it's not just about wages, it's about hours & job security too

Discussion in 'Labor & Employment' started by kazenatsu, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    People think the hardships facing the poor are mainly about low hourly wages. That's only about half the problem.

    People in lower level jobs tend to have lower levels of job security than people in other jobs. They can be fired for the slightest reason. Something might not have even been their fault, but from the management's perspective the employee is easily replaceable. Sometimes the manager thinks something might have been a certain employee's fault, so it's more convenient to just fire them and not take any chances. I've read many stories about fast food restaurants making mistakes, thinking an employee was scheduled to show up to work when they really weren't. The employee is then automatically fired.

    In many regions where there are shortages of housing, apartment renters are often forced into 12-month contracts. That means they have to commit to paying rent for 12 months. Sometimes they'll have a pay-per-month option but that's usually significantly more expensive and the rents would be unaffordable to renters living there long-term. (Just an example, in many parts of Southern California the rent for a one-bedroom apartment with a 12 month contract might be $1300 per month, compared to $1550 for the month to month option). So imagine you're already barely making ends meet and struggling to pay the rent and then suddenly your income disappears. It could take several months to find another job, and you're not sure whether to try waiting it out for a month or two (depleting your small savings) or to immediately move out and have to pay a big penalty. The event could also ruin your credit history, if you're not able to come up with the money, and in that case you might not be able to find another apartment in the future (most apartments now do credit checks on all new applicants and will not rent to those with a tarnished credit history). In the meantime, you might be moving into an overcrowded unpleasant situation, into a small apartment with someone in desperate circumstances, and there's still rent that has to be paid there. It can be very expensive to lose your job, even if only temporarily. Not everyone has friends and family who are able to (or willing) to take them in. Or moving in with them can strain those relationships. I'll also point out here that sometimes this can put a limit on where people can live and look for work, because they don't have any family there that could take them in in a housing emergency.

    As you can see, when you're not earning a lot of money and the rents are so expensive, the decisions are not so simple.

    Then there is the issue of hours. In a lot of low-wage jobs now the employees are only getting 25-35 hours a week. So why not just get a second job, some might ask. It's often not that simple. The managers want the employee to be able to show up at hours convenient for them. In many cases it's not possible to work two different jobs because the scheduling would conflict. A lot of corporate managers in the current low-wage job climate are not flexible. In many cases an applicant is not given the job if they already have a part-time job somewhere else. The managers tell this to the applicants up front. An employee might not know the hours they're going to be scheduled until a week before. They're expected to be available anytime they're needed (with the exception of the night shift, but even then on rare occasions the manager might put pressure on an employee to work longer than their scheduled shift).

    So you combine the issue of job security with lack of hours, and you can see the problem. It's not just an issue of wages. If workers had a guarantee of receiving minimum wage 40 hours per week, the situation might not be so bad, but that's very often not the case. Businesses like their labor force to be more flexible, but that also puts a burden on their workforce.

    If we are going to deal with the issue of poverty and the struggles of the minimum wage workforce, this is something that needs to be considered and addressed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
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  2. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    What's your point? Empirical analysis of course acknowledges that the minimum wage is not a particularly good anti-poverty device.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  3. Mircea

    Mircea Well-Known Member

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    That is true for nearly all workers employed "at-will."

    Then they can move to another region where that practice is not common.

    As of January 31, there were 7,751,000 Americans with two or more jobs.

    Somehow, they managed to do it.

    What needs to be addressed is the fact that they need to alter their life-style. They can, for example, share housing accommodations to reduce their expenses.
     
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  4. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I'm sure there's another 7 million Americans who are only working part-time because they can't find another part-time job that would be compatible with the schedule of the first one.

    Yes, like sleeping on the couch in a cramped one-bedroom apartment with two other people, people who you may not get along with so well because you were really desperate for a shared living situation as soon as possible.

    Then there's other people who have been evicted because their roommate suddenly flaked out on them and then they didn't have enough money to cover rent. Very common.

