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.

Monday, April 28, 2014 11:21 AM
Vater's avatar

rollergator said:

Almost all poverty-reduction in this country requires government programs and huge administrative expense

That's one opinion.

+3Loading
Monday, April 28, 2014 1:01 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:

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.

Thank you, Travis.

And I've always felt that was the point. Throw an opinion out there. See where people stand. Make everyone (including myself) think about things a little bit. Learn something along the way. It's good exercise.

Ride a coaster. It's all good. And we're all friends in the ends.


+3Loading
Monday, April 28, 2014 1:51 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

rollergator said:

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.

Here's my problem. Raising minimum wage is essentially a handout - the same as welfare. It just shifts the burden onto businesses and off of the government.

In the end the individual didn't magically become more skilled, more valuable or more useful - they just got more money. We need to quit spending money that benefits mostly the individual and instead benefits all of us as well.

Plus, I'm of two other general beliefs:

1. Just being here doesn't guarantee you a damn thing. You have to go get what you need. In some cases that might mean reaching out for a helping hand, but don't expect it...and plan as if it doesn't exist. And when you do reach out for help, make it personal. Families helping families. Friends reaching out. DIY. The government lifting your ass up should be a last resort.

2. Poor in the USA is a very relative term.

If we think in global terms, our 'poor' are still pretty well off in the big picture. Now that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to improve, but it should create perspective.

If you make $11670 (the poverty line for an individual) you're among the richest 15% in the world. (and I get cost of living, and America and all of that). But it really is the top 15% of the world complaining about the top 5%.

Again, I'm only pointing out the reality of the situation - not the morality. I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice if everyone could have everything, but I don't think that's realistic.


+0
Monday, April 28, 2014 2:18 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Again, I'm only pointing out the reality of the situation - not the morality. I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice if everyone could have everything, but I don't think that's realistic.

I agree that morality and fairness (or whatever) aren't relevant. And I don't believe the government should concern itself with helping individuals. But I do believe that government should function in a way that facilitates the sustainability of society.

In the consumer economy of America, that means ensuring that a huge majority of people have disposable income. Whether that comes from taxing corporations or the top whatever% of individuals is another discussion, but there's no getting around the idea that without all those service employees having disposable income, our reality will look far different.

Say goodbye to many of the luxuries you're used to - a Target/Walmart 10 minutes away, endless options for food and entertainment, fancy amusement parks within a day's drive of pretty much anywhere, and your Camaro. ;-)

So I think if we dig down deep enough (and this point has been alluded to a few times in this thread), fixing the root cause is possible, but not without completely altering life as we know it for everyone, including those who work hard to learn skills that keep them out of the minimum wage realm.


Brandon | Facebook

+0
Monday, April 28, 2014 2:21 PM
rollergator's avatar

And I would never argue that everyone should (or even should be able to) drive a Lexus. But I do think a free public education was something that served us well. And I remember my grandmother's stories about her friends eating pet food before we had Social Security. And I love interstate highways.

The "Conservatives" I grew up with in the 70s and 80s didn't really want to roll back all of the good things we'd developed as a society. Granted, the conservatives in the Northeast are pretty much "socialists" in some circles. But the Koch brothers' father sure wanted to eliminate all that - and so much more. His success didn't come in his lifetime, but Fred Koch would be proud of the job done in his name...

The idea that we're talking about a bunch of able-bodied, mentally-competent, middle-aged moochers living high on the hog just isn't borne out by the facts.

+2Loading
Monday, April 28, 2014 3:49 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

djDaemon said:

In the consumer economy of America, that means ensuring that a huge majority of people have disposable income. Whether that comes from taxing corporations or the top whatever% of individuals is another discussion, but there's no getting around the idea that without all those service employees having disposable income, our reality will look far different.

I'd argue that a huge majority do. And even if we agree that they don't, I showed how a two-income household earning minimum wage can - with a tad bit of sacrifice - make up the lack of quality with a little extra quantity of work and bring in an annual salary nearing $40,000. Median household income is right around $51k.

