Sunday, April 27, 2014
The minimum wage life, two versions
It is possible to live on minimum wage, but not while working a minimum wage job. Take two people with the same income. One works 40 – 60 hours per week. He has to work 2 or 3 different jobs as no one employer will give him enough hours to qualify for benefits. The second person has the equivalent of a minimum wage income, but doesn't have to work to get his income. His small income may be from a pension, rents, investments, inheritance, or some other source. The key here is that he doesn't punch a clock for that income.
The working man's days are mostly taken up with the necessities of work. By the end of the day he's exhausted. If he's lucky he'll pop something into the microwave and zone out in from of the TV for a few hours before the whole cycle starts again.
The other guy doesn't have any more money, but he has the opportunity for a much richer life. Instead of working for wages he has the time and energy to do things for himself: cook meals, garden, repair cars, bake bread, cut his own firewood, and so on. His days are full, but he's working for himself. None of that work generates taxable income, but it does much to improve his quality of life.
A minimum wage income isn't the problem. The problem is that workers are actually expected to show up and sell they time for such a pittance. Such a waste of human potential.