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The Secret Board -> Super Size Me guy has a new show on FX
 
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  DDF_at_work
 
June 15, 2005 2:23:08 pm
 
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Super Size Me guy has a new show on FX
Looks interesting.

quote:
Tonight's premiere (10 ET/PT) sends Spurlock and his fiancée, Alexandra Jamieson, on a monthlong journey into the life of the working poor.

The couple rent an apartment in a seedy section of Columbus, Ohio, seek minimum-wage jobs and, armed with a bus pass, struggle to make ends meet — a plight familiar to millions of everyday Americans.

Spurlock's trip to the poverty line "got really difficult," he says. He took day jobs in construction and landscaping; she washed dishes at a coffee house.

On living hand to mouth, he says, "I didn't realize what a strain it would put on our relationship."

And the toll of unforeseen events — such as two costly trips to hospital emergency rooms — showed that "all it takes is for one thing to come along to throw you into this bottomless pit," Spurlock says.


http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2005-06-14-30-days_x.htm

 
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  tvwxman
 
June 15, 2005 3:45:37 pm
 
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quote:
DDF_at_work said...

And the toll of unforeseen events — such as two costly trips to hospital emergency rooms — showed that "all it takes is for one thing to come along to throw you into this bottomless pit," Spurlock says.

http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2005-06-14-30-days_x.htm




I've seen the previews for this, and I'm thinking of watching it just to time the number of seconds ittakes before he says that we need to raise the minimum wage in this country, since there are so, so many people who are Spurlock's age who are raising a family on nothing more than minimum wage.

And Spurlock -- it's not just one thing that throws you in that bottomless pit if all you can get is a minimum wage job. It's a whole lot of individual decisions you've made over the years that are coming back to bite you in the butt.



 
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  DDF_at_work
 
June 15, 2005 4:02:17 pm
 
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quote:
tvwxman said...

I've seen the previews for this, and I'm thinking of watching it just to time the number of seconds ittakes before he says that we need to raise the minimum wage in this country, since there are so, so many people who are Spurlock's age who are raising a family on nothing more than minimum wage.



quote:
In March 2003, about 13% of the workforce were low-wage workers (defined here as those earning between $5.15 and $7.99 an hour). Raising the minimum wage would likely have a direct or indirect effect on the earnings of many of these millions of workers.

Not surprisingly, a significant share of low-wage workers had low family incomes in 2002.2 Nationally, 38% of workers who earned between $5.15 and $7.99 in March 2003 had low incomes in the previous calendar year (Figure 2A). (Low income is defined here as income below twice the poverty line, a commonly used measure for the level at which the costs of basic needs start to be provided for. As noted above, for a family of three this is less than $29,000 per year.) For these low-wage, low-income, workers:

• On average, their earnings contributed 68% of their total family income in 2002.

• Almost half (47%) were married or had children.

• Eighty-seven percent were 20 years of age or older.


http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/issuebrief201


 
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  tvwxman
 
June 15, 2005 4:04:26 pm
 
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Cool. I'm all in favor of raising the minimum wage to $75,000 per year then.
I mean, if we're going to eliminate poverty, just a buck and a half extra an hour isn't going to do much. Might as well make it real change.



 
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June 15, 2005 4:07:24 pm
 
  Nutsack

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quote:
tvwxman said...
Cool. I'm all in favor of raising the minimum wage to $75,000 per year then.
I mean, if we're going to eliminate poverty, just a buck and a half extra an hour isn't going to do much. Might as well make it real change.





You know, they could easily jump their salary up to 30k/year by getting a second job.


 
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  DDF_at_work
 
June 15, 2005 4:07:55 pm
 
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quote:
tvwxman said...
Cool. I'm all in favor of raising the minimum wage to $75,000 per year then.




Well, I didn't say that but it shoots down your assertion that people with families aren't making minimum wage. Also, re: your point about choices, if you start out poor, and your only options are minimum wage jobs, what choices do you even have that will either allow you to move up or stay where you are?