Say goodbye to many of the luxuries you're used to - a Target/Walmart 10 minutes away, endless options for food and entertainment, fancy amusement parks within a day's drive of pretty much anywhere, and your Camaro. ;-)

You're assuming I'm not willing to make sacrifices myself. :)

In fact, I think some of the problem is the luxuries we're come to expect in this country.

rollergator said:

The idea that we're talking about a bunch of able-bodied, mentally-competent, middle-aged moochers living high on the hog just isn't borne out by the facts.

Again, just being here doesn't entitle you to anything. If you're physically unable or mentally unable or exceptionally young or old - then sure, we should provide at some level...after family, friends, etc. Do for yourself and those around you first.

I'm sure there are a good number of people who reach a point where that no longer applies. But the second you become a beggar (and I don't use that in a derogatory sense), you're no longer a chooser. You get the minimum necessary.

And I think that brings us to the real discussion we've been having the whole time - what is the minimum that one gets just by being part of society? What does everyone deserve? What does everyone need? What's right? What's just? What's reasonable? What's sustainable?

The Gonch in me wants to say you deserve nothing. The human in me says it's a shame that we all don't have everything we need. The reality of the situation lies somewhere in between and I don't think we're all that far off from the point that is useful, helpful, fair, reasonable and sustainable.

That is to say, I don't think minimum wage is really all that broken.


+0
Monday, April 28, 2014 4:03 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

...I showed how a two-income household earning minimum wage can - with a tad bit of sacrifice - make up the lack of quality with a little extra quantity of work and bring in an annual salary nearing $40,000. Median household income is right around $51k.

Right, but that's by working 50 hrs/week for 50 weeks of the year. Are there even that many minimum wage jobs available?

And that's not a baited question - I have no idea if there are actually 10.5 million full-time minimum wage jobs out there. Or if there are 21 million half-time jobs out there. Or any combination in between.


Brandon | Facebook

+0
Monday, April 28, 2014 4:09 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, I don't honestly know either.

I just feel like if I wanted to, I could run out right now and score a minimum wage job with little effort.

Whether or not that's true or depends on area or region or whatever - I dunno.


+0
Monday, April 28, 2014 4:21 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

Yeah, I don't honestly know either.

I just feel like if I wanted to, I could run out right now and score a minimum wage job with little effort.

According to BLS, there are 4.2 million job openings in the US as of April 4, 2014. Pretty interesting breakdown of sector there, too.


Brandon | Facebook

+0
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 6:08 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

... the luxuries we're come to expect in this country.

An interesting point. What's the line between luxury and necessity?

Years ago, a cell phone was considered a luxury. In 2014, maybe not. A significant number of people no longer have a land line: their cell phone IS their phone. Is a cell phone a necessity, or a luxury?


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

+0
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 6:34 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

slithernoggin said:

An interesting point. What's the line between luxury and necessity?

Necessity
- an imperative requirement or need for something

Luxury
a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity

My opinion, a phone is probably a necessity in today's world. Whether that means cell or landline? Your call. But it's only a necessity because of how far we've raised the bar on our standard of living. Which is one of the points I was making along the way - the bar has been raised enough that basic skills (or rather their value) no longer jive with what might be considered basic living conditions. Luxuries have become necessities. Our expectations are high.

With that said, assuming we call a phone a necessity, you need no more than the most basic hardware at the lowest cost. Running around with the latest smartphone with an unlimited plan and all the bells and whistles is not a necessity.

For the record, there are programs in place to get phones to the needy (since 1985 - so I guess a phone has been seen as a necessity for about 30 years now). And the costs are pretty high. And claims of abuse of the system are many.


+0
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 6:44 PM
LostKause's avatar

Ever since my last rock band fell apart many years ago, I haven't had a need for a cell phone. I barely use my land line, so a phone is not a necessity for me. I do not like to talk on the phone.

