Author Topic: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"  (Read 5684 times)

Valley of Plenty

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60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« on: July 08, 2020, 02:27:55 AM »
Sound the alarms, we've all been duped. First three paragraphs are just for context, feel free to skip over them.

I was recently added to a local activism group on facebook. I eagerly accepted the invitation, because I'm all about channelling some positive energy into important causes for the greater good. The first few posts I saw were pretty typical stuff given the current social climate - peaceful BLM protests, LGBTQ+ rights, etc. All things I'm happy to support. Then yesterday a post made by one of the admins came across my timeline, and it warranted some investigation.

The post was essentially about ways to boycott Amazon. It advised using amazon only as a directory to find products you want, and then using that to find the actual business selling that product and buy directly from them. Sounds well and good I suppose. I don't really have an issue with Amazon personally, aside from how many people use it to buy things they absolutely do not need. Some of the points however specifically mentioned doing this to "stick it to Bezos", and the comments mostly reflected that general sentiment. One comment however asked a question that I too was curious as to the answer to.

Someone asked "Why exactly is it that everyone hates Bezos so much?" To which the admin responded that he hoards wealth, doesn't pay taxes, and doesn't pay his employees a living wage. The guy who originally asked the question did some research, and responded that according to reporting by glassdoor and other websites that track employee wages for various companies, the average pay for an Amazon warehouse worker is about $17.90/hr. He then asked the question I was thinking, which was "What exactly do you consider a living wage?"

The response? "Well, $17.90 is not a livable wage and you know that. It's already been proven that the cost of living plus debt that you need at least $60k a year to survive. I had a union job with benefits at $17 an hour and I still needed a second income to even survive."

After reading that, I bellowed a hearty laugh before sheer incredulity over took me and replaced my mirth with indignant rage. I took a few deep breaths and proceeded to share my own comment explaining that I am able to live comfortably on $19k a year, and I know people all over the country living on similar budgets, even managing to live in HCOL areas like NYC on less than $30k. I asked them to break down for me what a bare bones cost of living budget looks like that comes out to $60k a year. They followed up with some figures about the average cost of rent being $1200 a month, and said that their 5 years of experience as a "Financial and Loan Representative" allows them to say with certainty that their figures are accurate. They said that my statements were classist and full of "poverty myths that have no place in progressive thinking". At that point I decided to opt out of the conversation, because it was clear that if I kept pressing the issue I was only going to get myself banned from the group.

Is there a better way to explain these things to well intentioned but clueless people? How can you convince someone to actually see through the consumerist brainwashing, and realize that a comfortable lifestyle costs far less than what they've been led to believe?

Oh, it's also worth mentioning that the person making these assertions lives in the exact same town as me, where I am living comfortably on $19k. Not sure what could possibly be making up the extra $41k of "necessary spending" in their budget.

marty998

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2020, 03:27:21 AM »
The usual stuff... cars, furniture, appliances. Plus childcare and insurances and school fees and kids activities and health costs. Pretty easy to see how a family gets up to $60k or more.

On the topic of Amazon. I do this when booking travel.

Most of the accomodation aggregator sites are owned by a couple of big bad companies. I’ll use them to search for a motel, then go and book directly with the motel (not through the aggregator site).

It generally works out cheaper for me, and the probably results in more money in the pocket of the motel operator too.

Sick of tech companies creaming off margins that I’d rather go to small businesses.

Maenad

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2020, 07:44:34 AM »
They said that my statements were classist and full of "poverty myths that have no place in progressive thinking". At that point I decided to opt out of the conversation, because it was clear that if I kept pressing the issue I was only going to get myself banned from the group.

Is there a better way to explain these things to well intentioned but clueless people? How can you convince someone to actually see through the consumerist brainwashing, and realize that a comfortable lifestyle costs far less than what they've been led to believe?

First, good job on backing down for the short term - I once got into a similar argument with a mod on a forum and it got ugly, since they can do things like post nasty things and then delete them and pretend it never happened. I behaved poorly, and should have done better.

Second, you're new there. I'd give it some time (like, a year or more) to establish that you're not a troll first. Let some of those arguments slide, they'll still be there in a year. Once people know you're "real", then you can start in on the challenging conversations.

