The national minimum wage, the national living wage and the real living wage


#62

Mocking the use of moral highgrounds doesn’t make my use of one ironic at all, does it :thinking: even though it serves a valid point


(Leon) #64

Shakes head Never mind, if you don’t see it then don’t worry about it I guess.


(Andre Borie) #65

I have a number of friends who are on minimum wage crappy jobs (sometimes on more than one to supplement their meagre earnings), and if they could find a well paid 9-5 job they certainly would.

Counterpoint: I have friends in the same situation, but looking at it more closely revealed they just don’t want to make the compromises necessary for getting those jobs (and those that made the compromises eventually got out of this situation - including me - I worked a low-wage job too for a few months when there was nothing else available because it was a small town with no industry).

One of them for example is struggling on insufficient wage compared to her outgoings (lots of debt & expenses to pay - did she really need that brand new car?) in an awful village in the middle of nowhere, but when offered opportunities in London (she could easily make around 40k here) turns out she doesn’t want to move here.

Another one is in London and has all the job market at her fingertips should she use the free resources at her disposition to learn how to write at least half-decent code… but turns out apparently investing time into her career is too much to ask for and she’d rather waste her time on non-lucrative opportunities and then complain about her situation and the fact it’s the beginning of the month and she spent all her pay check on going out & shopping. :man_shrugging:t2:

if they could find a well paid 9-5 job they certainly would.

Nobody is entitled to a well-paid job right at the start, you have to prove yourself and earn that pay. But junior-level jobs are a thing and in this day and age all the resources to learn the skills required are available for free for most industries. You can work low-wage and invest your free time to learn/improve the skills you need to get the job you desire and a few months down the line you should be able to get a junior position.


(Andre Borie) #66

Unless you want to go to University, which is generally essential if you want to get anywhere in the job market

[citation needed]

There are certain industries where university is a must, there are also a lot of industries where it isn’t anymore. All you need to get an on-site interview for a junior developer position is a decent resume with at least one “experience” item on it. Doesn’t have to be paid either - you can get started by volunteering for charities or publishing open-source software. If you have an eye for design you don’t even need any experience as long as you can create a decent-looking portfolio website. I worked with a designer on an earlier project and turns out they got the contract through the founder finding their portfolio. They had no previous experience what-so-ever and yet got a contract that paid way more than any low-wage job could ever pay (and now got experience which will help them find future jobs/contracts).

Don’t like software/design/etc? No worries, I don’t either. Work a software job until you save enough money to pay for the education necessary to get the job you actually like, or maybe just suck it up and be grateful for the money - after all you are still making about double the average UK salary with jobs like these.


#67

That’s kind of the point I was trying to make. You’re not entitled to anything in this country when it comes to work, you either sit down and bust your arse to make everything work, or you complain about not having enough money. I’d rather be in the first camp.


(Jonathon) #68

I’m against working for free, as a principle, as this disadvantages those who just can’t afford that.

Also why would you require citations from someone saying a degree is required for a lot of jobs (certainly been the case in my experience) but then happily use personal experiences to counter an argument earlier? Be consistent.

Honestly I’m rather surprised that people think moving from one job to another is quite so easy and matter of fact. I remember being rejected from McDonald’s (!!) as a student for part time work. Found some eventually but the manager even said he hired me just because “we’re both northerners in London”.

I’m sure there are just some lazy folk out there who have no motivation to find a better job, but I’d like to think that this isn’t the case generally. I see a lot of theoretical debate here, but it’s not reflecting in reality for a good chunk of the country.

That being said, I do see the argument on both sides. I just don’t often (note: not often, I’m not saying this is outright the case) see people on a low income advocating for the side letting the free market just “work”. It’s unsurprisingly often those who can afford to have such statements.

I am not on minimum wage and I don’t pretend to know the difficulties faced in some situations


#69

If it were the other way around and they were making the big bucks I doubt they’d be complaining. Same if they owned a business, I doubt they’d want their bottom line increased for no extra work, driving their prices up.

It’s all subjective, but I think if you want good money you should do a good job, if you don’t do a good job you don’t earn good money.

Edit: I mean they should get a good paying job (not that they’re doing a bad job at their place of work)


(Jonathon) #70

I agree that it’s human nature in many respects so I don’t think it’s surprising.

I have to take issue that amount earned is linked to amount or effort worked. Many of our public servants work extremely hard in life threatening situations for below or just on average wages.


#71

The exception to the rule isn’t the rule itself though. Work funded by taxes is always going to be not as well paying because they get a budget to spend.


(Andre Borie) #72

Also why would you require citations from someone saying a degree is required for a lot of jobs (certainly been the case in my experience) but then happily use personal experiences to counter an argument earlier? Be consistent.

We can do a quick search on Indeed and find opportunities like this:

The person
This is an ideal opportunity for a junior developer looking to expand their commercial experience using Python. You will be enthusiastic, self-motivated, open-minded and have:
Experience of developing web applications using Python or PHP
An understanding of PostgreSQL or MySQL
A good understanding of HTML/CSS/Javascript
A good understanding of version control, preferably Git and GitHub

This is clearly a junior job and the salary (“20-32k, and up to 40k for London”) isn’t that great from a software engineer’s perspective, but it’s definitely an upgrade for someone stuck on minimum wage, and most importantly will give them hands-on experience they can take to their next job and negotiate a better pay check.

