Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Sign in to follow this  
interestrateripoff

In These 21 Countries, A 40-Hour Work Week Still Keeps Families In Poverty

Recommended Posts

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-06/in-these-21-countries-a-40-hour-work-week-still-keeps-families-in-poverty

How often have you felt that no matter how hard and long you work you just couldn't make ends meet?

Tuns out life is just that hard for minimum-wage workers pretty much across the globe. A global ranking out Wednesday by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development painted a grim picture of the situation in member countries straddling continents. The 34-member organization found that a legal minimum wage existed in 26 countries and crunched the numbers to see how they compared.

Forget taking a siesta in Spain. There, you'd have to work more than 72 hours a week to escape the trappings of poverty. Turns out that is the norm, not the exception. In the 21 countries highlighted with blue bars in the chart below, a full 40-hour work week still won't lift families out of relative poverty. This list includes France, home to the 35-hour work week, which almost met the threshold. Minimum wage workers there who are supporting a spouse and two children need to work 40.2 hours to get their families out of poverty. (The poverty line is defined as 50 percent of the median wage in any nation.)

-1x-1.jpg

To gauge the generosity of each country's floor on hourly pay, you can also look at another measure: The minimum wage as a percentage of the local median wage. Those ratios vary widely across the world. In the U.S., the minimum wage was less than 40 percent of the median wage in 2013, which meant the country had one of the lowest percentages among the economies the OECD examined.

Luckily the 1% don't have to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No we can win and go to the bottom of the graph by just getting the median lower. Alternatively as minimum wage x zero (hr contract) could technically be zero, in the interests of fair hardworking comparisons we should exclude all those jobs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just seen a bit on iPlayer with Greg 'masterchef bloke' about modern dairy farming being robotic. He drew parallels with the london underground. I just saw to parallels of people being farmed like cattle! By the way, the cows have a much better deal!

Moo moo!

bB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a stupid analysis. It ignores cost of living, cost of schooling, cost of health, and just focuses on comparisions to median incomes?

How dumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So does that mean we're not that badly off??

That definition of 'poverty' is useless though. Poverty (material poverty) is absolute, not relative, otherwise you end up with the situation where I am poverty-stricken because I only own a BMW X5 & an Audi A3, whereas my neighbour has a Lear Jet, a Bentley Mulsanne & a Porsche Cayenne.

Lack of the physical necessities of life is the only meaningful definition of poverty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That definition of 'poverty' is useless though. Poverty (material poverty) is absolute, not relative, otherwise you end up with the situation where I am poverty-stricken because I only own a BMW X5 & an Audi A3, whereas my neighbour has a Lear Jet, a Bentley Mulsanne & a Porsche Cayenne.

It is a measure of poverty that is widely used by economists and politicians. I remember Barbara Castle promising that a Labour Government would raise all pay above the average wage. It is probably not a bad guide to poverty as disposable income will have an affect on prices. Switzerland has a high median wage and is also fearsomely expensive. If you earn 50% of the median wage you will have trouble making ends meet even if you are better off than a starving Somali.

http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?QueryId=47991

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been watching it. It's one of the better ones, Ms. Widdecombe is a natural!

I also find it ironic that she is the one dead set against worker exploitation, bad business practice and in the next one wants to set up a union.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a stupid analysis. It ignores cost of living, cost of schooling, cost of health, and just focuses on comparisions to median incomes?

Although arbitrarily calling 50% of median income "poverty" and although the factors that contribute to the calculation are really required to make sense of it, I think it is still interesting in its own right, and useful as an "analytical review" exercise.

For example, someone in Ireland on min wage looks to have to work under 20 hrs to achieve half median earnings, i.e, a person with no particular skills or experience has the same earning potential as a "median" worker, who presumably will have, on average, certain skills and 20+ years experience.

The French and Germans seem to have the balance about right, someone on min wage has about 50% of the earning power of a tapical worker.

Luxembourg looks crazy. You only have to work a couple of days a week to achieve median inome (well, depnding how quickly the benefits and tax credits tail off)

Edited by Steppenpig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For example, someone in Ireland on min wage looks to have to work under 20 hrs to achieve half median earnings, i.e, a person with no particular skills or experience has the same earning potential as a "median" worker, who presumably will have, on average, certain skills and 20+ years experience.

Or the "person with no particular skills or experience" finds they can't get a job because they're not worth minimum wage, and spends their life on the dole, instead.

The whole thing is silly. No-one is supposed to be raising a family on minimum wage, it's meant to be the lowest wage for the least-productive jobs in the economy.

BTW, even low-end jobs around here usually pay more than minimum wage, because you can't find anyone worth hiring who'll work for minimum wage when they can make $100k a year in the oil patch.

Edited by MarkG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest scam the left ever pulled off was making up is own arbitrary definition of poverty and convincing everyone to use it without qualification.

There are well over a hundred countries in the world where full time workers are in poverty, but it is none of those listed above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless you work for a ethical, fair, prosperous trickle-down company, all high end workers are subsidised by their minimum and low paid staff.....trickle- up. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lack of the physical necessities of life is the only meaningful definition of poverty.