Third, this conflict is a symptom of how polarized we are. People on the left of the political spectrum seem to focus on systemic injustices that impede many people from economic parity, and people on the right seem to focus on what an individual can do themselves, but both are true. Both have always been true. However, if you're in a space dominated by one side or the other and you so much as hint that you may think the other way, people are going to worry that you're trolling them, and this fear has merit, there are tons of trolls out there. And there are a few people who do indeed just want their echo chamber, you'll be able to see pretty quickly if that's the case with this group.

Fourth, make sure to read up on some of the criticisms leveled at FIRE bloggers and the FIRE community in general. Some of them have real merit, and a lot of us have blinders on when it comes to how lucky we are - my engineer's brain definitely gave me a leg up on earning power! Bitches Get Riches talks about this occasionally, and they present it in a way that helps you broaden your understanding of the wide variety of circumstances that people live in. Hell, I just found out that my asthma inhalers aren't covered by my insurance until I hit my $1000/year deductible, so there's an additional $1000 I'll need, considering that I need them to breathe. We've already budgeted for it, but damn if that wasn't a kick in the teeth.

RWD

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2020, 08:47:27 AM »
Yup, proven. Didn't you know that the 68% of people in the US with income lower than that dropped dead in the last year?

DadJokes

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2020, 09:28:29 AM »
It's been proven that people can't survive on less than $60k/year?

kanga1622

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2020, 09:57:41 AM »
I'm just shocked by his original statement of $17.90 not being a livable wage. Is this because it isn't sufficient (in his mind) to support a single person or a family of X people? I could easily live on that as a single person but can say that my family of 4 requires more than that to be comfortable and save for the future. But I'm not as mustachian as many here although much more so than my DH.

mm1970

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2020, 10:01:55 AM »
Quote
The response? "Well, $17.90 is not a livable wage and you know that. It's already been proven that the cost of living plus debt that you need at least $60k a year to survive. I had a union job with benefits at $17 an hour and I still needed a second income to even survive."

This will depend on location and other things, like health care, family size, etc.  But as far as Amazon goes, read into their use of "temp employees" who live in RVs and travel around to do heavy lifting, in their 60s+, because they have no other option. 

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century: Bruder, Jessica

As an example, renting a single bedroom in a house (the cheapest way to rent in my area, unless you are willing to share a bedroom), would use 45% of that income.  Rent alone. 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 10:04:02 AM by mm1970 »

DadJokes

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2020, 11:20:37 AM »
Quote
The response? "Well, $17.90 is not a livable wage and you know that. It's already been proven that the cost of living plus debt that you need at least $60k a year to survive. I had a union job with benefits at $17 an hour and I still needed a second income to even survive."

This will depend on location and other things, like health care, family size, etc.  But as far as Amazon goes, read into their use of "temp employees" who live in RVs and travel around to do heavy lifting, in their 60s+, because they have no other option. 

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century: Bruder, Jessica

As an example, renting a single bedroom in a house (the cheapest way to rent in my area, unless you are willing to share a bedroom), would use 45% of that income.  Rent alone.

What's your area? I bet I can find something for 30% of a $17.90/hour employee.

I just found a couple apartments in the SF area for $900/month, which is about 29.2% of gross income if they only work 40 hours. I found that on the first website I looked on with very little research. There were also a dozen or so houses that you could rent a room out of for anywhere from $350-$620.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 11:25:00 AM by DadJokes »

dogboyslim

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2020, 11:31:25 AM »
Your experience is typical of any conversation where you disagree with someone who is a zealot.  They cannot be wrong, so it must be you that is wrong, ergo, you are wrong and they are right.

Happens in all forums where there is a focus on a given opinion.  Anyone with even minor differences get called out.  I'd chalk it up and listen for the stuff that you find value in, and ignore the other stuff.

Or, if you like the cancel culture, just quit the group because they have 1 flaw despite having many positive attributes.  Up to you.

Goldielocks

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2020, 08:51:06 PM »
I'm with @mm1970 .  My 20 year old is looking to move out in September and looking at rentals.   Renting a room starts at $500/mo, but those usually have no kitchen (so cost a lot), or are in a rural area,  or require "Female Only / Vegan" to do some cleaning for the (usually Indian) family.   More typically a room rental starts at $600, and they even advertise $375 to share a room, a la Manhattan.

