How far will $10 an hour stretch in 2016?

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Earlier this week, just as media reports pointed out that America’s wealthiest 1 percent did better in 2012 than almost any other year in history, Gov. Jerry Brown came out in favor of a bill that would raise the state minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016.

Last night, the Assembly approved the bill on a 51-25 vote, sending it onto the governor’s office. The development is almost certain to provoke howls from pro-business interests claiming it will wreak havoc on the economy. But what will it mean for minimum wage earners, whose take-home pay currently totals less than $300 a week for a full-time job?

Here are some statistics to put into perspective what it means to be a minimum wage earner in a world of rising costs and a widening gulf between top income earners and the rest.

  • The National Low Income Housing Coalition notes that a household must earn $25.78 per hour to afford fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment without spending 30 percent of their income. Couples earning California’s current $8 minimum wage can muster only a combined $16 an hour before taxes.
  • Based on this map illustrating San Francisco’s gaping rent affordability gap, a minimum-wage earner (making the 2012 minimum wage of $10.24 an hour) would have to hold down at least 3.4 full-time jobs to rent a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rate – even in the city’s less expensive areas like the Bayview or the Excelsior.
  • Fast food workers around the country are aiming higher than the $10 per hour Californians may have to look forward to by 2016 – organized food service employees have been rallying to be paid $15 an hour, a rate they see as an actual livable wage. According to this nifty calculator created by the Daily Beast, using data from University of Massachusetts economists Jeanette Wicks-Lim and Robert Pollin, the cost of paying McDonald’s workers this much could be recovered by charging 22 cents more for a Big Mac.
  • Finally, it’s worth considering the growing wealth gap between the wealthiest one percent and the rest. From 2007 to 2009, average real income for the bottom 99 percent fell by 11.6 percent, the largest two-year decline since the Great Depression, according to to an analysis by UC Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez. Meanwhile, the top 1 percent lost an even higher percentage in that time. But then, during the economic recovery from 2009 to 2011, the one percent saw their incomes increase by 11.2 percent, while incomes of the bottom 99 percent shrunk slightly. Then, in 2012, the top one percent scored a 19 percent increase, their collective earnings accounting for 22.5 percent of total U.S. income. As Matthew O’Brien writes in The Atlantic, “it's the one percent's economy, and we're just living in it.”

Comments

what some committee of bureaucrats thinks that employee needs.

Intuitively it is obvious that imposing higher pay on businesses will reduce the number of jobs. That is well known.

but what is perhaps less well known is that it drives jobs out of California, to States that default to the Federal minimum wage, which is set at a much more reasonable level.

Your emphasis on the so-called "one percent" is disingenuous since overall the wealthy create jobs and prosperity, and do not detract from it. Driving them out of your jurisdiction because of a misguided sense of envy will not help the poor - it will harm them.

Example. Twitter is about to go IPO in the 20 billion range. That is massive wealth that has been created in SF and will be spent and invested in SF. No faceless city worker could ever have done that. It was done by the city giving Twitter a break.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

New topic. Same unsubstantiated talking points.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

But the truth doesn't change day by day.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

There are no truths, only opinions.

Posted by Guest III on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

But a near universally held opinion.

Posted by anon on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 8:51 am

You responded to that ignorant "Guest" troll who is always the first to post on any thread. Their posts consistently reek of smug and patronizing elitism and class-ism. Sick. The parasite lives in Los Ángeles but trolls on this site (banned from all the sites down there?) They slipped up this time...notice the "your jurisdiction" language instead of "our jurisdiction" (if they really lived here). That troll apparently has a robot that alerts them to whenever an article is posted on this site because they are always the first to post their smug elitism on any thread (so one always knows that the first post is toxic), either that or they are really that lonely that they just keep hitting refresh for hours throughout the day and night waiting for new articles and posts to troll on. Pathetic.

The gap between the rich and poor is becoming more noticeable by the day with the haves living right next to the have nots. $10/hour is nothing today. Let do-nothing corporatist CEOs et al try $10/hour and see how they like it.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

"your jurisdiction" quite honestly since those are different counties from SF.

The gap between the rich and the poor doesn't concern me because that is determined as much by having a few very rich people as it is by having a number of poor people.

If Gates and Buffett moved to Switzerland, the US would be more equal, but it certainly would not be any better off as a result. Focusing on the relative metrics rather than absolute measures leads directly to the politics of envy - always unattractive and ineffective.

Posted by anon on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 4:57 pm
Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

And you're no different. Most of what was written in that 4.45pm post also applies to you, based on what you have shit out on this site in the past. You're one cold, elitist, unfeeling piece of work.

Now for those who haven't had a lobotomy: Thinking/caring people are concerned about the gap between the rich and the poor because they understand the larger picture in that we have a very sick, unhealthy society---which affects us all regardless of our income level---when there is (economic) inequality.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

But I agree with anon here in that the focus should be only on the absolute level of poverty and not on any gap. If your neighbor becomes a billionaire, that is no reason for you to get a handout.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 5:59 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 10:27 am

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 10:28 am

"Pay should be determined by the value an employee adds and not that some committee of bureaucrats thinks that employee needs."

How extraordinary. I seem, somehow, to have missed that edict, even as eternal and impermanent as it apparently was.

In fact even if you believe in a rather fanciful deity that hands down down his missives on carved stone from mountain tops, I think you'll find a conspicuous lack of capitalist dogma, at least in the extant tradition, in the commandments -- although, I do recall something along those lines mentioned by Carnegie and Rockefeller. I think it's fair to say, however, that they were not wholly without self interest, as the litany of wage and price fixing committed by our barons of finance and industry has revealed.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

somebody is worth, but that would be a very strange choice. Want to give me $6 in change for a $5 bill?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 7:15 am

So, of course not really responding to the individual above who's either a sociopath or troll (not necessarily mutually exclusive populations but certainly not worth arguing with). But rather for others here: this exchange is a classic example of the gross intellectual dishonesty that's overtaken the right-wing. Even if we grant that the only arbitrator of price is the market, and that social Darwinism is the only measure of public policy, basic economic theory appealed to in the first post indicates that there is no inherent worth of work, except that which is determined by the intersection of the supply and demand curves. Most of us do happily pay $6 for something that could be had for $5 or $2, if we allowed child labor and enslavement and disregarded environmental degradation and the endangerment of the the worker creating the product. Those that don't have lost their humanity either through the arrogance that comes with extreme wealth and power, or through the dark and twisted convolutions of their own psyche. The opinions of such people of cannot be taken seriously except as markers of individuals to keep as far away from one's person as possible.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 9:19 am

I feel sure you do not pay $5 for a gallon of gas just so you can glow in your own nobility. We all make decisions every day about what other things and people are worth to us, and that is all we are saying here.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 10:36 am

a member of the One Percent, globally. To qualify to be a OnePercenter, you need an income of 34K a year, which half of all Americans get.

We are the One Percent, and nobody in America is really poor:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2082385/We-1--You-need-34k-incom...

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

$20,000 per year equals full time at $10 per hour. Most new jobs, especially low paying ones, are part time. $20,000 per year is poor. People without enough food or a place to live are poor. More everyday.

Comparisons of incomes between the developed economies and the developing world are meaningless without comparing the actual costs of food, shelter, etc.

Only the blind or deluded can't see the increasing numbers of poor people on the streets of San Francisco and across the country. I see people eating out of garbage cans every day here. Every day. I tried to buy a donut for a guy eating donut scraps out of the bin in front of a nearby donut shop, and he wouldn't let me.

A woman in her late 70's was hanging out after sleeping in my neighborhood park and asked me where the nearest shelter was. She thought it was on a nearby street. I went to check, but there wasn't one there. Her late 70's easily, living in a park, evading the police and other neer do wells.

Yeah, these people aren't poor. It breaks my heart and infuriates me.

But a jackass like you quotes the Daily Mail to pretend away these realities. May you rot in Hell.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

Too many poor people in SF? I thought the problem was that there were too many wealthy people in SF - isn't that the SFBG line?

So, which is it?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 7:16 am

But you are worthless.

You claimed there weren't poor people in America, misquoting, by the way, a Daily Mail article.

May you lose all your money and die penniless, in pain, alone, on the street, you callous asshole.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 7:32 am

place of personal inadequacy.

Half of all Americans are OnePercenters.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 8:12 am

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread have diminished the conversation into petty, mean spirited, irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 8:31 am

Marcos really has nothing to do with his life, does he?

Posted by A New Cash-Only Business! on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 8:41 am
Posted by racer x on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 8:58 am

Let me rephrase that:

You have nothing to do with your life, don't you?

Posted by A New Cash-Only Business! on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 9:02 am

it's fun interfering with and hobbling the asinine bullshit of complete fucking dickheads like yourself

Posted by racer x on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 9:21 am

Heck, he doesn't even like his fellow progressives. He's barely got a good word for anyone.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 10:37 am

You are not supposed to admit with your regular name that you are a troll.

Once the little yappy dog pulls back the curtain, the magic of your trolling is over.

Posted by Matlock on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 9:35 am

their troll name, then they are bound to slip up from time to time. That is what he has just done here. although his behavior is so transparent that we didn't really learn anything new.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 10:56 am

Conservative tabloid drivel.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

even the poor in US are quite wealthy by global standards. It reminds us that our real focus should be fighting poverty and famine in other nations, in the way that the Gates Foundation so effectively does.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 10:58 am

here's a good piece from rational wiki about the Daily Mail...

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Daily_Mail

nothing the Daily Mail says about who is in the 1% can be taken seriously

Posted by racer x on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 10:40 am

cited here and that is apparently OK.

So biased, prejudicial journalism is OK as long as it is your side that is doing it?

Anyway, the figures cited by the Daily Mail do seem correct. There are a number of online sites around where you plug in your income or net worth and it tells you where you stand globally. Here is one:

http://www.leastof.org/results

the average SF income of 80K a year puts you easily in the top one percent globally. Try it for yourself.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 10:52 am

the difference is that the UK Guardian is not biased by influence of the money of the 1% (as the Daily Mail IS)

and the 1% is the very topic at hand

so it is pretty obvious why the Daily Mail can't be trusted to pontificate on who the 1% is

Posted by racer x on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 11:10 am

You are obviously OK with bias because you read SFBG.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 11:21 am

every publication on earth has a bias

that's not relevant

what's relevant is that the Daily Mail has a direct financial conflict of interest that places in serious doubt any claim it puts forward about wealth disparity and who is and is not in the 1%

Posted by racer x on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 11:37 am

pointless exercise when comparing incomes across different countries and different types of economies without accounting for widely divergent costs of living is meaningless?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 11:25 am

into account as well.

As noted elsewhere, an income of just 50K a year puts you in the top 2% globally. an income of 70K a year makes you a one-percenter.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

Search engine:

US income inequality soars to highest levels on record
By Joseph Kishore
12 September 2013

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

That doesn't mean that the rest of us are poorer. In fact, it usually means that the rest of us are wealthier, because of the new jobs and prosperity created.

A constant focus on the fact that others have more money than you leads directly to envy and bitterness. Learn instead to rejoice when your fellow Americans achieve success.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 7:20 am

billionaires spend far less of their wealth on investment to create jobs, than do businesses and corporations which produce real goods and services for real people to consume

they instead speculate on financial instruments that bring the highest rates of return regardless of jobs generation

but even more important is the fact that billionaires *do* spend a *lot* of their wealth lobbying congress to *increase* wealth disparities and lower the pay and benefits of everyone else (so that the billionaires can hoard even more wealth)

because of this lower and middle class wealth is *declining* in real dollars

Posted by racer x on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 9:18 am

must be saving and investing it, which helps the economy more than frittering it away on Chinese imports and foreign vacations.

"Buy a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Create a job for him and you feed him for life"

Posted by anon on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 8:53 am

too thick to get this the first time

so let's repeat

billionaires invest their 'saved' wealth disproportionately into financial derivatives and other mechanisms like currency speculation and commodity speculation

they invest far less in actual direct production of goods and services, and so billionaires are not good jobs creators at all

good job creators are businesses and corporations (not rich individuals) which directly invest their profits into real production of goods and services

and how much those businesses and corporations are able to spend on new real production is fundamentally based on the buying power of the *consumers* who buy their products and services

so

cap the wealth of current billionaires to a million dollars, and then have them pay the difference to their employees (who likewise are capped at 1 million) and massively more people will be spending massively more money into the real economy because lower, middle and upper-middle classes spend far more of their money on real goods and services

result

businesses and corporations can spend massively more money on putting far more people to work at far higher wages and the whole society benefits immensely

Posted by racer x on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 11:52 am

in derivatives. In fact the main use of derivatives is to hedge risk and exposure, and not to speculate.

Most investments are in the bond and equity markets, which help fund enterprise, which creates jobs, which boosts wealth, which makes us all better off.

I'll bet the investor who created your job is wealthy, and that has helped your prosperity.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 12:42 pm
Posted by Guest on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Sep. 15, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

US food stamp use swells to a record 47.8 million
By Kate Randall
29 March 2013

Excerpt:

"A record number of Americans are using food stamps, known today as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Despite official proclamations that the recession has ended and an economic recovery is underway, families are turning to SNAP benefits in huge numbers. The working poor comprise a growing number of food stamp recipients, and about half of those receiving benefits are children.

Enrollment in the food stamp program has increased by 70 percent since 2008, to 47.8 million people as of December 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The biggest factor driving the increase is the stagnating job market and a rising poverty rate. This means that a staggering 15 percent of the US population receives food stamp benefits, nearly double the rate of 1975."

To read the rest of the article search the title:
US food stamp use swells to a record 47.8 million

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

Democracy Now posted today a far ranging interview with Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor:

Inequality for All: Robert Reich Warns Record Income Gap Is Undermining Our Democracy
Sept 13, 2013

"85% of Americans support a minimum wage increase. If you just kept the minimum wage we had a 1968 steady, adjusted for inflation, it would be $10.40 right now. If you adjusted the minimum wage or the productivity improvements we have had since the late 1960s, the minimum wage would be over $15 an hour. Martin Luther King in 1963, that was a march for jobs and justice, and one of the planks was moving the minimum wage to two dollars an hour, which, today’s dollars, would be well over $14, in fact, by some measure about $15 and hour. So, this is not out of our tradition. This is not a radical notion. This is what it would be, all other things being equal, and if you put more money people’s pockets, they can turn around and buy stuff, which means more jobs, not fewer jobs."

One point missing from the interview is that regressive payroll taxes have gone up substantially on lower and middle income workers since the 1960's. So not only have wages declined over time caused by inflation, but after tax take-home pay has declined caused by higher payroll taxes.

Reich made another important point later in the interview:

"Contrary to popular mythology, mobilization and technology haven’t really reduced the number of jobs available to Americans. These transformations reduced their pay. It is not just that wages are stagnating, but, when you take into consideration rising cost, the rising costs of rents or homes dramatically increasing costs of health care. The rising costs of childcare and also the rising costs of higher education, rising much faster than inflation. Take all of these into consideration and you find it is much worse than just stagnating wages, it is basically middle-class families, often with two wage earners, working harder and harder and harder and getting nowhere."

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/13/inequality_for_all_robert_reich_warns

Posted by Guest on Sep. 13, 2013 @ 10:37 pm

Here's an idea. If you don't have enough money then change your job, relocate, work harder, learn some new skills or otherwise take some personal responsibility instead of whining and demanding that others subsidize you by paying you more than you are worth.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 14, 2013 @ 7:21 am

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