on-the-ball, intelligent people are degreed, so I don't think it is necessary for being a pre-school teacher. It is great your friend does that job with all her education. I didn't say she should find a job that requires competence. I think being a childcare provider requires competence. What I was tryjng to say, unclearly apparently, is that if someone in an unspecialized job needs to earn more money, and they have a degree and another language, there are jobs that are more specialized and pay more for the education and skills she has rather than waiting for the government to increase her wage. But if we want to twist this to me saying that we don't need smart people watching 3yos, okay. I did say that people don't find it difficult, but that is in a context of unskilled vs. specialized jobs. Daycare is not a specialized job set that requires a whole lot of barriers to entry.

Most of the people I know working in ECE are not degreed or bilingual, except maybe directors or head teachers or at specialized $$$ schools. I don't think it leaves the dim-bulbs. I think we're talking past each other a bit because I don't think not having teachers like your friend leaves us with undesirables. I don't think degreed people moving up means somebody less than is doing less skilled jobs. That's all I'm trying to stay. People start at low skilled jobs all the time.

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15 minutes ago, Quill said:

I agree with you on the bolded, but I don’t think teaching and caring for children should be in that category, though I admit I do not know what the solution is. 

 

It would be interesting. We would have to get rid of low cost home based daycares and such, to start. Where a SAHM could clean up the basement and get licensed to take a couple extra kids. Teenage baby-sitters wouldn't be okay. My high school votech pre-school would probably be a no-go. It would rule out most of the retirees I knew teaching at our church pre-school. And my non-degreed friend who had a well-employed husband but loved toddlers and wanted pocket money.

And the implications of keeping your pre-schooler at home would be interesting if only specialized, highly skilled people could take care of kids outside the home.

I think it would have to be large, corporate daycare centers of some kind.

The funny thing is that I think most things that people do to earn extra money from home without a degree have been either made illegal or so expensive to permit or license they are unfeasible for those in poverty. Childcare hasn't hit that point yet that I've seen. I really started thinking about this recently while watching the Street Food series on Netflix. It talks a lot about how menial, low wage food stands work to lift people out of poverty and is pretty interesting considering how we view stuff like that in the US.

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6 minutes ago, EmseB said:

It would be interesting. We would have to get rid of low cost home based daycares and such, to start. Where a SAHM could clean up the basement and get licensed to take a couple extra kids. Teenage baby-sitters wouldn't be okay. My high school votech pre-school would probably be a no-go. It would rule out most of the retirees I knew teaching at our church pre-school. And my non-degreed friend who had a well-employed husband but loved toddlers and wanted pocket money.

And the implications of keeping your pre-schooler at home would be interesting if only specialized, highly skilled people could take care of kids outside the home.

I think it would have to be large, corporate daycare centers of some kind.

The funny thing is that I think most things that people do to earn extra money from home without a degree have been either made illegal or so expensive to permit or license they are unfeasible for those in poverty. Childcare hasn't hit that point yet that I've seen. I really started thinking about this recently while watching the Street Food series on Netflix. It talks a lot about how menial, low wage food stands work to lift people out of poverty and is pretty interesting considering how we view stuff like that in the US.

I do not think one can work as a preschool teacher here without a degree. I can’t swear that on the Bible, but I did not think you can even get that job without a Bachelor’s. 

I don’t even think home-based daycares are particularly low-cost (here). I know there is a lot one goes through to get licensed. 

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29 minutes ago, Quill said:

I do not think one can work as a preschool teacher here without a degree. I can’t swear that on the Bible, but I did not think you can even get that job without a Bachelor’s. 

I don’t even think home-based daycares are particularly low-cost (here). I know there is a lot one goes through to get licensed. 

That boggles the mind. The degree thing for 3-4yos. Like I said, I did ECE votech in high school, which involved being part of a student-run community pre-school as well as "interning" at a day care with various ages. None of the ladies I worked with were degreed. I can't even imagine going into school debt for an ECE job. It was at most a 2yr degree from a CC, and that was if you wanted to be a lead teacher or work somewhere hoity-toity or something. And pushing those ladies out of a job they were good at because they didn't go to college? The professions we require a 4-year degree for in this country are getting out of hand. It's almost like we're trying to make people poor.

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1 hour ago, Quill said:

I do not think one can work as a preschool teacher here without a degree. I can’t swear that on the Bible, but I did not think you can even get that job without a Bachelor’s. 

I don’t even think home-based daycares are particularly low-cost (here). I know there is a lot one goes through to get licensed. 

Same here you need at least an associates degree to teach or assist in pre school. 

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1 hour ago, EmseB said:

That boggles the mind. The degree thing for 3-4yos. Like I said, I did ECE votech in high school, which involved being part of a student-run community pre-school as well as "interning" at a day care with various ages. None of the ladies I worked with were degreed. I can't even imagine going into school debt for an ECE job. It was at most a 2yr degree from a CC, and that was if you wanted to be a lead teacher or work somewhere hoity-toity or something. And pushing those ladies out of a job they were good at because they didn't go to college? The professions we require a 4-year degree for in this country are getting out of hand. It's almost like we're trying to make people poor.

Do you think the requirement to have a 2 or 4 year degree stems from the fact that basically showing up is enough to graduate high school? You won’t be college or career ready but you have the diploma. If you have a 2 or 4 year degree you show that you can at least complete something that’s not a given. 