 
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  minotauro
 
June 15, 2005 4:08:58 pm
 
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quote:
Poster said...
quote:
tvwxman said...
Cool. I'm all in favor of raising the minimum wage to $75,000 per year then.
I mean, if we're going to eliminate poverty, just a buck and a half extra an hour isn't going to do much. Might as well make it real change.





You know, they could easily jump their salary up to 30k/year by getting a second job.




Socialists actually believe that working a second job is immoral because you would be taking a job away from another comrade person.

 
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  DDF_at_work
 
June 15, 2005 4:09:28 pm
 
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quote:
Poster said...
quote:
tvwxman said...
Cool. I'm all in favor of raising the minimum wage to $75,000 per year then.
I mean, if we're going to eliminate poverty, just a buck and a half extra an hour isn't going to do much. Might as well make it real change.





You know, they could easily jump their salary up to 30k/year by getting a second job.




In the show, the guy works two minimum wage jobs and he's away from home for 18 hours a day just to get by.

 
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June 15, 2005 4:12:00 pm
 
  Nutsack

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quote:
DDF_at_work said...
quote:
tvwxman said...
Cool. I'm all in favor of raising the minimum wage to $75,000 per year then.




Well, I didn't say that but it shoots down your assertion that people with families aren't making minimum wage. Also, re: your point about choices, if you start out poor, and your only options are minimum wage jobs, what choices do you even have that will either allow you to move up or stay where you are?



Well perhaps if your only prospects for a job are minimum wage jobs YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE CHILDREN.

But you know, that's just me.

Hell, I have a decent paying job, and I'm not financially comfortable enough to start having kids. It's just common fucking sense. Which I guess can't be assumed if you're at a minimum wage job.

 
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  Poster
 
June 15, 2005 4:13:45 pm
 
  Nutsack

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quote:
DDF_at_work said...
In the show, the guy works two minimum wage jobs and he's away from home for 18 hours a day just to get by.



So 18 hours/day * minimum wage (5.35?) = $96.30/day.

Given a 5 day work week, that's $481/week, which translates to $25k/year.

You're telling me that you can't live on $25k/year?

Edit: You're telling me that 25k/year is "just getting by"?

Tell that to my RN friend who owns a home and a vehicle, and gets by just fine on 30k/year.

 
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  tvwxman
 
June 15, 2005 4:21:43 pm
 
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quote:
DDF_at_work said...
quote:
tvwxman said...
Cool. I'm all in favor of raising the minimum wage to $75,000 per year then.




Well, I didn't say that but it shoots down your assertion that people with families aren't making minimum wage. Also, re: your point about choices, if you start out poor, and your only options are minimum wage jobs, what choices do you even have that will either allow you to move up or stay where you are?


OK, that snippet says nothing about those people STAYING at the minimum wage level. In fact, most studies show that through someone's entire earning career, they are likely to move up and down the income scale. I would be very interested to see the numbers of people who spent their entire 35-40 year work life at minimum wage.

As far as choices go, it's an individual choice to be poor. To wit:

My father grew up in a family whose mom had an 8th grade education; his dad had a 6th grade education. He grew up in downeast Maine, in the poorest county in the state. He went to elementary school in a 1-room schoolhouse; high school in one of the worst-performing school systems in the state. He was a straight C-student. The best job in the county was at the mill, but since his dad wasn't working there, the union wouldn't let him in. To top it off, he had a baby before he graduated high school.

So, he joined the Navy. Spent 3 years as a seaman, left to go to sea almost immediately after boot camp, leaving my 19-year old mother in Florida (where she didn't know anyon) in a slum in poor Navy housing for 6 months.

He thought the Navy was a dead end, so they moved back to Maine and he worked 2 jobs while my mother went to college (she also worked full time); living in trailer parks around the campus. He sold all of his nonessential possessions. We drove around in a tiny Toyota with 200,000 miles on it.

