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SkylitDrawl (2)

"I like sardines so this was a good dinner."

Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, Rep. Tim Ryan (OH), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL), and Rep. Barbara Lee (CA) are among those have been participating in the Live the Wage Challenge, posting on social media about their experiences. The Challenge (pdf) "asks elected officials, community leaders, advocates and anyone concerned about the growing inequality in this country to walk in the shoes of a minimum wage worker by living on a minimum wage budget for one week. That’s just $77."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 28, 2014 - 96 comments

I Don't Get These Birds For Free

Mary Poppins Quits with Kristen Bell
posted by nadawi on Jul 24, 2014 - 46 comments

The Great American Chain Gang

If our criminal-justice system had to pay a fair wage for labor that inmates provide, it would collapse
posted by MoonOrb on May 29, 2014 - 43 comments

What am I worth?

The Minimum Wage Worker Strikes Back - She notes that her hourly wage of $7.50 is less than a Wendy’s combo meal: “I make less than the Baconator.”
posted by anastasiav on Apr 17, 2014 - 203 comments

Less than you'd think.

Using food-stamps as a way for corporations to subsidize their payroll, keep people at minimum wage, and profit from tax-payer funded low-income support programs, has become an increasingly well documented phenomena. But how much would it cost companies like Walmart (the largest that takes in food-stamps from their workers) to just pay their employees a living wage, and what impact would that have on the prices? [via] [more inside]
posted by quin on Apr 7, 2014 - 66 comments

Gimme an R! Gimme an A! ... Actually, just give me my paycheck.

The salon visits, the makeup, the eyelashes, the tights were almost exclusively paid out of her own pocket. The finishing touch of the Raiderettes' onboarding process was a contract requiring Lacy to attend thrice-weekly practices, dozens of public appearances, photo shoots, fittings and nine-hour shifts at Raiders home games, all in return for a lump sum of $1,250 at the conclusion of the season.
A Raiderette has filed a class action suit alleging that the Raiders' practices violate the California Labor Code.
posted by rewil on Apr 3, 2014 - 59 comments

The Pity-Charity Complex

"I say “you” deliberately here, because much of the writing about low-wage workers tends to obscure just that fact — that these stories could well be about you. Too much writing on the left and the right has tended to treat the people in some of the nation’s most common jobs as if they are some exotic Other rather than our neighbors, our family members and ourselves. " --Sarah Jaffe on the media's strange ways of talking about low-wage workers.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 20, 2014 - 40 comments

"I guess [you] don’t care about hard work or loyalty," said the manager.

My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Cheap
posted by cosmic.osmo on Mar 11, 2014 - 241 comments

Behind scenes look at Daily Show minimum wage segment

Barry Ritholtz has a finance blog (Big Picture) and writes a column for Bloomberg. He was on the Daily Show with Samantha Bee and Peter Schiff discussing minimum wage in the American economy. He claims Wal-Mart and McDonald's are the two largest beneficiaries of welfare because a large percentage of their workers couldn't afford to work there without it. [more inside]
posted by bukvich on Jan 29, 2014 - 145 comments

The Rent Is Too Damn High

How many full-time minimum wage jobs would you need to afford two bedrooms in San Francisco?
posted by SkylitDrawl on Sep 28, 2013 - 101 comments

"Now I earn in a single week the GDP of Mozambique"

Mining heiress Gina Rineheart, Australia's richest person, the fourth wealthiest woman in the world, and not incidentally an advocate for the abolishment of the minimum wage who claims "Africans are willing to work for $2 a day" (and yes we've talked about all this previously previously), now has an anthem: "Sweet Child O' Mines", as performed by the Australian TV show Wednesday Night Fever. For maximum viewing enjoyment, imagine that Rinehart is out there somewhere gnashing and grinding her teeth over it while you watch.
posted by orange swan on Aug 16, 2013 - 34 comments

Goose, Gander, etc.

An editorial in the Nation recently argued in favour of higher wages for WalMart employees, many of whom make only the minimum wage. WalMart responded by pointing out that the Nation employs its interns at less than the minimum wage. The Nation replied that since interns are at the beginning of their careers, the situation is different.
posted by modernnomad on Aug 8, 2013 - 75 comments

Lovin' It: Minimum wage budgeting without heat, food or gas.

