Service economy jobs at odds with cost of living in Orlando area

Posted Friday, April 25, 2014 9:06 AM | Contributed by Jeff

There are a growing number of families living in hotels in the Central Florida tourist corridor because they can't afford anything else. The problem has created a backlash among the mostly mom-and-pop businesses, with some owners suing the county sheriff to force his deputies to evict guests who haven't paid or who have turned their rooms into semipermanent residences. It also shines a light on the gap among those who work and live in this county that sits in the shadow of Walt Disney World and the big-spending tourists who flock here.

Read more from AP via The Tampa Bay Times.

Sunday, April 27, 2014 11:47 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I should have clarified, I never expected that to be one job.

That one full time and something on the weekend or in the evening. Or two part times. Or whatever. I wasn't considering overtime in that equation.

And we felt the same way about daycare as you. Another big part of it was wanting to raise our own kids.


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Sunday, April 27, 2014 1:36 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

3. Then I guess you need to think outside the box or look to family and friends or whatever. Daycare only costs that much because people will pay it. Umm, don't have children you can't afford? I dunno. Again, it's a created situation.

Oh, I'm not saying it's a problem for us. Our take home is pretty decent compared to minimum wage.

I'm just saying that I find it problematic for our society to say,"You can work your tail off with the skills you have and probably even develop new skills, but you're never going to be able to afford kids, retire, get decent health care, or send your kids to a decent school (private or college)." Especially given how much better we *could* do on those fronts.

I find those positions to be both morally questionable and also economically questionable.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Sunday, April 27, 2014 1:38 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 2:47 PM

What would you propose we do to allow people with minimum wage skills to be able to afford kids, retire, get decent healthcare and send their kids to decent schools (private or college)? I don't see how the proposed increase in minimum wage to $10/hour will do all of those things. Should the minimum wage be raised further or are there other things that we should do?

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 2:49 PM
Jeff's avatar

I agree with Andy. One of the things that history has shown is that severe inequity tends to drag a society down economically, and/or creates unrest to the point of destabilizing that society.

That said, I'm also not convinced that changing the minimum wage fixes the problem as much as puts it off for awhile. Like anything else, real solutions are probably a lot more complex.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 3:36 PM

GoBucks89 said:

What would you propose we do to allow people with minimum wage skills to be able to afford kids, retire, get decent healthcare and send their kids to decent schools (private or college)? I don't see how the proposed increase in minimum wage to $10/hour will do all of those things. Should the minimum wage be raised further or are there other things that we should do?

I don't expect them to be able to anything other than take care of the necessities. If anyone even close to retirement age is working for minimum wage out of necessity, that is most likely their fault. Therefore, I have a hard time sympathizing with someone in that situation.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 3:50 PM

My questions were to what Andy said which seems to me to go beyond what most would label necessities. Though I am sure some would argue at least some of the items on his list are necessities. And for sure, you can't wait until you get to retirement age (or even anywhere near it) to start thinking about planning for retirement (though millions of Americans do just that).

But turning to your point, what wage rate would cover necessities? Should there be a federal minimum wage? Should states determine it? Or localities being that cost of living varies from place to place even within the same state?

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 4:09 PM

GoBucks89 said:

But turning to your point, what wage rate would cover necessities? Should there be a federal minimum wage? Should states determine it? Or localities being that cost of living varies from place to place even within the same state?



The cost of living varies so greatly that I would let the state determine that. I know it varies from city to city as well, but I'm not sure that giving county officials that type of responsibility is a good idea.

Last edited by Blackie, Sunday, April 27, 2014 4:09 PM
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Sunday, April 27, 2014 4:26 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

This may not endear me to anyone, but more government sponsored equitable social programs (paid for by higher taxes). I mean, our public education system is a great start and a great idea, but around here, the public schools are terrible and the rich people just pay for private schools and then vote to cut funding from public schools. The idea of "everyone deserves an education which will give them opportunities to better themselves and their community/country" seems a thing of the past.

I claim that everyone is better off if we are willing to pay for good public schools for all children, even the people who still choose to send their kids to private school. You could apply the same logic to retirement, health care, workers' rights, etc. etc. Sweden and Canada seem to be doing okay.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Sunday, April 27, 2014 4:27 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 8:19 PM

It amazes me that in 2014, the age of information, that so many still use hypothetical reasoning when we have history and data that proves those hypothetical situations wrong. Every single time there is talk of raising minimum wage, we hear the same arguments from the same people. The world didn't end, and people had more money. I'd rather pay an extra 2 cents for a product to ensure that my taxes don't pay for welfare for a multi billion dollar company. I despise corporate welfare.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 10:56 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Josh2112 said:

It amazes me that in 2014, the age of information, that so many still use hypothetical reasoning when we have history and data that proves those hypothetical situations wrong. Every single time there is talk of raising minimum wage, we hear the same arguments from the same people.

Right?

I mean it took no time to find this study that found no evidence that these state minimum wage increases reduced poverty rates.

Or this research that says a higher minimum wage results in a net increase in the proportion of families who are poor or near-poverty -- meaning that the "losers" from a minimum wage increase outnumber the "winners."

Or this review that found raising minimum wage negatively affects employment levels.

Or this Canadian report that reads:

"In the Canadian context, researchers have generally found an adverse employment effect of raising minimum wages especially for young workers." The report goes on to cite a series of Canadian studies and notes that recent research finds "teen employment would drop by three per cent to six per cent if the minimum wage is raised by 10 per cent."