Sharing 1/2 a 2 bedroom apartment is advertised at $800-$1200/mo.   The cheapest, nastiest bachelor suites (old, no light, basement, away from transit) start around $750 to $800/mo.

So, 1/3 of $17.90/hr  salary would be about $1000/mo.  This is fine for people without dependents / kids.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2020, 10:15:39 PM »
They said that my statements were classist and full of "poverty myths that have no place in progressive thinking". At that point I decided to opt out of the conversation, because it was clear that if I kept pressing the issue I was only going to get myself banned from the group.

Social media is cancer and this portion of your post alone is one of the many example of why. People do not learn anything from social media, they only have their own biases confirmed because anyone that doesn't agree gets banned. Social media makes people less wise and more intolerant. It's basically a way to refine people into staying at the highest left point of the Dunning–Kruger curve, permanently at both maximum ignorance and maximum confidence in themselves.

Forums like this one have all kinds of people posting all kinds of viewpoints and they have to cite sources, provide examples, and nobody gets to be blocked, hidden, or banned simply for sharing information that somebody else doesn't want to believe is true or a valid viewpoint. Honeslty, I think the many years I've used forums have helped me avoid the worst trappings of unconscious bias and willful ignorance.

Valley of Plenty

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2020, 11:08:04 PM »
Your experience is typical of any conversation where you disagree with someone who is a zealot.  They cannot be wrong, so it must be you that is wrong, ergo, you are wrong and they are right.

Happens in all forums where there is a focus on a given opinion.  Anyone with even minor differences get called out.  I'd chalk it up and listen for the stuff that you find value in, and ignore the other stuff.

Or, if you like the cancel culture, just quit the group because they have 1 flaw despite having many positive attributes.  Up to you.

But I used to be one of those zealots. I used to staunchly believe that the lower and middle class were simply the victims of a broken system that didn't pay them enough to get by. I was making $50k a year "living paycheck to paycheck" with no savings. Then I found the Financial Independence movement and this blog, and now I'm saving 65% of my $70k income.

Problem is I can't get people to actually look into this stuff the way that I did. It frustrates me because they're parroting the same false narratives that I was a few short years ago.

Alternatepriorities

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2020, 12:18:00 AM »
In my experience it can be very frustrating to know the math and know that it won't change anything for people you care about but can't reach. But, the good news is I've been able to help some of my friends and most of my family live better lives by knowing the math.

My father is somehow saving money on $1,700 a month SS. He'll appreciate hearing that what he is doing is impossible. DW and I are currently being crazy spendy pants and only reach the 60k a year spending level by including the money we give away. Last year more than 1/4 of our expenses were travel...

mm1970

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2020, 03:40:06 PM »
I'm with @mm1970 .  My 20 year old is looking to move out in September and looking at rentals.   Renting a room starts at $500/mo, but those usually have no kitchen (so cost a lot), or are in a rural area,  or require "Female Only / Vegan" to do some cleaning for the (usually Indian) family.   More typically a room rental starts at $600, and they even advertise $375 to share a room, a la Manhattan.

Sharing 1/2 a 2 bedroom apartment is advertised at $800-$1200/mo.   The cheapest, nastiest bachelor suites (old, no light, basement, away from transit) start around $750 to $800/mo.

So, 1/3 of $17.90/hr  salary would be about $1000/mo.  This is fine for people without dependents / kids.
I mean, I live in Santa Barbara.  Rents are high here.  People are desperate.  I am hardly impressed if someone can find "one or 2" apartments for $900 in all of SF, for example.  We do have one slumlord here who rents to multiple families for lower rents, and he's been constantly sued by the city and fined and taken to court for substandard housing.

FlytilFIRE

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2020, 05:24:58 PM »
They said that my statements were classist and full of "poverty myths that have no place in progressive thinking". At that point I decided to opt out of the conversation, because it was clear that if I kept pressing the issue I was only going to get myself banned from the group.

Social media is cancer and this portion of your post alone is one of the many example of why. People do not learn anything from social media, they only have their own biases confirmed because anyone that doesn't agree gets banned. Social media makes people less wise and more intolerant. It's basically a way to refine people into staying at the highest left point of the Dunning–Kruger curve, permanently at both maximum ignorance and maximum confidence in themselves.