After a couple of years, he got laid off when the airline he worked for (baggage handler) went out of business, he tried and failed to get into the Navy. After another year of trying, he re-enlisted, and we traveled 3,000 miles away to the West coast. We lived in trailer parks there, since he was only a petty officer 3rd/2nd class, and my mother worked in retail for a small store in town.

When he was finally promoted to first class, he had two choices: wait another 10 years and get a promotion to chief; or go to college and get a degree and become an officer. So, he enrolled and got his degree, fought to get accepted to OCS (he was too old for most people at the time), got in on the 5th try, and went back to boot camp. He finished his career as one of the oldest Lt. Commanders in the navy, and now works in IT.

Bottom line: Both of my parents now make over 6 figures.

His younger brother has a similar story, but his sister didn't make those choices, and now lives hand-to-mouth at her mom's house.

Choices matter. Is it tougher for those in poverty? Absolutely. But is it impossible? Absolutely not.


 
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  minotauro
 
June 15, 2005 4:22:17 pm
 
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quote:
Poster said...
Tell that to my RN friend who owns a home and a vehicle, and gets by just fine on 30k/year.



RNs don't make $30K. They make a ton more. He/She is getting screwed royally.

 
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  tvwxman
 
June 15, 2005 4:24:08 pm
 
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quote:
Poster said...
quote:
DDF_at_work said...
In the show, the guy works two minimum wage jobs and he's away from home for 18 hours a day just to get by.



So 18 hours/day * minimum wage (5.35?) = $96.30/day.

Given a 5 day work week, that's $481/week, which translates to $25k/year.

You're telling me that you can't live on $25k/year?

Edit: You're telling me that 25k/year is "just getting by"?

Tell that to my RN friend who owns a home and a vehicle, and gets by just fine on 30k/year.



I didn't do the math, but that's living well, depending on where you are. My first job in TV paid $13,000 per year (in 1995/1996) -- salary, not hourly. I routinely worked 50-60 hour weeks, which comes up to about $4.50 per hour. And that was before Union dues, who were doing such a good job.

 
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  Poster
 
June 15, 2005 4:24:25 pm
 
  Nutsack

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quote:
minotauro said...
quote:
Poster said...
Tell that to my RN friend who owns a home and a vehicle, and gets by just fine on 30k/year.



RNs don't make $30K. They make a ton more. He/She is getting screwed royally.



Maybe she's not an RN. She might be an LPN or something. I know she's a nurse at a private pediatric center, and she makes 30k/year and owns a townhome in Dunwoody/Sandy Springs.

 
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  minotauro
 
June 15, 2005 4:26:42 pm
 
  Mexitauro

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quote:
Poster said...
quote:
minotauro said...
quote:
Poster said...
Tell that to my RN friend who owns a home and a vehicle, and gets by just fine on 30k/year.



RNs don't make $30K. They make a ton more. He/She is getting screwed royally.



Maybe she's not an RN. She might be an LPN or something. I know she's a nurse at a private pediatric center, and she makes 30k/year and owns a townhome in Dunwoody/Sandy Springs.



Oh, ok. Yeah, she's probably a Medical Technician or a Medical Assistant. To put it into an understandable context, if RNs are bachelor degrees, then MAs and MTs are associate degrees.

 
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  DDF_at_work
 
June 15, 2005 4:31:08 pm
 
  America Hater

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quote:
Poster said...
quote:
DDF_at_work said...
In the show, the guy works two minimum wage jobs and he's away from home for 18 hours a day just to get by.



So 18 hours/day * minimum wage (5.35?) = $96.30/day.

Given a 5 day work week, that's $481/week, which translates to $25k/year.

You're telling me that you can't live on $25k/year?

Edit: You're telling me that 25k/year is "just getting by"?

Tell that to my RN friend who owns a home and a vehicle, and gets by just fine on 30k/year.



You're not factoring in taxes withheld which I'm guessing brings the weekly take home to about $380/week. I'm not sure where the show was shot but in Chicago, a two bedroom apt is $800/month or so. The show is him, his fiancee, and his brother's kids living with them for the month so you have two incomes but I can definitely see how you would have to stretch your dollars. He says he's lucky that his wife can cook meals that will last for three or four days with $35/week on groceries.

