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What is a decent living wage, in your opinion?

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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:57 PM
Original message
What is a decent living wage, in your opinion?
NOTE: I'M NOT ASKING WHAT YOU MAKE!

There's a minimum wage, a poverty line, a median household income, and I saw an article today on how much you have to be considered rich. How much is good enough? What does it take to make bills, put bread on the table, enjoy some vacation, and keep a roof over your head and a running vehicle or two.

I'll ask for two simple things

What is the amount you think represents a decent wage (as $/hour or $/year)?
In what state or region do you live?

..and if you have extra time, does one person need to make this much, or do two people need to make this amount to get by?
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virgogal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Massachusetts---1 person----$50,000.00 per year
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bbinacan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. 100k
Because I'll need to fund my healthcare and retirement. Neither will be there in 20 years.
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enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
3. Decent wage: $25.00 per hour. (nt)
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. Suburban western PA $40,000 will cover a family of four
You won't live like Rockefellers, but you'll get by without worrying about losing your house or car or utilities next month.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. That sounds like Omaha.
A family of 4 can live OK on 40-50K.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
5. No matter where you are or what your job is:
You should be able to work 40 hours a week and afford:

A structurally and environmentally safe place to live.
Daily nutritional requirements met for a family of 4.
Adequate heat or air in extreme temperatures.
Adequate, clean clothing.
Money for transportation.
Extra money for incidentals and occasional entertainment.

This should measure the cost of living (and the poverty line) in a community and minimum wages should be pegged accordingly. A raise in the federal minimum wage every 10-20 years is meaningless. There should be an index that each census district measures every 2 years (when the ACS is taken), and minimum wage should adjust from that.

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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I'd agree with that
:thumbsup:
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. agreed
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 08:14 PM by RainDog
and to that I will add -

access to health care regardless of employment or financial status.
education for children.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. Yep. Those should be 100% taxpayer funded.
but until then...
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
27. Thats how it should be done
Everyone deserves a place to live and food to eat and a means to get to and from work and play. Play is important, very important to the human well being.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
8. Southern Calif. One person $60K minimum.
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 08:13 PM by LibDemAlways
Couple - $80K min. Couple plus two kids $100K min.

I'm not talking extravagant. I'm talking roof over the head, food on the table, clothes on the body, utilities paid, insurance (inc. health insurance) paid, transportation paid, home/apt. maintenance taken care of, education and/or job related expenses paid, and a little left over for incidentals, entertainment, and retirement savings.

I am well aware that people get by here on much less, but not without a struggle.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Whenever I see housing prices in California, I wonder how anyone does it?
Bay Area housing prices are staggering. You could (literally) buy a 5 br mini-mansion in Omaha for what I've seen 2 and 3 br homes sell for in many parts of California.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. 3 bedroom homes in my neighborhood go for over 600K. And I don't
mean a custom house. I'm talking 30 year old, crappily constructed tract houses on small lots. It's outrageous, and I also wonder how people do it. I bought my house 30 years ago when it was new for just over 100k, which was considered a lot back then. I definitely can't afford to move.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. A comparable home where I live can be had for $170K or less
.. or more if you want newer, shinier, with bells & whistles.
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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
22. There Are Apt. Condos in NYC That Sell for $3 million +
And they are the size of a college dorm room.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Or, choice "B" - live in Jersey and commute 2 hours each way
I don't know how New Yorkers do it either.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
31. Only 11% of the poeple who live in SF can afford to buy a condo in SF.
SF is 70-75% renters, those who buy are investors and out of towners.
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Hawkeye-X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
9. Livable wages should be set at about
$50,000 per person, adjustable for cost of living in certain cities (like California/New York) - but not more than 20% of the income.



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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
11. I'd say any less than 20k almost anywhere for a single person is evil
I tend to think most people in flyover territory would be solid around 27k, not great but self supporting and sustainable.