Forums like this one have all kinds of people posting all kinds of viewpoints and they have to cite sources, provide examples, and nobody gets to be blocked, hidden, or banned simply for sharing information that somebody else doesn't want to believe is true or a valid viewpoint. Honeslty, I think the many years I've used forums have helped me avoid the worst trappings of unconscious bias and willful ignorance.

Characteristics of Groupthink

When groups are highly cohesive, don’t seek outside perspectives, and are working in high-stress situations, they can be at risk for experiencing characteristics of groupthink. In situations such as these, a variety of processes occurs which inhibit the free discussion of ideas and cause members to go along with the group instead of voicing dissent.


Seeing the group as infallible. People may think that the group is better at making decisions than it actually is. In particular, group members may suffer from what Janis called the illusion of invulnerability: the assumption that the group can’t possibly make a major error. Groups can also hold the belief that whatever the group is doing is right and moral (not considering that others might question the ethics of a decision).

Not being open-minded. Groups may make efforts to justify and rationalize their initial decision, rather than considering potential pitfalls of their plan or other alternatives. When the group does see potential signs that its decision may be misguided, members may try to rationalize why their initial decision is correct (rather than changing their actions in light of new information). In situations where there’s a conflict or competition with another group, they may also hold negative stereotypes about the other group and underestimate their capabilities.

Valuing conformity over free discussion. In groupthink situations, there’s little room for people to voice dissenting opinions. Individual members may self-censor and avoid questioning the group’s actions. This can lead to what Janis called the illusion of unanimity: many people doubt the group’s decision, but it appears the group is unanimous because no one is willing to voice their dissent publicly. Some members (whom Janis called mindguards) may even directly put pressure on other members to conform with the group, or they may not share information that would question the group’s decision.

Quote above from Thoughtco.com

Travis

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2020, 06:16:11 PM »
"deleted by me"
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 01:14:21 AM by Travis »

msministache

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2020, 01:05:07 AM »
Ha! I read a lot of the same stuff on twitter as OP does apparently.
I'd like to add that Amazon does treat their employees poorly. If you need proof, look no further  - https://www.gishgallop.com/amazon-warehouses-now-issuing-adult-diapers-to-workers/#:~:text=Seattle%2C%20WA%20—%20After%20criticism%20from,to%20relieve%20themselves%20between%20breaks.&text=During%20any%20given%20day%2C%20warehouse,“picking”%20products%20for%20fulfillment.

Alternatepriorities

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2020, 10:44:20 AM »
Ha! I read a lot of the same stuff on twitter as OP does apparently.
I'd like to add that Amazon does treat their employees poorly. If you need proof, look no further  - https://www.gishgallop.com/amazon-warehouses-now-issuing-adult-diapers-to-workers/#:~:text=Seattle%2C%20WA%20—%20After%20criticism%20from,to%20relieve%20themselves%20between%20breaks.&text=During%20any%20given%20day%2C%20warehouse,“picking”%20products%20for%20fulfillment.

Do you have a higher quality source of proof?

"The Gish gallop is a technique used during debating that focuses on overwhelming an opponent with as many arguments as possible, without regard for accuracy or strength of the arguments."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_gallop#:~:text=The%20Gish%20gallop%20is%20a,or%20strength%20of%20the%20arguments.

Just Joe

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2020, 11:32:54 AM »
Google News (news aggregator) had nothing about it.

Alternatepriorities

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2020, 11:40:30 AM »
The article read a lot like "the onion".

spartana

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2020, 12:12:49 PM »
I'm with @mm1970 .  My 20 year old is looking to move out in September and looking at rentals.   Renting a room starts at $500/mo, but those usually have no kitchen (so cost a lot), or are in a rural area,  or require "Female Only / Vegan" to do some cleaning for the (usually Indian) family.   More typically a room rental starts at $600, and they even advertise $375 to share a room, a la Manhattan.

Sharing 1/2 a 2 bedroom apartment is advertised at $800-$1200/mo.   The cheapest, nastiest bachelor suites (old, no light, basement, away from transit) start around $750 to $800/mo.