    Sometimes it can take two or three months, along with a lot of time and energy doing interviews, to find a roommate you're going to be compatible with. That's two or three months of you footing the full amount of rent yourself. It's a good idea to exercise a bit of caution before you just let anyone in because if you pick the wrong person, it's possible their actions could end up getting you evicted (ruining your credit history) or in trouble with the law. I know that may sound kind of ridiculous to some of you, but in this population (people desperately looking for roommates in a lower cost housing situation) that type of thing isn't as uncommon as you'd think. (depends on the region where you live too) Obviously this isn't something you want to risk if you're in that situation.

    I'm just saying, it's not as easy and simple as it may appear to people who haven't been in that situation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  5. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Potentially possible, yes, but there also generally tends to be a correlation between availability of job opportunities and rent prices.
    There may also be a trade-off if you don't have any friends or family living near that area who could take you in during an emergency, like I mentioned already.
    Suppose you have two part-time jobs, you lose one and now you can't make the next two months rent. Your family lives in a different state and you don't feel you can afford to give up your other part time job. What do you do?
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  6. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    Which is of course linked to low wages. Low wages will generate labour supply decisions which exceed desired hours (and also hours associated with maximising productivity)
     
  7. Mircea

    Mircea Well-Known Member

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    Immigrants do it successfully.

    Some people work a 2nd part-time job just for the extra income to double-down on car payments or mortgages.
     
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  8. crank

    crank Well-Known Member

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    You're describing a lifestyle and circumstances most of us do our utmost to avoid. Further, it's the life of the impoverished 18 year old, not the life of an adult. Even then, why isn't the impoverished 18 year old living with family? Why are they sharing crappy apartments with strangers? What sort of parent is okay with their kid doing that? Why aren't they providing a stable home for their kid well past the age of 18?

    But as regards the bigger picture, if you don't like the idea of living this way (low wages, bad hours, etc), don't set yourself up for it. If you chose not to study and gain well paid qualifications, why are you complaining?
     
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  9. crank

    crank Well-Known Member

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    If you can't answer this question, it's no wonder you find yourself in trouble (if you're 'asking for a friend', that is).

    OBVIOUSLY, a sane person goes immediately to family, and does their best to establish themselves while living rent free. But more to the point, parents should not be making their kids lives harder by living in places where there is little hope of higher education or employment. That's just selfish and wrong.
     
  10. crank

    crank Well-Known Member

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    BINGO! And they get well ahead in doing so.
     
  11. crank

    crank Well-Known Member

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    FAMILIES should live together (multiple families, if necessary) for as long and as cheaply as it takes to get established - on the floor, on the sofa, whatever. If you 'can't get along' with others on the same mission, you're not serious about getting ahead. Whether you 'get along' with the people you live with is entirely beside the point. You make it work, and don't let personal differences decide anything. If you think it requires the magic of harmonious relationships to make such arrangements work, you're living in Disneyland. NO ONE is perfect, but determined and mature people don't let that stop them from working together.
     
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  12. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That's how it's been in Third World countries for generations. It's the U.S. that is having trouble adjusting to the change. Before 2009 there were still plenty of Americans who believed once their child was 18, that was it, they're out on their own, and I'm sure there are still people in the U.S. who feel this way.

    Now you have whole extended immigrant families competing with 18-19 year olds for apartment space.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  13. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    Check out desired hours analysis into labour supply. Underemployment is rare; overemployment common. This reflects the nature of low wages and it's very negative impact on work-life balance
     
  14. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    No... ironically while some people have to work long hours trying to make ends meet, others are not able to get enough hours.

    On the face of it, it sounds paradoxical.

