Posted by Charity on January 24th, 2007

Not that I needed another reason to think that the Livable Wage Campaign is a complete joke, but I have one anyway.

According to the fancy graphic in today’s Free Press, the livable wage for a family with two parents, two kids (we actually have three), with only one wage earner is $50,319!

I am officially not living.

On the bright side, next time that I have to listen to some liberal tell me how they are going to help the poor, I can say, “Hey buddy! I know all about the poor. We don’t even make a livable wage!”

Livable wage includes costs for food, rent, utilities, transportation, child care, clothing, landline telephone charges, life insurance, renter’s insurance, health care, dental care, child care and tax obligations. The study also assumes 5 percent of income will be saved. It includes $2.30 per person per day for personal expenses such as books, magazines, newspapers, gifts and movies.

3 Responses to “This Just In – I am Not Living”

  1. We’re not living either by that standard – two adults and 6 kids and about 45K this past year and no gov’t assistance!

  2. We also aren’t living, by about a $10,000 difference. But, trust me, as our car nears death, we are very well aware of the sacrifices of having only one wage earner.

  3. Sorry, if this a long ranty post, as a poor person I kind of get fired up about this stuff.

    Those sacrifices that one has to make to live are growing and growing; that’s why most of us young people leave, and the ones that are here are rich assholes from Massachusetts & Connecticut (no offense to them, many of them are pretty agreeable rich assholes, some aren’t assholes)

    Do you feel like government has any roll to play in at least slowing the disparity between a living wage and what most people (that I know) actually make? Can a Libertarian feel that?

    The reason I think Conservatives think the livable wage movement is “a complete joke” is their deep faith in the unstoppable free-market, which was indeed working just fine for most of us until the late 70′s. (like the same time domestic oil production peaked)

    Way back in 1975 a couple could have two kids, a mortgage, a couple cars, and a retirement all on a single income now our “growing” economy is increasingly working only for the stockholders.

    If you can agree with that much maybe you find the livable wage ridiculous because on it’s face it doesn’t make economic sense: if the minimum wage is raised the livable wage will rise proportionately.

    In reality the proponents of a livable wage have a variety of ideas about how to achieve it. The ones that will work make simple economic sense:

    The biggest would be health-care reform as that is the fastest rising cost in business and government due to the profit incentive of the health insurance industry. But that’s a tough pill to swallow.

    Esspecially in Burlington shifting the school tax burden from property taxes to income taxes, so that the rent will stop rising with the school budget and to encourage more homeownership.

    More inclusionary zoning so that Burlington doesn’t turn into a playground for the rich… if it hasn’t already… I’m looking for a new apartment right now and Winooski is looking mighty attractive.

    There are also lots of creative ideas for building more housing that involve *gasp* subsidies but are really more like investments as they fill a critical need and tax revenue eventually comes back: 300 Lake Street is a good example.

    And, yes, another minimum wage increase would be good too as we know that money goes straight back in to the economy. (grocery stores)

    Or are we to just watch the market devour us all, from the bottom up?