The super metros are a different matter, if folks are on minimum wage in such places I don't even see how they can afford to be homeless. 40-50 would seem in order just to rent a one bedroom and buy fresh food.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I remember when $10 an hour seemed like good money
I agree - not now. I would say that if a couple in Omaha each worked for $10 an hour, they could make it, but it'd be tight.
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MrSlayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
14. In a big city, $100k minimum for a family.
If you want to be able to live and not just survive.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Just to be clear - I think you mean places like Chicago, DC, Boston
As opposed to LA (where you might still be strapped for cash) or Kansas City (where $100K would go pretty far).
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MrSlayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
32. I live in Philly.
So, I'm going by that. I figure most big cities are close. Some obviously would take more like New York or less like the aforementioned Kansas City.
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:20 PM
Response to Original message
16. Very much relative to where you live
One reason I love the plains states low cost of living and not a serious poverty problem. It seems the higher the median income/cost of living in an area, the more poverty and poverty related crime which is present.

$40-50k for a family of 4 here on the plains.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
18. Hawaii single person $80,000. Two people without kids $65,000 each
Two people with kids $75,000 each
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
19. general info
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 08:31 PM by handmade34
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Thanks!
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
25. In North Central Texas, I'd say Minimum should be $10-$11/hr
In North Central Texas, I'd say Minimum Wage should be $10-$11/hr. Of course it would be be super duper were it even higher, but in '94-'97 when I moved back to the states and started over in a new career making that much, I didn't live too badly.

Granted, I wasn't going out very often with friends (but, being friends, they'd often come over and take me out), or buying the Latest and Greatest and Biggest and Baddest and Fastest new Madison Avenue electronic toy everyone said I couldn't live without (but I lived), and I kept a *very* tight budget-- especially in the summers when electric bills can get Faustian, but I did live comfortably on that, and assiduously managed to put $25-$50 back into my savings account every week.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
26. In San Francisco, living wage is defined as $9.81 an hour which is a fucking joke.
When a studio apartment rents for $1200 a month. My 20 year old daughter and her friends think renting a bedroom in an apartment for $500-$600 a month is a steal. Most of her friends live in marginal or illegal housing (tin sheds in backyards & tin sheds on roofs, windowless basements in old warehouses, usually with no electricity and/or bathrooms) in order to get by.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. I lived in Oakland in the mid 80s, and 500-600 a month was considered pretty cheap then!
I shared a 2 BR walk-up (above the Happy Burrito restaurant at 17th and Webster), and we paid (IIRC) $500 back then. Now that's probably well over a grand -- maybe more.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. When I moved to SF in 1987, a 2 bedroom apartment was $650-$750.
The 4 bedroom rent controlled apartment that I live in now was $1085 in 1987, $1750 today. (For comparison, a similar vacant and thus not rent controlled apartment 2 doors down from my building goes for $4275).


I find it hard to believe that you paid 500-600 a month for 1 room in Oakland in the mid 80s. If so, you was robbed.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. No - it was a 2BR
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 09:22 PM by OmahaBlueDog
Most 1 BRs I looked at wer around $450

They had cheaper stuff in Berkeley, but nothing ever came on the market near campus. Rent control -- people would hold on to places for years after graduation.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Ohhhh! $500-600 for the whole apartment! I thought you meant for one room!
Never mind.
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JoePhilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
29. How much you make does not reflect whether you are rich, or not.
Example ...

1) You are a kid from a poor family, you went to college and now have 100k in student loan debt. Because of your education, you got a job making 100k a year. That income is taxed at about 30%.

2) You are Paris Hilton. Mom and Dad paid for college, and you have no student loan debt. You parents have also been funding a trust fund 10k every year, no taxes, which is now worth a few million dollars. Your dividend income is about 100k. That income is taxed at about 15%.

So ... here we have 2 people, both making 100k a year, one taxed at 30%, one taxed at 15%.

Which one is rich???

The GOP avoids this distinction because the super rich don't actually work, and when they do, they defer salary, and use investment income to reduce their tax rate.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #29
35. Which is why, whenever they get a chance, they recommend cutting
..the capital gains tax.

Forget the Bush Tax Cuts - I wish congress had left the AMT in place.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #29
36. You do realize just how few make a 100k?
I'm not saying it is wealthy or that it isn't s hell of a lot different than a trust fund baby but it ain't chopped liver, loans and all.
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