    However I'm aware you live in England so it might be a slightly different situation there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  15. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    My comment is factual: questionnaires on desired hours is common practice. Underemployment is relatively rare and overemployment is engineered through having to work more because of kack wages
     
  16. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Whenever you are working for the kind of place that has a corporate office, you’re typically given the fewest possible hours – definitely less than full-time, because then they’d have to pay you benefits. But even though your employer might schedule you for 20 hours a week, you might wind up working 10, or 30. It depends on how busy it is – when it’s slow, they send you home, and when it’s busy, they expect you to stay late. They also expect you to be able to come in to cover someone’s shift if a co-worker gets sick at the last minute. Basically, they’re expecting you to be available to work all the time. Scheduling is impossible.

    At one chain I was required to sign a contract stating that I was an at-will employee, that I would be part-time with no benefits, and that if I took another job without permission I would be subject to termination because the company expected me to be able to come in whenever they found it necessary.
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/21/linda-tirado-poverty-hand-to-mouth-extract
     
  17. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    Just more evidence that shows low wages and labour supply issues go hand in hand!
     
  18. Old Man Fred

    Old Man Fred Well-Known Member

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    An 18 year is an adult, and adults support themselves outside of those with disabilities.
     
  19. JakeJ

    JakeJ Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Answer: Lazyass parent(s) who never bothered to guide and direct their child(ren) towards self sufficiency and success across their childhood. Then letting them just keep living at home, while not even pursuing education or career development, is the parent(s) continuing to enable failure, laziness, self pity and a life based upon worthless excuses blame others for their own failure.

    Safety nets for fully healthy adults - whether the parents or government or both are the safety nets - enable failed lives. Hunger and cold are great motivators.
     
  20. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    Strange then that countries with much more generous welfare systems do not exhibit underclass problems. Why do you think that is?
     
  21. JakeJ

    JakeJ Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Unless a person has their perfect job - the absolute best they believe possible to obtain - a person should ALWAYS be looking for a better job, but NEVER quit the job they have until the new job is obtained.
     
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  22. JakeJ

    JakeJ Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Which countries are those? Name those countries. The few that severely restrict immigration to avoid a glut of low skilled laborers?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  23. Reiver

    Reiver Well-Known Member

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    Nope. You can refer to most of Western Europe. Interesting how you quickly changed to anti-immigrant comment mind you
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  24. JakeJ

    JakeJ Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The flaw in your example has to do with people living where they cannot afford to live. If living expenses are too high for the job market for the person's job marketability, re-location - or the person does have to downgrade where they live. Nothing new about that, it is all across history. Renting a room, rather than an apartment, was the norm rather than the exception.

    Think of all people now just assume they are entitled to compared to the past. Costly I-phone, internet, big screen TV, eating from fast foods or restaurants rather than making their own meals, must have a car and a good one - the list of expectations is long.

    The government demanding employers provide every increasing benefits and coverage to full time employees forced many jobs to become part time. I believe this was deliberate to artificially create more jobs - though part time - to deny the actual levels of unemployment.
     
  25. JakeJ

    JakeJ Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    To make a comparison the countries have to be similar. Do Western Europeans countries have birth-right citizenship? No, exactly none do, which includes then no entitlement to benefits. In fact, Western European countries are having increasing lower class problems primarily because they did start allowing in large numbers of uneducated, unskilled migrants.

    What is interesting is how quickly you declared this topic has absolutely nothing to do with people or a country's population, for which you want to make your point by comparing a very short list of countries - and then claim that comparison has nothing to do with the people of that country nor the laws of those countries.

    The Democratic Party would go absolutely hysterical and openly call for protests and riots, filibusters and every manner of ranting and raging if President Trump tried to impose Western European immigration rules on the USA. Nor is that a prediction, because that is EXACTLY what is happening now with DACA, isn't it?

    There is no DACA in Western Europe. No birthright citizenship. No acquired citizenship or right to remain by the duration of being an illegal migrant, and illegal migrants are always deported - if not jailed.

    SO - tell where you stand. Do you think the USA should adopt Western European laws and restrictions in regards to immigrants - since you claim they are the model to follow?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018

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