So, 1/3 of $17.90/hr  salary would be about $1000/mo.  This is fine for people without dependents / kids.
I mean, I live in Santa Barbara.  Rents are high here.  People are desperate.  I am hardly impressed if someone can find "one or 2" apartments for $900 in all of SF, for example.  We do have one slumlord here who rents to multiple families for lower rents, and he's been constantly sued by the city and fined and taken to court for substandard housing.
I agree. It is very difficult for a person - especially one with a family - in a HCOL area to live on much less just because of housing costs alone. As a single childless person who can live on very little (like $600/month bare bones) due to way I set things up years ago, I wouldn't expect a family who lives and rents even an inexpensive apt here in coastal SoCal to be able to save much of their income here if under $60k. Housing, cars, fuel, health and dental care, food, education, clothes, higher utility costs, high taxes, and the basics would eat up much of that for a family of 4 even without luxuries like an occasional outing or vacation. It is doable for sure but I think where you live, how you live, your family size, etc need to be taken into account when discussing what is a livable wage.

As for myself $60k would be rolling in the moolah!  There are lots of ways single childless people can cut expenses here. Sharing apts or sharing a room (that's 2 or more people to a room dorm style) and going car less if possible (hard here) can reduce expenses. However those options aren't usually open or desirable for families.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2020, 12:19:10 PM by spartana »

Goldielocks

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2020, 12:13:56 PM »
FWIW,  PG&E, an excellent employer, also has adult diapers available for employees that want / need them.     You can't know the reasoning behind something just from a mini article.

Sanitary Engineer

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2020, 12:54:33 PM »
In my LCOL area 60K per year for a family of five is squarely in the "benefit's Cliff".  Depending on the working situation of the parents (dual income or single earner) and age of the children, it could be better, financially, for a family of five to earn less than 60k/yr.
Savings are still possible, primarily due to the child tax credit and earned income tax credits, but also with strict budgeting, food subsidy, health care subsidy, day care subsidy, property tax abatement, awand community support at school, religious organization, and low-income support networks.

Depending on family size there is a range in which it doesn't make sense to earn more.  For my family, I figure our standard of living doesn't change much between $55,000/year and $75,000/year +/- $10,000/year.  I guess for us, I would say 60K, or its equivalent with benefit assistance is about what is needed.  We are doing better than surviving though, we are thriving.

msministache

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2020, 05:22:14 PM »
Ha! I read a lot of the same stuff on twitter as OP does apparently.
I'd like to add that Amazon does treat their employees poorly. If you need proof, look no further  - https://www.gishgallop.com/amazon-warehouses-now-issuing-adult-diapers-to-workers/#:~:text=Seattle%2C%20WA%20—%20After%20criticism%20from,to%20relieve%20themselves%20between%20breaks.&text=During%20any%20given%20day%2C%20warehouse,“picking”%20products%20for%20fulfillment.

Do you have a higher quality source of proof?


Quick google search and I found many articles with the same general idea, not enough toilet breaks, poor working conditions:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/denied-bathroom-breaks-these-workers-must-resort-to-diapers/
https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-delivery-drivers-reveal-claims-of-disturbing-work-conditions-2018-8?r=US&IR=T
https://metro.co.uk/2016/11/12/amazon-drivers-forced-to-poo-in-bags-on-illegal-shifts-with-no-time-for-breaks-6252761/. (this on is from UK)
https://www.newsweek.com/amazon-drivers-warehouse-conditions-workers-complains-jeff-bezos-bernie-1118849
https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-warehouse-workers-share-their-horror-stories-2018-4
https://nypost.com/2019/07/13/inside-the-hellish-workday-of-an-amazon-warehouse-employee/


Just Joe

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2020, 09:29:01 AM »
Perhaps employees just need to do what they need to do and if Amazon fires them for a bathroom break - open a war on Amazon via lawyers, human rights groups and the media. I won't work for such an employer ever.

msministache

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2020, 09:54:41 AM »
Amazon actually monitors any attempt of speaking up by employees. Like they fired few who loudly complained about not having PPE:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amazon-worker-fired-coronavirus-maren-costa-emily-cunningham/
https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/14/21220353/amazon-covid-19-criticism-protest-fired-employees-cunningham-costa-climate-change

Amongst other things, in amazon warehouses employees are monitored by computers constantly - every single minute. This particular ex-employee told that during his almost 12h shift, he was allowed 18 minutes overtime that includes bathroom breaks, time to have some water or just walking more slowly than computer wants you to walk:

https://time.com/5629233/amazon-warehouse-employee-treatment-robots/

I guess though conditions are horrible, pay is not, comparing to other big employers such as walmart, mccdonalds, etc, so a lot of people would be scared to lose their jobs of they speak up.

