You want a living wage? Work for it

  • Follow Letters

In Kevin Palmer's letter July 24 ("Richest people should pay most taxes"), he rants about a "non-living" wage, but he fails to define what a "living" wage would be.

Does he envision a wage that allows one to have a smart-phone, a 47-inch HD TV, premium cable service, most meals outside the home and a new car? Is the dwelling required to have a pool? Must the person own the home, or is renting allowed?

Mr. Palmer doesn't give his age, so I won't give mine. But I married very young and had children. I completed my high-school education with a GED.

However, there was education that continued (to this day), and there were low-paying jobs. I never considered any wage I earned "non-living." Less pay meant doing without things I couldn't pay for.

Wow! What a concept! If you can't pay for it, you can't have it! Even on $45 a week (my first adult job), I could pay for beans and cook them at home. Chicken was cheap, and I know several dozen ways to fix a pound of hamburger and stretch it to feed six people.

I used public transportation and always made sure that where I rented was close to the bus line.

Basic cable was available, but I had no television -- I was a regular visitor to the library, though. I knew all the best secondhand stores for clothing and furniture, and had bookcases made from cinder blocks and scrap boards.

Each new job I got was better than the last; so was the pay. What I learned from each job I took to the next one, so that I was worth the increased wage. And I continued my education through my own studies, and through classes attended at night and on weekends.

Many people along my way appreciated my efforts and my work ethic. I was promoted and given more responsibility. I believe I always made my employers glad to have me as an employee.

Today I am self-employed, and am proud to say that I offer excellent service to my clients. I got the education I needed to be able to do that, but it took time -- no one begins at the top. And only those willing to work and learn get there.

Comments (31) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 07/31/11 - 03:28 am
0
0
Many in today's society

Many in today's society thinks they are entitled and deserving without producing. They have excuses for everything, fail to apply theirselves in school, family, church and work.

There beliefs are reinforced by our enabling government through taxing those that work to give to those that don't. Live in a govt. house, use govt. services, get govt. tax credits for $$, eat free lunches at school, get an EBT card for your food needs....all the while, MOST of these same individuals have iphones or droids, decent cars, cablevision, etc. - They don't have to work or take drug tests (like workers do) and hvae these benefits for unlimited amounts of time.

You can acheive ANYTHING currently in America through education, hard work, honesty, integrity and a very strong work ethic. Or, you can make excuses and wait for others to work and provide you with whats left over.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 07/31/11 - 05:57 am
0
0
Everyone should make the SAME

Everyone should make the SAME wages! From the president to the garbage collector. The government should take everybody's money and redistribute it EQUALLY among the population-if you live in the U.S.,you get a check.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 07/31/11 - 09:16 am
0
0
Karen Stinson, good for you.
Unpublished

Karen Stinson, good for you. You're not a product of "affirmative action".

FalseHopeLooseChange
5
Points
FalseHopeLooseChange 07/31/11 - 09:25 am
0
0
Legacy entitlement recipients

Legacy entitlement recipients bounce off government provided-tax payer funded safety nets for decades, passing along 'rights to entitlements' to their next generation(s) who then expect or demand even more entitlements.

Have too many children at a young age?, drop out of school before graduating?, have you been arrested or incarcerated multiple times?, randomly do illegal drugs to forget your economic or social disadvantages? never have work outside your limited employment history or skills? Call 1-800-GOVERNMENT. 24/7. Service assistance available in 92 languages. Hurry - only a limited number of taxpayers standing by to provide unlimited funding.

scgator
1042
Points
scgator 07/31/11 - 10:34 am
0
0
Today I am self-employed, and

Today I am self-employed, and am proud to say that I offer excellent service to my clients. I got the education I needed to be able to do that, but it took time -- no one begins at the top. And only those willing to work and learn get there.

This is impressive that your clients speak so well of you, but what about your employees ? If your self employment venture is large enough to have employees, are you paying them enough to live on? Or are you like most employers who base their pay off of averages for the job. What that really means is that "I am not going to pay any more than anyone else".........I am a retired electrical contractor, and when I hired someone for a job, I ALWAYS let them set their own pay scale. My philosophy is simple pay a person what they believe they are worth and you will get someone who will "work their behinds off for you". They WILL be loyal and give you everything you need in an employee. You will run into some who will disappoint, but don't rehire them; Back when good workers were making $8.00-$10.00 an hour, I paid my workers $18.00-$22.00 an hour. And really, I never failed to make money on a job. I managed my jobs well, and my "employees" knew that I had to perform for our clients or we would soon not have any work. This philosophy works, but few will use it.........

dichotomy
48251
Points
dichotomy 07/31/11 - 12:15 pm
0
0
Our "safety net" has turned