Or this one that shows employers often cut back hours when minimum wage is increased. Or this one that shows less on the job training happens as the minimum wgae is increased. Or this one that shows how lower skilled worked get overlooked in favor of more skilled worked as the required minimum wage rises. Or this one that shows how raising the minimum wage led to an increase in poverty.

So yeah, I'm with you. Why are the same people still arguing the hypothetical idea that raising minimum wage helps? It's 2014, time to move the thought process forward.


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Sunday, April 27, 2014 11:39 PM
LostKause's avatar

Josh2112 said:

I'd rather pay an extra 2 cents for a product to ensure that my taxes don't pay for welfare for a multi billion dollar company. I despise corporate welfare.

I make enough to live on working at Walmart, but I find this video very interesting.


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Sunday, April 27, 2014 11:48 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

In 2014, it takes no time at all to find "reports" and "studies" that support one's point of view, thanks to the Internet.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Monday, April 28, 2014 12:00 AM

Increasing skill levels is a good way of decreasing the numbers of people who only bring minimum wage skills to the table. And education is definitely one way to get there. But in terms of increasing spending on education, we already spend more per student than pretty much all of the OECD countries (many of which get better results with lower spending). So throwing more money at education won't necessarily help the skills gap. Unfortunately, throwing large amounts of money at problems is pretty much what the government does best (even if that doesn't help and in many cases, helps to make things worse).

The biggest issue we have from what I have seen in education is making it more of a priority (and again, not from a dollars spent standpoint). Other countries simply make education more of a priority. And certain groups in the US make it more of a priority as well (and as a result, get better educations and thus bring more skills to the table). Solving that issue though isn't nearly as easy as throwing more money into education.

And none of that is to say that in certain states and/or districts, lack of funding isn't a problem. And where that is the case, more funding makes total sense.

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Monday, April 28, 2014 12:04 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

slithernoggin said:

In 2014, it takes no time at all to find "reports" and "studies" that support one's point of view, thanks to the Internet.

Sort of my point. And I said as much 27 posts ago. (3rd sentence)

Although I think it's a little funny that you seem to be dismissing the studies, reviews and research I've cited because it doesn't agree with your viewpoint. They're all valid studies done by people with WAY more knowledge on the subject than any of us have.

Plus, I gave you actual links with sources and material. I didn't just refer to "historical evidence" or "history and data" with a wave of the hand.

Which sums up the discussion here entirely. We're dismissive or skeptical of facts that go against our beliefs and supportive of information that supports our beliefs.

So in case you don't want to click the link and go back to what I said 27 posts (31 hours) ago, here it is again:

"It's also complex enough an issue that either of us could find studies that cite examples of our beliefs being correct."

So you can look down on all 8 of the links I provided because they don't agree with your stance, but that just makes you even less informed and assures me that your opinion is even less valid.


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Monday, April 28, 2014 12:18 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

I clicked through on most of your links and spent time poking around.

Out of the "bazillions" of reports and studies one can find on the Internet, you posted links to ones that support your point of view.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Monday, April 28, 2014 12:25 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I understand you deal with issues that make you see things very literally and I imagine reading my posts must be one of the most frustrating things in the world for someone in your shoes, but man, do I wanna bang my head off the wall when it comes to one-on-one discussion between us.

I've said (twice already and now this third time) that it's such a complex issue that we will certainly find conflicting information that backs both sides.

Obviously, I posted information that backs my point of view. Why wouldn't I? I stated an opinion and backed it with supporting information.

Are you seriously trying to call me out for backing my opinions with actual research?

I am in bizzaro world.


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Monday, April 28, 2014 12:53 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

There are having issues and there's refusing to deal with issues.

I think this is much more the latter.

How much more literal could you have gotten?


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Monday, April 28, 2014 12:59 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

I am going to run through several things here, and I am going to do so in no particular order...

...thank you for understanding that I take things literally -- and sometimes too literally. (I am, after all, the guy who failed a Rorschach test. Twice.)

I'll be honest, sometimes you post things that make me think otherwise. I will tuck this away and keep it in mind. I often disagree with you, but at the end of the day I respect you and your opinions. (Also, you're always entertaining.)

...I'll admit, I'm a flaming liberal. Obamacare? It's a compromise. I think America should have a single payer healthcare system. Many of the issues with Obamacare arise from it being a compromise solution.

...what I was trying to say? That you found support for your point of view and I find support for my point of view. And the latter makes me doubt the former. As I went through your links I assumed you posted only those that supported your point of view. Which in turn colored my responses.

... sometimes, even as I can't quite help myself from posting something, I do say to myself -- "this is a roller coaster website" -- but one of the things I really appreciate about Coasterbuzz is that actual conversations occur here.

Hope I've made some sense. It's been a long day.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Monday, April 28, 2014 1:11 AM
LostKause's avatar

If Gonch has taught me anything, it's that nothing is black and white, all sides of any argument have merit, and everything I think I know for sure could possibly be wrong. Throughout the years, he has slowly taught me to open my mind to other possibilities, and I totally respect him for it.

Last edited by LostKause, Monday, April 28, 2014 1:12 AM
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Monday, April 28, 2014 11:13 AM
rollergator's avatar

Considered posting a dozen or so links to refute what Gonch said...decided against in favor of taking a different tack. Almost all poverty-reduction in this country requires government programs and huge administrative expense (SNAP, Section 8, Medicaid, etc.). Raising the minimum wage bears virtually none of that burden, keeping the "smaller government"cause intact.

Buit the strongest economic argument really is one of multiplier effects...that's why getting money in the hands of those who will spend it right away has more benefits to the economy at large than we see from tax breaks that only benefit a very few individuals.

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