A half sandwich and a small cup of chowder: NINE freakin dollars! Who can afford this?
Progressives (liberals, socialists, whatever) are trying to pass national legislation that would require a $15 per hour minimum wage. And that would do exactly what? The average price for a one-bedroom home in Seattle is $515,000. A two-bedroom is $759,000 according to Redfin.com. The average two-bedroom apartment rental in Seattle is over $1,800 per month. The average food budget for two people trying to stretch a dollar is close to $400 per month. Those who live a little better spend an average of over $740 per month.
Clearly, the cost of living in the Seattle metropolitan area, and many other cities across America, is well above the budget of anyone earning the minimum wage or even the proposed minimum of $15 per hour. (My personal suspicion is that the $15 figure is just the camel's nose under the tent, but that's a topic for another day.) As an aside, the fact is, the minimum wage was implemented under pressure of labor unions back when labor unions wielded significant power, as an attempt to tighten the supply of labor and maintain high wages for union labor, as well as a way to keep lower-skilled minorities out of the labor pool. The minimum wage is nothing more than a labor reduction scheme. Businesses that might hire help, but where the help needed is not profitable at the minimum wage will simply not hire. Keep in mind that the dollar wage the employee receives is only a portion of the total cost of compensation. Add 6.5% for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare tax and other costs of having employees (liability insurance, unemployment insurance, non-cash benefits, etc) and the cost of an employee can easily be fifty percent higher in real terms than the wage rate the employee sees in his or her paycheck.
We’ve been sold a bill of goods. Go to school, get a good education, and get a good job: There’s the path to a secure, a happy life. Nowadays we add to the education part of that formula a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and for some professions a doctorate. And still, people with advanced degrees are chronically under- or unemployed. People with bachelor’s degrees flipping hamburgers is a cliché.
If you do not have a skill that is valued by the free market, unless you have achieved tenure at a university or a cushy government position where it is virtually impossible to be fired, you are going to find yourself in dire straits. A farrier in the year 1400 suddenly finding himself magically transported to the year 1700 would easily find work and continue his profession without pause. Virtually anyone of any profession in 1960 who found himself magically transported even fifty years into the future would find his education and skills virtually useless.
What you could purchase, on average, as recently as 1980 for $100 would today cost you $297. Those who retired in 1980 on a fixed income after 45 to 50 years of work and were living a moderate but independent lifestyle at that time, today are living in poverty. Much more so because of the Fed’s manipulation of interest rates. The historical rate of interest for a risk-free investment is between 3 and 4 percent. The expected rate of return is increased for anticipated risks such as non-repayment plus a percentage to cover expected inflation so that the rate charged would provide a relatively safe investment for the lender. Today savings accounts are paying a negative return, earning the investor less than 0% after including inflation. Lack of savings options that do not result in negative returns have forced tremendous amounts of money into equity and bond investments, causing a bubble in both that will inevitably burst and make 2008 look like a walk on a sunny day in Central Park.
So what do we do? How does a person protect himself against the ravages of inflation and Federal Reserve economic policy designed to benefit no one other than the super rich? Work hard and save? Good luck with that. Rob a bank? While not quite as risky as the first option, it's still fraught with danger for your long-term future.
No, the only option is to use your creativity, look around, and find and implement one of the myriad ways of earning a living to protect yourself from financial disaster in a world of technological change and unpredictable government action. Find a way to earn much more than you need, then find a way to protect that income from loss from inflation and uncertain taxes. This author doesn’t have the solution to protect your cash from loss, but there is a solution to the problem of generating cash.
For thirteen months I searched for a way to earn a living via the internet. I wanted to be able to earn an honest, reliable income no matter where I was in the world. I knew I’d be limited to locations where I would have an internet connection, but thankfully in 2018 that gives me access to a major portion of the Earth and I’ve found no place I would really like to be that does not have internet access. After all those months of searching and educating myself, as well as spending what, in my circumstances, were some big bucks on unworkable products and services, I finally found what I was looking for.
Rather than try to reinvent the wheel and explain it all here, I’ll use the beauty of the internet and just allow you to magically transport yourself to a site where you can get all the information.
There are people who make things happen and there are people who stand back and watch, thinking, “what happened?”
Which one are you?