Honestly I’m rather surprised that people think moving from one job to another is quite so easy and matter of fact.

it definitely depends on the location, in some horrible places where there is no industry and everyone is desperate it’s definitely hard (also because employers know they can be picky and have crazy requirements and/or low salaries, something they can’t get away with if the job market is healthy) but moving is an option which I always recommend.

I remember being rejected from McDonald’s (!!) as a student for part time work.

Shit happens. We don’t talk about it but rejections are a normal part of job searching (and frankly a normal part of life - this also applies to love, friendships, etc). I remember being rejected despite nailing the tech interview - turns out the CEO (meeting with him is the last part of the interview process) seemed to have had a bad day and we just didn’t get along that time. But in a healthy job market there should be plenty of other opportunities for you and in fact you should always have a few going at the same time so you have backup plans if one doesn’t work out.

I see a lot of theoretical debate here, but it’s not reflecting in reality for a good chunk of the country.

I know a lot of places where there just isn’t any industry to work for. I mean, do you really want to have a law forcing companies to open premises in awful boring towns just to give people jobs? But moving is an option. If you’re broke you can still borrow from friends/family/credit card/etc. I’d like to see this “reality”; so far my personal experiences have always been with people who don’t want to make the necessary compromises and expect everything to be handed to them on a plate for free. Sorry, life isn’t fair. Deal with it.

It’s unsurprisingly often those who can afford to have such statements.

I guess because these people have more experience how businesses work behind the scenes, and know that it’s a false “solution” that will just end up making things worse, either by raising prices (everyone is worse off as a result) or eliminating jobs completely (not that I’m against that - mind-numbing manual work is akin to slavery IMO and should be automated away).

It’s all subjective, but I think if you want good money you should do a good job, if you don’t do a good job you don’t earn good money.

Totally agreed. If you deliver value people will pay you for it. If you don’t… then what did you expect? It’s your responsibility to take the steps necessary (learning, moving, buying the tools needed for the job, etc) to make sure you can deliver value and get closer to your potential customers (employers in this case).

I have to take issue that amount earned is linked to amount or effort worked. Many of our public servants work extremely hard in life threatening situations for below or just on average wages.

Agreed but I see this as a failure of these people who accept such conditions. Employers can afford to pay that low for such work because the market will take it. If these people do the necessary steps and move away from such careers, the pool of candidates will dry up and employers will have to pay more if they want to hire anyone for these positions.


(Jonathon) #73

If those people didn’t accept the pay you wouldn’t have police to save you, nurses to aid you, firefighters to save your life.

Sorry folks I’ll bow out here. Public servants are not the exception to the rule. They are a very large percentage of our country doing us a service for lower pay than they should because most of them care. Sitting in our ivory towers passing opinions doesn’t make us justifiably correct.

Happy debating though… it’s an age old one, this.


(Andre Borie) #74

If those people didn’t accept the pay you wouldn’t have police to save you, nurses to aid you, firefighters to save your life.

Again, I think this is a failure of the market or the “system” as a whole. We might need more taxes or better management of existing taxes to pay these people what they deserve.

However, this will only happen when the pool of candidates dries up and we realise there is a problem, otherwise all the stakeholders will say there is no problem and everything will stay as is. “Business as usual” where our taxes are instead “stolen” to fund stupid shit instead of the things that actually matter.


#75

I don’t think more taxes would really change anything. They’d just allocate it to the brexit bill :joy:


#76

Yeah that’s pretty true, if they didn’t accept the pay there wouldn’t be police etc.

If they didn’t work for that price and decided to strike until they got a better wage though, the wage would increase, because there’d be no one to do the job otherwise. That and the country would collapse without them. This is why unions are good for the worker.

Edit above: swapped last two sentences around

Lets also mention that there’s a shortage of people on the NHS partially because of the lack of money in it for people, much better to move abroad where they pay a better wage.

As for passing opinions making us correct or not, no one said they did mate. They’re opinions purely because they’re subjective, yknow?


(Jonathon) #77

Police are not allowed to strike. But thanks for playing :+1:


#78

Well then, stay because you care for the job or quit because you’re not taking the pay. Either way you’re choosing what you do and you accept the consequences, thus is the beauty of working under consent. If I’m not happy with the pay of a job, I don’t have to accept it


(Jonathon) #79

See I can totally understand your point and theoretically it should work but it just doesn’t. For that to happen we would need a period with fewer nurses and doctors and police and ambulance crew and firefighters and prison staff and social workers and people would literally die just so that pay could be increased.

It has been something unions and political parties band around for decades and nothing has been done. Many can’t strike, the rest reluctantly won’t and the few that do are sometimes vilified as a deralict of duty. It isn’t always as simple as the market taking care of itself, since these are public services not open to the market in the same way.

I’m about to board a 13 hour flight so I reeeaaally need to stop here :joy:


(Chris Beach) #80

This is an unfortunate consequence of the (limited) socialism that exists in this country. State workers are underpaid. Why? Because their employer is a monopoly and thus artificially controls the market wage.

These workers are able to accept a low salary because the state offers them disproportionate benefits in other ways (eg affordable housing reserved for key workers, a gold-plated pension etc).

If I were in charge of national policy here, I’d reduce the tens of billions we spend on subsidised housing for key workers, and use the money to raise their salaries.

But then they’d have more freedom and autonomy. And socialism starts to break down when that happens.