Living on Less Than $7.00 per Hour

Young adults face a tough struggle today.

World-wide, falling wages and the centralization of wealth in the hands of the few have caused more than their share of problems for up and coming adults. We old fogeys have our share of trouble as well, more are joining our ranks every day. But for us, its a bit different. You see, no one really had credit cards before 1962, and for most of us, well, we can adapt.

To put it bluntly, cost of living (and by that I don’t mean the index, but what it actually costs in rent, power, utilities, food, fuel, and whatever) and wage scales are so out of balance at the moment it seems to me a major course correction is in order. It’s either that or a full out consumer revolution. My answers to date have been to quit buying (where possible), quit charging (a definite — credit card companies lend new nuance to the word “usurious”), and barter where possible. I cringed when we shifted into a planned obsolescence economy in the 1970s, and groaned all the way through Reagonomics 101, although I was earning “good money” at the time. Now, we not only have planned obsolescence, we have planned obsolescence with razor blades in two years or less. People going belly up into the sea of woe? Well, what on earth did you expect?

All the way through my MBA and PhD in Business in the 1990s I kept seeing the signs. Well, now it’s not just Yield Right of Way, it’s STOP. I took my studies in entrepreneurial ventures because its going to be the only way out for most of us in the near and far future. If we’re lucky enough to get something going where we can share by paying a useful and worthy person $7.00/hr. then we are truly fortunate. Most of us won’t be.

Costs have got to come down to the level where wages can mean something. It’s a sure shot that wages aren’t going to go up. There is no other choice to make the current equation work for other than the few at the top of this Ponzi scheme.

Its worse, of course, in countries where costs are high, and wages are even less. But for the young people, my best advice is to take those credit cards and a pair of scissors and cut them into very small pieces. You don’t need the BLING that bad. If you’re already at the point where your cards are buying your groceries, then may you be somehow otherwise blessed, cause you’re on the highway to hell.


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