Its important that public pushes back on behalf of those employees. And maybe even choses to forgo amazon entirely (oh, gasp)


Just Joe

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2020, 10:47:27 AM »
I think your last line is very important. I need to find a different supplier. We buy from them at work and sometimes at home. Who has such a comprehensive catalog of goods for sale?


msministache

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2020, 11:34:49 AM »
The OP had a good suggestion, amazon can be used as a catalog only, to find a product you like and then go to the other website to purchase it.

Goldielocks

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2020, 12:21:18 AM »
The computer tracking system is actually better than the old way where supervisors were like sherifs and watching and "taking down" the bad employees.  Some supervisors have bad power trips. 
After the computer systems were installed, everyone is treated more fairly and the supervisors actually focus on things like getting the problem inventory issues solved so work can proceed more efficiently.   The computer systems are also easier for the union reps to come in and audit.

BTDretire

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2020, 08:01:59 AM »
This thread and another, where I was chastised for saying living on $12k was living in poverty, prompted a conversation with my son who recently graduated college (chemistry degree). He's living with us until he gets a real job. He's working just not a chemistry job.
 He knows we are (or at least were frugal) and thought we lived on $15 or $20k. I said no way! I'm a little surprised by this as we supported him through school to the tune of $20k and his sister with $60k (dental school). Then I proceeded to list all our reoccurring bills.
  I came up with $40,530 with Health insurance, property tax, auto plates, auto insurance, utilities and internet. Add in another $8k of things charged on the Credit Cards, this includes all gas and some food and I'm up to $48,400.
 My son now realizes if he gets a $45k or $50k a year job and has a house payment, the streets aren't paved in gold!
 Yes, I'm sure we could cut back, like not having 3 cars for 2 people, but can't do much on the property tax or the Health insurance, (other than not covering the kids, ah someday :-) But we have enough of a nest egg that we are below 3% WR.
 Anyway, interesting conversation with my son, who does live very frugally.

Just Joe

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2020, 01:17:25 PM »
Good for you! Nobody should begin adulthood without a reasonable understanding of what it costs to be an adult.

Tigerpine

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2020, 01:43:15 PM »
This book is an extremely easy read, and the author details her experience working at call center, McDonalds, and at an Amazon fulfillment center.  It's certainly not paradise.

https://www.littlebrown.com/titles/emily-guendelsberger/on-the-clock/9780316508995/

msministache

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2020, 06:01:08 PM »
This book is an extremely easy read, and the author details her experience working at call center, McDonalds, and at an Amazon fulfillment center.  It's certainly not paradise.

https://www.littlebrown.com/titles/emily-guendelsberger/on-the-clock/9780316508995/

Great recommendation, thank you! As mustachians we really have an option where and how to spend our money. It is important to know the price behind our bargains..

LennStar

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2020, 03:50:06 AM »
Just to trow in a bit of information:

Amazon in Germany pays less than written in the OP. Since years Amazon pays according to "logistics" wage agreement and not, as the employees want (and strike for regularily) "retail trade".

Anyway, the conditions are horrible, like 100 years ago in a factory, and it is no surprise few people survive a longer time there.

bacchi

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2020, 08:31:50 AM »
No one pointed out that the $17.90 is an average.

Quote
the average pay for an Amazon warehouse worker is about $17.90/hr.

In other words, supervisors and managers are also in the warehouse earning more than $17.90/hr. The average pay of the floor employee moving packages is lower.

Quote from: https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazons-typical-worker-is-in-a-warehouse-making-28-446-a-year-1524402003
When Amazon.com Inc. disclosed its workers’ median annual salary of $28,446 last week, the predominantly blue-collar nature of its workforce became clear.

That median, of all employees, includes the software developers in Seattle earning $150k.

bigblock440

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2020, 09:39:40 AM »
No one pointed out that the $17.90 is an average.

Quote
the average pay for an Amazon warehouse worker is about $17.90/hr.

In other words, supervisors and managers are also in the warehouse earning more than $17.90/hr. The average pay of the floor employee moving packages is lower.

Quote from: https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazons-typical-worker-is-in-a-warehouse-making-28-446-a-year-1524402003
When Amazon.com Inc. disclosed its workers’ median annual salary of $28,446 last week, the predominantly blue-collar nature of its workforce became clear.

