Friday, March 16, 2012
Oh, the things we're expected to believe...
Just saw this on Facebook. From one of the liberals, natch. Who saw no problems with it.
Me? I see problems.
Let's start with the obvious. The hell does one person need with a two-bedroom apartment?
Almost all of the single low wage earners I know live with roommates. So, if it's true that a two-bedroom apartment here in Texas costs the equivalent of 88 hours of work for a minimum wage earner, then it costs 44 hours of work--just over a week--for a minimum wage earner who has a roommate like pretty much every single minimum wage earner in existence. Conventional wisdom is roughly 33% of your earnings should go to rent; if you are paying just over a week's worth of work in rent, then that's about 25%. Though we can go ahead & kick it up to 33% for argument's sake, because of taxes and all.
Now, what about a single minimum wage earner who doesn't want to live with a roommate? Well, he doesn't need a damn two bedroom apartment, does he? A quick search on Apartments.com shows a pretty wide spread for studio/1 bedroom apartments. It looks like $375/mo is perfectly reasonable (I see two different apartments for that price, and it's not even the cheapest)--that works out to 32% of the money a single minimum wage earner would bring in in a month...Or 51 hours. Which sounds horrible, until you realize, again, that it's about a week-and-a-half worth of work, and, again, in line with what most financial advisers will tell you is an acceptable percentage of your income to pay in rent.
BUT, what about the married minimum wage earners? Who might need that 2-bedroom apartment?
Well, because I'm a conservative, I get to say this: if you are married, and only earning minimum wage, you're DOING IT WRONG. Seriously. Fucking Wal-Mart pays $7.80/hr to start with, and that sucks even in San Antonio. Quite a few positions at HEB start at $9/hr. Just in general, it is not hard to wander into a job paying $10/hr. If you can type--and keyboarding was a required course when I was in school--you can get a job in one of the myriad call centers in this city. If you're not a felon or a drunk, and you're earning minimum wage by the time you're old enough to have a family, then you've got bigger problems than even the most feel-sorry-for-you liberal can help with.