But what kind of life is that when you are either working or commuting for 18 hours a day? How long can you keep that pace up? That has to burn people out, but I that people out there do it.

 
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  DDF_at_work
 
June 15, 2005 4:35:42 pm
 
  America Hater

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quote:
tvwxman said...
quote:
Poster said...
quote:
DDF_at_work said...
In the show, the guy works two minimum wage jobs and he's away from home for 18 hours a day just to get by.



So 18 hours/day * minimum wage (5.35?) = $96.30/day.

Given a 5 day work week, that's $481/week, which translates to $25k/year.

You're telling me that you can't live on $25k/year?

Edit: You're telling me that 25k/year is "just getting by"?

Tell that to my RN friend who owns a home and a vehicle, and gets by just fine on 30k/year.



I didn't do the math, but that's living well, depending on where you are. My first job in TV paid $13,000 per year (in 1995/1996) -- salary, not hourly. I routinely worked 50-60 hour weeks, which comes up to about $4.50 per hour. And that was before Union dues, who were doing such a good job.



My first job in TV paid $15k a year in Atlanta. I was huge on shopping at the A&P on Ponce because they had double coupons every day and I could get a decent amount of food for $20. Yep, I've been there too but I knew that if I worked my way up I would get more money and I did. If you're working minimum wage at Burger King or wherever there's not a lot of opportunity to move up or a place to move to.

 
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  DDF_at_work
 
June 15, 2005 4:36:30 pm
 
  America Hater

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quote:
tvwxman said...
quote:
DDF_at_work said...
quote:
tvwxman said...
Cool. I'm all in favor of raising the minimum wage to $75,000 per year then.




Well, I didn't say that but it shoots down your assertion that people with families aren't making minimum wage. Also, re: your point about choices, if you start out poor, and your only options are minimum wage jobs, what choices do you even have that will either allow you to move up or stay where you are?


OK, that snippet says nothing about those people STAYING at the minimum wage level. In fact, most studies show that through someone's entire earning career, they are likely to move up and down the income scale. I would be very interested to see the numbers of people who spent their entire 35-40 year work life at minimum wage.

As far as choices go, it's an individual choice to be poor. To wit:

My father grew up in a family whose mom had an 8th grade education; his dad had a 6th grade education. He grew up in downeast Maine, in the poorest county in the state. He went to elementary school in a 1-room schoolhouse; high school in one of the worst-performing school systems in the state. He was a straight C-student. The best job in the county was at the mill, but since his dad wasn't working there, the union wouldn't let him in. To top it off, he had a baby before he graduated high school.

So, he joined the Navy. Spent 3 years as a seaman, left to go to sea almost immediately after boot camp, leaving my 19-year old mother in Florida (where she didn't know anyon) in a slum in poor Navy housing for 6 months.

He thought the Navy was a dead end, so they moved back to Maine and he worked 2 jobs while my mother went to college (she also worked full time); living in trailer parks around the campus. He sold all of his nonessential possessions. We drove around in a tiny Toyota with 200,000 miles on it.

After a couple of years, he got laid off when the airline he worked for (baggage handler) went out of business, he tried and failed to get into the Navy. After another year of trying, he re-enlisted, and we traveled 3,000 miles away to the West coast. We lived in trailer parks there, since he was only a petty officer 3rd/2nd class, and my mother worked in retail for a small store in town.

When he was finally promoted to first class, he had two choices: wait another 10 years and get a promotion to chief; or go to college and get a degree and become an officer. So, he enrolled and got his degree, fought to get accepted to OCS (he was too old for most people at the time), got in on the 5th try, and went back to boot camp. He finished his career as one of the oldest Lt. Commanders in the navy, and now works in IT.

Bottom line: Both of my parents now make over 6 figures.

His younger brother has a similar story, but his sister didn't make those choices, and now lives hand-to-mouth at her mom's house.