Our "safety net" has turned into a long haul trawling net and the fish are coming from oceans away to jump into the net. No need to work if the government provides food, medical, Section 8, and enough cash for cable TV and a cell phone. They can always get a deal on a flat screen from the guy down on the corner who is stealing for pocket money because he isn't old enough to get his own welfare yet. It's a racket and we are fools for paying for it. We pay people not to work, we pay farmers not to grow crops, we block access to our own energy resources, we let the EPA and OSHA make everything cost five times what it should, we sign trade agreements that encourage companies to relocate overseas and, just to ensure they go, we tax them at one of the highest corporate rates in the world if they stay here, all while spending 140% of what we take in. With a plan like that, what could go wrong?

Haki
31
Points
Haki 07/31/11 - 12:15 pm
0
0
It seems the writer is in

It seems the writer is in touch with her own personal reality. I'm grateful our society is not dictated by ones own perception. I'm in a sad place when I compare my methods in life to how the world should be.

CorporalGripweed
0
Points
CorporalGripweed 07/31/11 - 12:52 pm
0
0
Love the title given the

Love the title given the letter. You want a living wage? Work for it. The moocher class is killing this country not just fiscally but morally as well.

CorporalGripweed
0
Points
CorporalGripweed 07/31/11 - 12:49 pm
0
0
dbl post.

dbl post.

allhans
25543
Points
allhans 07/31/11 - 01:39 pm
0
0
A big salute to a group of

A big salute to a group of local conservatives who sent money to "Doctors without Borders" after seeing the starving people of Somali as shown on newcasts.

A "Gift of the Spirit"..no force necessary.

billyjones1949
1
Points
billyjones1949 07/31/11 - 01:47 pm
0
0
Andrew and Haki, I think you

Andrew and Haki, I think you missed the entire point of the letter. She is saying that she was poor, applied herself, got and education and worked for what she has. Notheing wrong with that. Maybe those on welfare, Snap cards and the like should take a hint and do something constructive with their energy instead of waiting on those of us who work hard. Frankly I am so tired of their excuses that I do not pay attention anymore.

Willow Bailey
20619
Points
Willow Bailey 07/31/11 - 01:47 pm
0
0
A good letter, Karen, and

A good letter, Karen, and even better modeling.

Cadence
219
Points
Cadence 07/31/11 - 02:57 pm
0
0
Great letter, and great

Great letter, and great teaching from one who learned by doing.

SouthernChic
3
Points
SouthernChic 07/31/11 - 03:15 pm
0
0
PU: Andrew is well known for

PU: Andrew is well known for standing up for minorities. I think what you are calling an "elitist attitude" is frustration for those who think that their own life experiences should serve as a die hard rule for everyone, despite the fact that everyone has their own unique problems in life. The writer of this LTE was lucky that the father of her children stuck around to provide a second salary. Not everyone is so lucky. While I applaud Mrs.Stinson's hard work, you must remember that not everyone is in the same situation as her.

The largest number of people on welfare and other social programs are children. And I think it's absurd to take away welfare completely, making kids suffer because their parents were idiots.
I have a friend who works in the school system here. There are children who might get 1 meal a day, and that is their free lunch at schools. I've seen hurt or sick children come to the hospital that wouldn't have otherwise been able to be seen by a doctor if it wasn't for Georgia's PeachCare system.
While there are some that abuse the system,there are those who use welfare programs as they are meant to be-as a helping hand up.

Techfan
6464
Points
Techfan 07/31/11 - 04:27 pm
0
0
" I married very young and

" I married very young and had children." "Even on $45 a week (my first adult job)" So we are left with a quandry. Did hubby not work and Karen had to support a family on $45 a week or is she stretching the truth on the amount she had to live? If $45 a week was the minimum wage at the time, it would have placed it in the early sixties. If so, and both she and her husband were making $45 per week, that would be the equivalent of over $34,000 today. While not a fortune, it doesn't sound quite as dismal as Karen makes it out to be.

scgator
1042
Points
scgator 07/31/11 - 04:41 pm
0
0
@scgator; You said not to

@scgator; You said not to rehire them which would indicate to me that you fired them in the first place. My friend, the unions would not be happy with you at all sir. You better have a better reason to fire someone than they just didn't produce the way you (the owner) thought. As the owner of a business, you don't have a right to decide how much work your workers do (according to unions).

I have NEVER fired an employee; the type work we did was short term construction work and specialty projects. You do not hire long term employees in my business, because that is the nature of the business. I made sure that I paid them very well, so that I got a quality product and also had "returning employees" when I had an outage or a project.