That median, of all employees, includes the software developers in Seattle earning $150k.

I doubt supervisors and managers are included, they're probably salary.  And with OT, some of the warehouse employees are probably making more than the supervisors anyway.

bacchi

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2020, 09:50:40 AM »
No one pointed out that the $17.90 is an average.

Quote
the average pay for an Amazon warehouse worker is about $17.90/hr.

In other words, supervisors and managers are also in the warehouse earning more than $17.90/hr. The average pay of the floor employee moving packages is lower.

Quote from: https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazons-typical-worker-is-in-a-warehouse-making-28-446-a-year-1524402003
When Amazon.com Inc. disclosed its workers’ median annual salary of $28,446 last week, the predominantly blue-collar nature of its workforce became clear.

That median, of all employees, includes the software developers in Seattle earning $150k.

I doubt supervisors and managers are included, they're probably salary.  And with OT, some of the warehouse employees are probably making more than the supervisors anyway.

Perhaps but that doesn't explain the median annual salary, per Amazon's disclosure, of $28k/year.



Eta: Yes, it looks like the 2018 average of $15/hour is for "Full-time associates" only, which probably doesn't include managers.

That report was in 2018 and, looking at current Amazon fulfillment jobs, the starting pay is now $15/hour. An average is pretty meaningless with salaries but, if we accept the 2020 average of $17.90, then either there are some superstar warehouse workers or there are some (many?) making <$18/hour. The question becomes, then, can someone afford a room, food, transportation, and health care on $15-16/hour? Sure, it's easy in Ohio but what about the Bronx, Seattle, or LA?

« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 10:21:33 AM by bacchi »

moof

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2020, 05:07:48 PM »
Amazon is a symptom more than a cause.  One cannot ask individual companies to unilaterally disarm in a highly competitive world, and boycotting an obvious one likely just shifts your money to others that are likely to be barely different, and not necessarily better.

Labor practices need to be enshrined in law, companies are soulless and should not be expected to race anywhere except to the bottom.  Minimum wage laws should require employers pay employees enough that they are not having to also dip into the government dole for basic living needs.  Labor laws need to assure employees can organize without fear of being fired (enshrined, but good luck using it).  Workplace safety must be enforced, though OSHA needs to be asleep at the wheel these days.

msministache

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2020, 05:30:21 PM »
Amazon is a symptom more than a cause.  One cannot ask individual companies to unilaterally disarm in a highly competitive world, and boycotting an obvious one likely just shifts your money to others that are likely to be barely different, and not necessarily better.

Labor practices need to be enshrined in law, companies are soulless and should not be expected to race anywhere except to the bottom.  Minimum wage laws should require employers pay employees enough that they are not having to also dip into the government dole for basic living needs.  Labor laws need to assure employees can organize without fear of being fired (enshrined, but good luck using it).  Workplace safety must be enforced, though OSHA needs to be asleep at the wheel these days.

Larger companies have more power and more political influence. For instance, Amazon spends millions each year on political contributions. No wonder they end up getting tax breaks and laws that allow them to pay $0 in taxes (3-4 years in the row at least).
https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/totals?id=D000023883
https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/02/16/amazon-paid-no-federal-taxes-billion-profits-last-year/

The root problem imho is the supreme court decision - citizens united, which allows corporations to spend unlimited
amounts in politics. 
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 05:32:45 PM by msministache »

Goldielocks

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2020, 01:06:35 PM »
The payscale is likely typical and close to my local market.

Employees here start at about $15/hr.  Most FT in the warehouse on the picking and shipping floor (putting items from shelf to tote to conveyor, or from conveyor to box to ship) would earn $15-$16.50/hr depending on seniority / hours since employed.   Most places pay a premium for night shift and for the "heavy" pack off lines, such as shipping tiles or gym weights.

  The forklift drivers make $22/hr and the pallet jack riders make $17-$18/hr. 

Also, it is common to have part time employees in a warehouse on a contract with an agency, not the FT employer.  These are paid less, $14-$15/hr, help to ensure minimal OT, and are used for things like lumping goods out of a floor loaded shipment (these can be more injury prone or will spike during the week and not suited for FT work).

I can't speak to Amazon directly.   I think they have more FT employees and slightly higher wages than the typical large warehouse here.