However, the headphone jack on my iPod is acting up, so I may decide to replace my iPod with an iPhone shortly. I'm saving up for my vacation in a few months though, so it will have to wait.

Until then, I might get a pay-as-you-go phone for emergencies. I find that I could use a cell phone sometimes, like when I am traveling or when I am meeting friends.

I feel like I could get a cheaper cell phone, but why carry around an iPod and a cheap cell phone when I could carry around an iPhone instead. It's all so confusing to me, for some reason. I should just go get an iPhone. lol


+0
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 12:50 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

I would say that in America in 2014, a phone is a necessity. Maybe that phone is a landline and maybe that phone is a cell phone, but a person needs to have a phone.

And as I type that all out, I realize that a phone is not a necessity -- I would not die if I did not have a phone.

But it is extremely difficult to live in America in 2014 without a telephone. Potential employers will likely not be inclined to hire someone without a phone number, for example.

Grrr. Stupid Lord Gonchar, making me think! :-)


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

+2Loading
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 11:21 AM
rollergator's avatar

Minimum wage hikes and the effect on jobs:

The average change in employment for the 13 states that increased their minimum wage was +0.61%, while for the remaining states (all of which did not change their minimum wage) the average employment change was +0.27%.

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/states-that-raised-their-minimumwage-in-2014-had-stronger-job-growth-than-those-that-didnt

+0
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 11:55 AM
Jeff's avatar

That's a margin of error percentage though. What effects does it have on GDP and value of the dollar relative to other currencies?


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

+0
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 6:41 PM

Correlation does not equate to causation. The dynamics of a complex labor market don't really lend themselves to statements about the effect of minimum wage increases on job growth. CEPR admits as much. But I don't think you can make the statement about no negative impact on job growth with minimum wage increases because you don't know what job growth would have been without the minimum wage increases.

And 8 of the 13 states that raised their minimum wages did so by between 10 and 15 cents an hour. Very small increases. The three states with largest increases, New Jersey ($1/hr), Connecticut ($0.45/hr) and New York ($0.75/hr) were the 3 states with the worst job growth of the states increasing minimum wages this year (with NJ and CT having negative job growth and NY having positive job growth but below the median level of employment change of all the states). Colorado and Rhode Island were 4th and 6th in job growth with 22 and 25 cent per hour increases. Also smaller increases (at least compared to NY/NJ).

Again I think the complexities of job growth/labor markets in any given state during any given time period of the year do not lend themselves well to the simplistic analysis of the CEPR article.

Last edited by GoBucks89, Wednesday, April 30, 2014 6:44 PM
+2Loading
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 8:42 PM

So, what is the answer to the problem in the article? Get another job doesn't solve the problem of housing.

+0
Thursday, May 1, 2014 3:35 PM
rollergator's avatar

Now I'm going to throw a curveball to some of you by saying I disagree with Seattle's action today (rainsing the min wage to $15/hr.). I know someone's head just exploded at reading that, maybe even more than one.

But before you think I've joined the other team, LOL, let me explain a bit. It's not that I don't think Seattle has a high cost of living or that $15 is so exceptionally unreasonably high (OK, it's a little too high, but that's for tomorrow's discussion). But that $15 number is still years away, and they will bump it gradually to that number (sound economics there). The problem that I have is in the indexing not to inflation, but to an arbitrary 2.4% annual increase in the minimum. That's just not in line with inflationary expectations - has anyone looked at long-term bond rates lately? Tying the min. wage to CPI or adjusted CPI or even chained CPI makes more sense to me....because I actually do want sound fiscal and economic policy...

Last edited by rollergator, Thursday, May 1, 2014 3:36 PM
+0
Friday, May 2, 2014 1:41 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Nice chance to play fly on the wall and eavesdrop on the public conversation surrounding that $15 in Seattle.


+1Loading
Friday, May 2, 2014 3:27 AM
sws's avatar

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2021, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...