Choices matter. Is it tougher for those in poverty? Absolutely. But is it impossible? Absolutely not.




So in other words, want to get out of poverty? Join the military! Are there other options that won't get you killed in Iraq?

 
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  tvwxman
 
June 15, 2005 4:46:21 pm
 
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quote:
DDF_at_work said...
So in other words, want to get out of poverty? Join the military! Are there other options that won't get you killed in Iraq?



Yeah. Join the Navy, Air Force or better yet, the Coast Guard. Plenty of openings still available.

See, this is why I always have to laugh at this response.

My dad, if you were to ask him, made bad choices early in life. He screwed around in high school (literally and figuratively), and because of that, his choices became more restrictive than someone who made the right ones. If he didn't have me when he was still in high school and got straight A's....heck, straight B's, then he probably could have gotten financial aid and partial scholarships to attend the University of Maine and recieved a degree. But he had to take care of his new family, and didn't have the time to take care of us and go to school full time. So he did what he had to do.

If I hear you talking, my dad, the average C student with a child and no way to pay for me, should have automatically gotten a scholarship to Harvard or a $30,000/year job because we need to be a compassionate society.

Like it or not, the military is probably the best way for people from the "lower class" to build their resume and succeed. You get job skills, you get a free college education (if you want it) and the possibility of promotion. I tell him that he joined the military so I didn't have to -- that is, I wasn't forced to joing the military because it was the only choice I had -- it was one of many that I enjoyed, because my father eventually started making the right decisions.

Or, we could artificially inflate the job market so people who think the military should be for building things and planting flowers feel better about themselves.


 
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  tvwxman
 
June 15, 2005 4:49:51 pm
 
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quote:
DDF_at_work said...


My first job in TV paid $15k a year in Atlanta. I was huge on shopping at the A&P on Ponce because they had double coupons every day and I could get a decent amount of food for $20. Yep, I've been there too but I knew that if I worked my way up I would get more money and I did. If you're working minimum wage at Burger King or wherever there's not a lot of opportunity to move up or a place to move to.



Speaking of this....

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/ts20050609.shtml


http://www.townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/ts20050612.shtml

quote:

Sometimes it seems as if liberals have a genius for producing an unending stream of ideas that are counterproductive for the poor, whom they claim to be helping. Few of these notions are more counterproductive than the idea of "menial work" or "dead-end jobs."

Think about it: Why do employers pay people to do "menial" work? Because the work has to be done. What useful purpose is served by stigmatizing work that someone is going to have to do anyway?

Is emptying bed pans in a hospital menial work? What would happen if bed pans didn't get emptied? Let people stop emptying bed pans for a month and there would be bigger problems than if sociologists stopped working for a year.

...Many low-level jobs are called "dead-end jobs" by liberal intellectuals because these jobs have no promotions ladder. But it is superficial beyond words to say that this means that people in such jobs have no prospect of rising economically.

Many people at all levels of society, including the richest, have at some point or other worked at jobs that had no promotions ladder, so-called "dead-end jobs." The founder of the NBC network began work as a teenager hawking newspapers on the streets. Billionaire Ross Perot began with a paper route.

You don't get promoted from such jobs. You use the experience, initiative, and discipline that you develop in such work to move on to something else that may be wholly different. People who start out flipping hamburgers at McDonald's seldom stay there for a full year, much less for life.

Dead-end jobs are the kinds of jobs I have had all my life. But, even though I started out delivering groceries in Harlem, I don't deliver groceries there any more. I moved on to other jobs -- most of which have not had any promotions ladders.

My only official promotion in more than half a century of working was from associate professor to full professor at UCLA. But that was really just a pay increase, rather than a real promotion, because associate professors and full professors do the same work.

Notions of menial jobs and dead-end jobs may be just shallow misconceptions among the intelligentsia but they are a deadly counterproductive message to the poor. Refusing to get on the bottom rung of the ladder usually means losing your chance to move up the ladder.




 
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