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 07/31/11 - 04:47 pm
0
0
Southern Chic....what I was
Unpublished

Southern Chic....what I was pointing out was the hypocrisy of Andrew's comment...he had earlier pointed out his achievements and hard work (that by the way, are commendable), yet 10 days later he deemed it necessary to belittle someone who has basically done the same, but took a different road. Regarding the letter writers "luck", sometimes you make your own luck...hard work and perseverance make up for a lot of short comings, I know, I have firsthand experience.

I don't disagree on your comments regarding assistance for children, however there needs to be some "payback" from the irresponsible parents...this payback should be in the form of some tangible repayment for the assistance provided. That payback should be some sort of work.

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 07/31/11 - 04:56 pm
0
0
Techfan....1973 the minimum
Unpublished

Techfan....1973 the minimum wage was $1.60....In 1973 I worked 90 hours a week for $1 an hour and no overtime....when I asked about minimum wage I was told I could either work at the rate I had, or go home, those days that 90 dollars a week seemed pretty good to me. Also $45 sounds about right for take home for a 40 hour week at $1.60/hr

follower
346
Points
follower 07/31/11 - 05:22 pm
0
0
scgator, hiring contract

scgator, hiring contract workers is great. They work for the length of the project, and you are not on the hook for anything else.

Try this one. I have 19 employees, have been in business for 16 years, and still have my 1st through 4th employee. The average tenure is 8.9 years. They stay because they are well taken care of, and their employment has been continuous, week after week, month after month, and year after year, mind you, with health insurance. And yes, they make better than average wages, but we don't break the bank.

I have no problem with contract work. The owner takes on a project and hires for a given term. When there is no work, there are no workers, and consequently, no pay.

Start a business where for 192 consecutive months, you pay your people for the work they've done, appreciate them, provide health insurance, and bonus them when the company does well.

I'm not blaming you for operating as you do, but it's a little more difficult to provide wages and benefits on an ongoing basis for an extended time.

Pat yourself on the back if it makes you feel better, but try taking on employees for the long haul, good or bad, and then get back to me.

allhans
25543
Points
allhans 07/31/11 - 05:32 pm
0
0
MR. CRAMER:We were all

MR. CRAMER:We were all hopeful in Wall Street and in Main Street that the president would come out and say a few things which said compromise. He came out and panicked the heck out of us. He talked about the higher interest rates for mortgages, he talked the spike--the spiking credit card, he talked about how hard it is going to be to get a student loan. It took us all aback because we felt that he'd be a compromise leader. Instead, he created tremendous fear. Tremendous fear means uncertainty. Uncertainty means no spending. Uncertainty means no spending by businesses. It means no hiring. It was a setback.M
He caused the panic, not the media.

Meet tHe Press July 31, 2011

Little Lamb
57586
Points
Little Lamb 07/31/11 - 05:37 pm
0
0
DownWithPC wrote: If they

DownWithPC wrote:

If they (the Congress) pass a bill without letting the Bush tax cuts expire, I will vote for the guy in the third party, even if he is a cross-dresser who was abducted by aliens.

Then we're even, PC. I voted 3rd party for president and governor (GA) in 2008.

CorporalGripweed
0
Points
CorporalGripweed 07/31/11 - 06:08 pm
0
0
As I said earlier, the

As I said earlier, the moocher class (and those that buy their votes) will eventually destroy this country. Plain and simple.

galaxygrl
1460
Points
galaxygrl 07/31/11 - 06:40 pm
0
0
I could write several things

I could write several things here but DownWithPC, you take the cake. I am a life long Republican but just can't take either party anymore. They only care about their seat, their retirement and their lobbyists and that is on both sides of the aisle. I wouldn't give my teenage daughter more money if she continued to spend it irresponsibly and I am not going to give it to the government. If you can't pay your bills you have to quit spending or learn to speak Chinese. Enough is enough! How about term limits and a balanced budget? Balanced budgets have worked well in the states that have implemented them. You must be young because you don't have a global view. Take a few more classes at school and see if you can see how both sides are wrong at this point.

AndrewLafa
27
Points
AndrewLafa 07/31/11 - 06:47 pm
0
0
PU: I should have applauded

PU: I should have applauded the letter writers hard work, I see my sarcasm wasn't taken as it was intended. Yes, Mrs. Stinson did a great job through hard work and I applaud her.

But not everyone has hardships with the same circumstances. Karen had the help of another person to shoulder some of the burdens. What irritates me is that the same people who have worked hard to establish what they have, have so little sympathy for others who are in a hard spot. No one is calling for taxpayers to buy people flat screen Tvs, designer clothes, or a swimming pool. I think Karen knows that, and her remark was intended as a snark. So yes, I let myself get riled up and I gave it back to her. Monkey see,monkey do, huh?