Lack of shelter is the only meaningful definition of homelessness- but we still get loads of people on here complaining about the price of houses when a cardboard box under a flyover would adequately fulfill their necessity for basic shelter.

Does that mean that we have no housing problem in the UK? I don't think it does.

So to argue that simply because people are not living in cardboard boxes or eating out of dustbins they are not living in poverty is wrong in my view- poverty-like shelter- is about relative values and about the kind of society we wish to live in- and if we have large numbers of people who are effectively excluded from what most consider a 'normal' life then it is legitimate to argue that they are living in poverty relative to the majority of people around them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Germany only introduced min wage a few months ago, before which it had none. How would they do on the chart before then?

Their min wage also applies to interns, which puts Germany in another context compared to the UK.

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/17618/matthias_bartke

Also the chart doesn't take into account how many people are actually on minimum wage in each country.

As others have said here, it looks oversimplified.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hopeless at statistics so I'm prepared to be making a fool of myself here. But doesn't this chart really just show the level of the minimum wage compared to average salaries? And if so does that mean that our NMW is pretty high comparted to most countries?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lack of shelter is the only meaningful definition of homelessness- but we still get loads of people on here complaining about the price of houses when a cardboard box under a flyover would adequately fulfill their necessity for basic shelter.

Does that mean that we have no housing problem in the UK? I don't think it does.

So to argue that simply because people are not living in cardboard boxes or eating out of dustbins they are not living in poverty is wrong in my view- poverty-like shelter- is about relative values and about the kind of society we wish to live in- and if we have large numbers of people who are effectively excluded from what most consider a 'normal' life then it is legitimate to argue that they are living in poverty relative to the majority of people around them.

No, a cardboard box under a flyover would not adequately fulfill their necessity for basic shelter. it would be damp, freezing cold & last about a month in this country.

Actually, this is a completely meaningless statement. If the cardboard box were sufficiently waterproofed, insulated & spacious, it could make a decent house - better than mine & many others. You really need to make proper definitions of what is meant by lack of shelter & a definition of such which comes above a minimum ABSOLUTE standard. You can argue about the standards, but to argue that my 3 bedroom terraced house means I am living in poverty because other people are living in 6 bed detached ones is ridiculous. And, yes, I know a lot of people live in poor accommodation, but that's because it's poor accommodation by absolute standards, not because some people live in mansions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hopeless at statistics so I'm prepared to be making a fool of myself here. But doesn't this chart really just show the level of the minimum wage compared to average salaries? And if so does that mean that our NMW is pretty high comparted to most countries?

That's my interpretation. A living wage would put us close to Luxembourg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will be interesting to see this chart after the next sterling devaluation - can't be long now. The criminals have gambled it back up to 1.4 vs euro.

They could get away with 25% off that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, a cardboard box under a flyover would not adequately fulfill their necessity for basic shelter. it would be damp, freezing cold & last about a month in this country.

Actually, this is a completely meaningless statement. If the cardboard box were sufficiently waterproofed, insulated & spacious, it could make a decent house - better than mine & many others. You really need to make proper definitions of what is meant by lack of shelter & a definition of such which comes above a minimum ABSOLUTE standard. You can argue about the standards, but to argue that my 3 bedroom terraced house means I am living in poverty because other people are living in 6 bed detached ones is ridiculous. And, yes, I know a lot of people live in poor accommodation, but that's because it's poor accommodation by absolute standards, not because some people live in mansions.

You miss my point- technically someone in possession of a cardboard box under a flyover cannot be literally defined as having no shelter- just as technically someone with access to the physical necessities of life cannot-at least according to your quote below- be literally defined as living in poverty.

Lack of the physical necessities of life is the only meaningful definition of poverty.

However as you have noticed neither my statement nor your own have anything to say as to the quality of life of the people involved. So you are right- it is indeed meaningless to talk in terms 'physical necessities' or 'shelter' since these tell us nothing about what really matters- which is the quality of life of the people themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a market economy I would argue that poverty can be defined with reference to employment.

1. Independent wealth - no need to work.

2. Wealth through work

3. Comfort through work with some state dependence

4. Substinence through work with much state dependence

5. Unemployable with much state support

6. Unemployable with no state support

The sad thing with this is that the bottom two rungs have almost chance of escaping. In my book they are suffering extreme poverty. 5. is an extreme poverty of life and 6. is just rank extreme poverty.

References to absolute poverty are not helpful in the 6th/7th wealthiest country in the world. If the insinuation is that only people in Chad are truly in poverty then there will be almost no bounds on our ill treatment of the poor.

Relative poverty would be useful if we operated on a system of gross national happiness which we do not. In our system relative poverty is encouraged as the prime motivation for people to produce more.

Since we all mostly believe that work will set us free, we should target the poverty that prevents people doing so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Next General Election   91 members have voted

    1. 1. When do you predict the next general election will be held?


      • 2019
      • 2020
      • 2021
      • 2022

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.