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I came across this article this evening. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Walt Disney,  is concerned about wage disparity. She has recently criticized the $65 million annual salary of the Disney CEO & the disparity between it and what the company’s average workers make. She has challenged the company to redirect 1/2 of the executive bonus pay budget to the lowest paid 10% of its 200K workforce, giving them each $2K.  The company responding that their employees make more than the minimum wage. Keep reading if you want to know how much she pays her housekeeper...

 She states that corporations need to start understanding and doing capitalism differently. 

“Yes, managers have a fiduciary obligation to their shareholders. But they also have a legal and moral responsibility to deliver returns to shareholders without trampling on the dignity and rights of their employees and other stakeholders," she added. 
Disney argues that there is nothing inherently wrong with a big payday for executives as long as workers can support themselves. She urged lawmakers to consider examining the pay ratio between CEOs and their lowest-paid full-time workers, rather than that between the C-suite and median income-level employees -- which some Democrats have called for. 
"The median ratio is not a helpful ratio. It treats the lowest paid worker as if they were invisible," she said.

 

She seems like an interesting lady. She pays her housekeeper $75,000 per year (that works out to a little more than $36/hour for a 40 hour work week). . She disclosed that she earns between $5-6 million per year and donates $7-8 million annually. She does not use the family jet and started giving her money away when she was in her 20’s. I assume those numbers mean that she is selling investments and/or using dividends to donate to charity. 

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8 hours ago, EmseB said:

That boggles the mind. The degree thing for 3-4yos. Like I said, I did ECE votech in high school, which involved being part of a student-run community pre-school as well as "interning" at a day care with various ages. None of the ladies I worked with were degreed. I can't even imagine going into school debt for an ECE job. It was at most a 2yr degree from a CC, and that was if you wanted to be a lead teacher or work somewhere hoity-toity or something. And pushing those ladies out of a job they were good at because they didn't go to college? The professions we require a 4-year degree for in this country are getting out of hand. It's almost like we're trying to make people poor.

*shrug* In my county all incoming public school teachers must have a Master’s degree. They are trying to do the Finland model, I think, where teaching is regarded as a job commanding high respect, for the most on-the-ball people. I personally don’t think it’s a bad thing. There are still jobs for unskilled labor; IMO instructing and keeping kids safe and healthy for the better part of the day is not one of them. 

 

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9 hours ago, Quill said:

I do not think one can work as a preschool teacher here without a degree. I can’t swear that on the Bible, but I did not think you can even get that job without a Bachelor’s. 

I don’t even think home-based daycares are particularly low-cost (here). I know there is a lot one goes through to get licensed. 

I was an assistant preschool teacher 18 years ago (without a degree) but couldn’t fill the lead teacher position without a degree.  Considering we had 12-16 students, including some foster kids and may military kids, I think it’s a good thing that our lead teacher was trained in early childhood development and learning. Little kids can have big issues, and we were often the first step toward needed interventions.

I do think parents should be able to choose “unskilled” preschool options in the same way we can all choose homeschooling and utilizing classes offered by both trained and untrained teachers (homeschool parents or otherwise), but there’s definitely a place for trained ECE teachers.

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50 minutes ago, Quill said:

*shrug* In my county all incoming public school teachers must have a Master’s degree. They are trying to do the Finland model, I think, where teaching is regarded as a job commanding high respect, for the most on-the-ball people. I personally don’t think it’s a bad thing. There are still jobs for unskilled labor; IMO instructing and keeping kids safe and healthy for the better part of the day is not one of them. 

 

Definitely. 

So far 3 of the examples of people who don’t need higher wages are jobs primarily done by women house cleaner, preschool teacher and ballet instructors. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

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9 hours ago, hshibley said:

Do you think the requirement to have a 2 or 4 year degree stems from the fact that basically showing up is enough to graduate high school? You won’t be college or career ready but you have the diploma. If you have a 2 or 4 year degree you show that you can at least complete something that’s not a given. 

I'm sure that's part of it; employers love to see more data points on a resume. Seeing a degree means that you can finish something. I think it probably has many different reasons; maybe different occupations' requirements these days have different reasons. Overall throughout the economy, there is a push for more and more formal education before starting the job. One example is my CPA; I am grandfathered in with only a bachelor's degree. The Powers that Be raised the requirement to 150 credit hour minimum shortly after I passed. Another example is when on one vacation where we did a lot of different history stops. We went through several Abraham Lincoln stops in IL. He was a post master, store owner, lawyer, boatman, surveyor, and POTUS all with no degree (or even any formal schooling at all - I think it was about 12 - 18 months he attended school).

Possibly part of it may have been a push that happened from within the ranks of the workers. For example, nurses didn't used to have degrees; it was on-the-job training. They outsourced that training to a college; I think partly it happened because it's seen as more prestigious than no degree. So now, nurses require at least a 2 year, often 4+ year degree, and thus they are seen as a professional. Nurses now do a lot more of the medical stuff rather than the making patient comfortable (more blankets, walking them to bathroom). Those kind of things have been sent down the line to CNA's. I don't know if that is a cause or an effect though (were they asked to do more medical so wanted more formal education or did they have more education so they were asked to do more? 

 

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Interesting topic.  I think house cleaning could be semi-skilled or unskilled.  There are "professional cleaning services" that have specific methods & tools and specialized jobs for specific needs.  But I think most house cleaners don't fall under that umbrella.

I would consider my paid cleaning people to be "experienced" but not really "skilled labor" in the way it is normally meant.  That said, I pay them $20/hour, not because their job is mentally complex, but because it is just plain hard and dirty work.  In a first world nation, why should anyone work like that for minimum wage, beyond a short training period?

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