There are calls from so many people to completely stop the welfare system, but they have absolutely no clue what they are talking about. As SouthernChic tells you, most of the welfare recipients are children. I don't think the majority of adults who get welfare are proud to be on it or want to accept it any more than they have to. I do not deny that there are folks who abuse it. Unfortunately they tend to stick in our minds a lot more than folks who don't.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 07/31/11 - 06:47 pm
0
0
If an employee is
Unpublished

If an employee is dissatisfied with his/her pay, start your own business and pay yourself whatever you desire ( or what you're worth).

AndrewLafa
27
Points
AndrewLafa 07/31/11 - 06:59 pm
0
0
I also think establishing a

I also think establishing a payback system would be great, along with an easier way to prevent abuse. I have ideas for that, but I'll save that for another day.

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 07/31/11 - 07:09 pm
0
0
Andrew...I think this is
Unpublished

Andrew...I think this is about finding common ground, what works for you may not work for me and vice versa...I do believe that the common thread is hard work and perseverance. It sounds cliché....but the only way out of the hole is to keep climbing.

We can agree that the children defiantly need to be cared for and that assistance should be rendered. We can also agree there is abuse and that abuse needs to be reined in.

There is much work to be done on both sides of this discussion. Hopefully, both views can leave the “snide” remarks elsewhere, and we can move forward in addressing the problems.

boilers
0
Points
boilers 07/31/11 - 08:22 pm
0
0
Commenters- Why stop at those

Commenters- Why stop at those receiving welfare? I think we should banish stay at home wives/moms from receiving their spouses social security and other benefits. They didn't 'work' so they don't deserve it. That would be a good way for the tea partiers to help balance the budget too.

TDBEEZ
29
Points
TDBEEZ 07/31/11 - 09:13 pm
0
0
PCness - u say public safety

PCness - u say public safety workers would be laid off in the event of passage of the amendment and u suggest that would be a bad thing. ur right. the only way to change the problems we have is for the problems to effect enough people to require the change. if all the public servants u mentioned were about to be laid off, i guarantee there would be cuts to entitlement programs(i.e. - unlimited public housing, food stamps, cell phones, section 8, etc..) and waste to ensure that those layoffs wouldn't happen.
i know everyone argues, "what about the children..we can't take away their govt assistance." how do u think their parents get govt. assistance? by having children, INTENTIONALLY!!!!!!!, at a young age (15ish) and jumping right onto the program that they most likely grew up on. and before anyone argues that little fact, i deal with it on a regular basis at work so i have experience with the "less fortunate". if they don't want/afford a child, why would they have sex without a condom and/or why wouldn't they use the simplest form of birth control (pulling out)...not to mention abortion or adoption. the guys do it because they will be able to stay at "they baby mama's house" after she gets on section 8 and they they can go on living without paying nothing. if we stop paying the tremendous amount for people who do not contribute to society or at least make them accountable for it, that would be a good place to start.
"taxing the rich" is already being done. The wealthiest few (1%)taxpayers are already paying 40% of all income tax. the corporate tax and restrictions are already higher and more costly than any other nations and it is the reason businesses take their production out of the country. Prime example - the Boeing plant that was built in SC was challenged by the a Union and a judge has put a hold on the plant keeping it from coming online. the plant was built in SC becuse it is a non-union state and thus it would cost less to build the product there. sounds like good business sense to me, yet because of restrictions the govt somehow has the right to make a private company halt business. the rule, as i understand it, states that a company cant move production based solely on cost to produce...WHAT!!!?? is there any other reason!!!
aannnyway.. i started rambling...the point is, u have to start somewhere with the budget. might as well treat it like a very sticky band-aid...RIGHT OOOOFFFFFFF!!!! going slow just prolongs the agony.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 07/31/11 - 10:11 pm
0
0
For the record, I have a

For the record, I have a similar story as the LTE. Dropped out, finished with GED, worked very hard jobs for beans and finally went back to school. Got a more rewarding job, but the pay still stunk. Went back to school again for a career change. Parleyed both education disciplines into a skill in demand and have worked at that for near 30 years: performing at a high level and getting recognized for it with promotions. My income now is not extraordinary but is more than adequate for my chosen lifestyle. During those years of working and going to school 16 hrs/day, I had NO help. I didn't get married until I was done with the second round of college, though I was in debt with student loans that she helped pay.
I paid for my poor decisions with 10 YEARS of getting to where I would have been had I made better decisions; so there is ZERO sympathy from this corner with people whining about their pay scales. If all you are qualified to do is minimum wage work, then that is what you are worth.

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs