What should be included in a Basic Living.Wage?
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Thread: What should be included in a Basic Living.Wage?

  1. #1
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    What should be included in a Basic Living.Wage?

    Some people keep bringing up the Idea that every company needs to offer a basic living wage, no matter what the job.

    The question that comes to mind is what should be included in calculating what needs to be included in that number.

    Well, if we took Maslow's pyramid of needs, the wage should cover the "needs" of food shelter and clothing I suppose, but what level? Should food include dining out (some people can't cook after all)? Should it allow you to buy steaks? Would a rice and ramen diet high in vegetables (like the majority of Chinese live off of) be okay?

    Shelter, should people get a private place to themselves, or maybe be forced to live in a dorm situation like most university students?

    Clothing, used clothes good enough (value village, goodwill stores have lots of stuff)? Or should they get new?

    If that's not controversial enough, let's add a few "basics" that I've often seen with in my work with the poor...

    Cell phone? Hard to survive in our modern society without one.

    TV and, of course, cable.

    A computer?

    Bed and furniture, household items?

    Something else?

    How much should be allocated for each?

    Where do we draw the line?

    What amount meets the "needs"?

    Is your definition of "basic" the same as others?

    I'm not JustAGuy (without spaces), or Donald, or <insert name here>.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Moneytoo's Avatar
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    Hm some interesting examples (from 2014, so could be more expensive now): Paycheque to Paycheque: what it’s like to live on minimum wage in Toronto.

    I think TV + cable could be replaced with a tablet/laptop + Netflix (at least that's what my daughter and her roommate do - and the roommate has a good full-time job, so seems to be a conscious choice for millenials )

    And if no car, then fee for public transportation and occasional Uber should be included ($150-$200?)

    For Toronto, "my basic" is 2.5K/month after taxes - no, don't think it's the same as others (and wouldn't be willing to pay it for an unskilled labour if I were a business owner... but, then again, we pay $150 per visit to the house cleaning lady who comes bi-weekly - and is so booked, that our neighbour had to wait for a few months till she had "an opening" in her schedule )
    Last edited by Moneytoo; 2017-06-06 at 11:58 PM.

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    So you feel, probably because it's your daughter, that Tv, Netflix, internet access and the ability to buy a laptop should be considered "basic needs". Something society needs to provide.

    Why do we pay for libraries to give public access to computers and internet then.

    Is it not good enough to provide free access during business hours? Does everyone "need" private access as a right?

    Once again, I'm trying to figure out how much society, in this specific case businesses need to shell out to make society happy. Every dollar they hand out will cost the public more than a dollar in the end since companies need to make more than they spend to keep the doors open (inconvenient fact). People also want the lowest prices possible for goods and services provided by companies, so we're trying to figure out the balancing act between "greedy companies" and the "poor".

    In a way, we're talking about a modified UBI put on the backs of consumers directly.
    I'm not JustAGuy (without spaces), or Donald, or <insert name here>.

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    Senior Member Moneytoo's Avatar
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    Sorry, JaG, you're obviously on a mission, so why don't you figure it out - while I provide "the upgraded basic" for my daughter (and help society provide for somebody else's children - I found it rather ironic that Ontario UBI pilot was also intended to help adult children move out )

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    Not really on a mission but, just like when I started the UBI thread with the intention of figuring out where the money should come from, I'm curious what people think is required for "basic needs" which need to cover a "living wage".

    I suppose, as a business owner this is fairly important to me, but I'm also wondering if "society" actually knows what it's asking for. If, when presented on paper, it actually sounds reasonable or rediculous.

    How comfortable or uncomfortable should "basic living" be, or need to be?
    I'm not JustAGuy (without spaces), or Donald, or <insert name here>.

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    Senior Member kcowan's Avatar
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    I think you are asking How high is up? The answer is It depends! One BR apartment, cable TV, one cell phone, no data plan, food from No Frills, all DIY (no prepared), steak once a week, chicken 3x, remainder pasta, one trip to McDs. Good Will clothing allowance. Transit pass. Kids allowance to cover add-ons like bedrooms, more food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
    I think you are asking How high is up? The answer is It depends! One BR apartment, cable TV, one cell phone, no data plan, food from No Frills, all DIY (no prepared), steak once a week, chicken 3x, remainder pasta, one trip to McDs. Good Will clothing allowance. Transit pass. Kids allowance to cover add-ons like bedrooms, more food.
    That's pretty generous. I'd say a studio apt at best, if not half the rent of a low end 2br apt. Certainly not cable tv. Steak once a week is luxury. We have steak once a month at best. In most towns and cities that's about $1-1.1K/month.

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    Senior Member sags's Avatar
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    Someone sarcastically asked a tall Abraham Lincoln how long legs should be and he replied......"long enough to reach the floor."

    The amount of basic income necessary would vary according to the city. It would be much higher in Toronto than rural Saskatchewan.
    Last edited by sags; 2017-06-07 at 11:06 AM.
    Someone planted a tree a long time ago so I can sit in the shade.

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    How can goods and services be market driven when you legislate a minimum wage? Why don't people work at market rates? If there are a lot of unemployed, wages would go down, when labour is tight wages would increase. Same as the cost of goods and services they produce. You can't legislate half the equation then demand the other half works based on supply and demand.

    There is a big difference between what people need to survive. I've got some tenants (immigrants) who share an apartment between a couple of families. They work at Tim Hortons, don't eat steak dinner or chicken very often if ever, don't have a TV (they do sing all the time I've heard from the neighbours, not a complaint just an observation), have a cell phone, no car and also manage to take the whole family home (different country) every couple of years.

    Not on social support, pay the rent every month, never caused problems. Of course, also not Canadian, nor do they have the "entitlement" attitude.

    Note: For those of you confused, sags changed their original post that I was responding to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just a Guy View Post
    There is a big difference between what people need to survive. I've got some tenants (immigrants) who share an apartment between a couple of families. They work at Tim Hortons, don't eat steak dinner or chicken very often if ever, don't have a TV (they do sing all the time I've heard from the neighbours, not a complaint just an observation), have a cell phone, no car and also manage to take the whole family home (different country) every couple of years.
    Can't disagree with that. It's quite common. Add to that, many also send cash home to support relatives. They manage to get ahead and many of their children end up going to univ or technical schools.


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