McDonald's has a new website dedicated to showing employees how to properly budget their paychecks. Death and Taxes takes a look and concludes: "McDonalds' suggested budget for employees shows just how impossible it is to get by on minimum wage." It also notably excludes heat, food and gas.
posted by DarlingBri on Jul 16, 2013 - 312 comments

The Fight For Fifteen

In what could be the largest strike of its kind, hundreds of fast food workers in Detroit walked off their jobs on Friday, echoing the rallying cry heard (or not?) across the country that the currently underpaid workers deserve $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation. Friday's strike in Detroit comes on the heels of similar actions in other cities—Wednesday and Thursday in St. Louis, and in Chicago and New York City last month.
posted by SkylitDrawl on May 12, 2013 - 110 comments

Living on Minimum Wage

How many hours per week does a person have to work in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment at minimum wage? Following a report (PDF) by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a rather striking infographic has been making the rounds (NYT) on the web. The bottom line: nowhere in the USA is it possible to afford a two-bedroom apartment on forty hours per week of minimum wage work.
posted by Scientist on May 30, 2012 - 190 comments

A new kind of civil disobedience?

Boston College sociology professor Lisa Dodson does research on poverty, public policy, and low-income work and family life. Recently her research took a different turn, as she discovered through interviews with U.S. managers in charge of low-income workers that some of them feel "(a) sense of unfairness (...) as a supervisor, making enough to live comfortably while overseeing workers who couldn’t feed their families on the money they earned. That inequality, he told her, tainted his job, making him feel complicit in an unfair system that paid hard workers too little to cover basic needs." Professor Dobson talks about this phenomenon, and how it plays out in that some managers undermine the system, in interviews in the Boston Globe and on public radio. [more inside]
posted by Harald74 on Mar 2, 2010 - 35 comments

Working poverty in Canada

Maid for a Month. On February 1, Ontario raised its minimum wage from $7.45 to $7.75 per hour. Well-known Toronto Globe and Mail writer Jan Wong: "I thought the best way to tell the story of that 30-cent raise was to work — and live — at the bottom of the food chain. I would find a low-paying job, a low-rent apartment and, single-mom-like, take my boys with me for the month and see how we survived."
posted by russilwvong on May 1, 2006 - 151 comments

Sierra Leonese Paid $0.50 an Hour in Iraq

What is a "fair wage" for contractors working in Iraq? Halliburton subsidiary KBR pays subcontracted employees far more than they could earn at home, in exchange for living far from friends and family in a dangerous work environment. KBR insists their contractors adhere to all local labor laws in the country where they operate. But when that country doesn't yet have an effective or legitimate government of its own, and the workers are brought from a country with a 68% poverty rate, is that enough?
posted by justkevin on Dec 2, 2005 - 41 comments

Working toward tomorrow.

Minimum wage is San Fransisco is now $8.50. Minimum wage in New York City is $5.15 per hour. Minimum wages from around the United States.
posted by the fire you left me on Feb 2, 2004 - 125 comments

Back to work, peasants!

Treasure hoarding bastards to the starboard bow, Mr. Christian! While they laid off millions and millions of workers, and starting moving jobs to offshore providers, the rich got richer. According to the new The Forbes 400, the aggregate net worth of the nation's wealthiest 400 citizens leapt 10% in the past year, to $955 billion. Meanwhile, minimum wage hasn't been raised since 1997.
posted by dejah420 on Sep 19, 2003 - 72 comments

An exchange between James Fallows and Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

[L]et me explain that your book is the account of three month-long episodes of attempting to live entirely on earnings from $7- or $8-per-hour jobs. You show up in low-wage cities and try to get on your feet, like someone "graduating" from welfare to work. One of many intriguing aspects is the juggling of three challenges: landing a job (not that hard, in the "tight" economy of the late nineties); doing the job (sometimes quite hard, as you make vivid); and finding a place to live (nearly impossible, for reasons we will get to).

The material questions are 1) Do we care? 2) What should we do about it? The author makes a couple of suggestion a couple of links into the article. What do you think?

link via adam
posted by Sean Meade on May 8, 2001 - 51 comments

Find out if you would survive as a poor, single mother.
posted by sudama on Sep 28, 2000 - 59 comments

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