BTDretire

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2020, 07:14:17 PM »
The OP had a good suggestion, amazon can be used as a catalog only, to find a product you like and then go to the other website to purchase it.
Sounds good, let's buy elsewhere and get those underpaid workers laid off!
Sheesh.

MoseyingAlong

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #41 on: August 30, 2020, 07:45:44 PM »
The OP had a good suggestion, amazon can be used as a catalog only, to find a product you like and then go to the other website to purchase it.
Sounds good, let's buy elsewhere and get those underpaid workers laid off!
Sheesh.

I do this sometimes. I go to the manufacturer and original seller's website. I figure it cuts out the Amazon skim off everything and hopefully helps the actual source stay in business.

There's a lot of criticism of Walmart for pushing hard bargains on the manufacturers and cutting their margins thin. I think we as consumers need to consider our part in the whole chain. I find Walmart very handy for a lot of stuff but if it's a more specialty item I try to go to the source.

Paul der Krake

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #42 on: August 30, 2020, 07:55:35 PM »
The OP had a good suggestion, amazon can be used as a catalog only, to find a product you like and then go to the other website to purchase it.
Sounds good, let's buy elsewhere and get those underpaid workers laid off!
Sheesh.

I do this sometimes. I go to the manufacturer and original seller's website. I figure it cuts out the Amazon skim off everything and hopefully helps the actual source stay in business.

There's a lot of criticism of Walmart for pushing hard bargains on the manufacturers and cutting their margins thin. I think we as consumers need to consider our part in the whole chain. I find Walmart very handy for a lot of stuff but if it's a more specialty item I try to go to the source.
Maybe. More realistically, you’re just costing as much if not more to the business who must maintain hits own fulfillment and payment verticals, and signing up for marketing spam and data theft in the process.

msministache

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #43 on: August 30, 2020, 09:04:59 PM »
The OP had a good suggestion, amazon can be used as a catalog only, to find a product you like and then go to the other website to purchase it.
Sounds good, let's buy elsewhere and get those underpaid workers laid off!
Sheesh.

I do this sometimes. I go to the manufacturer and original seller's website. I figure it cuts out the Amazon skim off everything and hopefully helps the actual source stay in business.

There's a lot of criticism of Walmart for pushing hard bargains on the manufacturers and cutting their margins thin. I think we as consumers need to consider our part in the whole chain. I find Walmart very handy for a lot of stuff but if it's a more specialty item I try to go to the source.
Maybe. More realistically, you’re just costing as much if not more to the business who must maintain hits own fulfillment and payment verticals, and signing up for marketing spam and data theft in the process.


I think the idea of having only very few large corporations taking over smaller businesses is scary and we should avoid it at all cost. The corporations become so large that they start influence democratic process at some point

six-car-habit

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #44 on: August 31, 2020, 01:39:26 AM »
 Well since the supreme court has ruled that corporations are people , for purposes of certain laws, campaign donations, etc.   -- I figure it won't be long until we see a corporation getting its name placed on the ballot, as a candidate choice for state and federal elections.

Feivel2000

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2020, 02:08:01 AM »
Just to trow in a bit of information:

Amazon in Germany pays less than written in the OP. Since years Amazon pays according to "logistics" wage agreement and not, as the employees want (and strike for regularily) "retail trade".

Anyway, the conditions are horrible, like 100 years ago in a factory, and it is no surprise few people survive a longer time there.

While I support better working conditions for warehouse workers and try to shop local (really, do I?), I think it's crazy demand to categorize them as retail.

LennStar

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Re: 60k a year is necessary to survive - "It's been proven"
« Reply #46 on: August 31, 2020, 04:07:16 AM »
Just to trow in a bit of information:

Amazon in Germany pays less than written in the OP. Since years Amazon pays according to "logistics" wage agreement and not, as the employees want (and strike for regularily) "retail trade".

Anyway, the conditions are horrible, like 100 years ago in a factory, and it is no surprise few people survive a longer time there.

While I support better working conditions for warehouse workers and try to shop local (really, do I?), I think it's crazy demand to categorize them as retail.
Maybe there there is a bit of translation problem, but they do sell directly to the customer. Especially in the Amazon stores.

I also think this category would be wrong everall, but 1/3 it's right, so I can see why the workers want the better pay. And of course the big stores (to whom Amazon is a direct competitor), who do pay retail wages want it too.