Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Community Post: Living Wage

Philosophe asked for a post on the following -- happy to oblige:

What about a new subject. The living wage debate always seems to get them going. I just got this week's edition of Time Magazine and on page 51 is an article by Jeremy Caplan on Chigago's adoption of a living wage ordinance. Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot fought it tooth and nail but lost. There is a quote from the mayor of Santa Fe, N.M. about their living wage ordinance: "We were also told the sky was going to fall, but all we've seen is strong growth."

Maybe this blog has beat this one to death in the past (I'm new), but it seems like a good public policy debate; especially since the News-Press editorial pages are vehemently opposed to a living wage ordinance.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

living wage is a difficult topic.
it cost a functioning single person about $2600 /month that only pays for the basics.
Santa Barbara is an odd study due to the high cost of the area. It has a steady work force form the University that can work the $13-$20 /tip hr jobs in the the area.
Other workers in the city commute and the cost has gone up and is now costly to come in from the northern county where housing was affordable.

A new question for the area is providing some type of housing for the workers that need to be in the city but can not afford it due to the low income for the area they receive from the city. What is the job worth? do you pay higher or do you give the "free" housing and other incentives.
Which is right and what consitutes a fair wage or salary.

Most everyone works hard, clerks, farm workers, truckers, waiters, mayors, reporters, service industry and factory workers and each one needs $2600 a month just to live in any part of California.

On a side note Congrats to
Sara on the Blog.
i guess somebody saw a good thing and Nipped.. i mean nabbed it up. LOL LOL
Best of Luck to you and your new blog spot.
Keep us all informed.

Ciao Manhattan

8/15/2006 10:10 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

This debate really is over, totally.

The wage proposal initially was desired to be the whole City if not the County. That reality got cut down to just the City, and just City employees and vendors, then just vendors, then just for-profit commercial vendors, all leading to such a small number of workers actually to benefit the whole exercise did not do much except set up the City Council to state emphatically that the wage ordinance never would cover more people.

Now, the new PUEBLO Executive Director, Ana Rizo, hinted she was going to pursue an expanded wage ordinance. This was in the, yes, News-Press article by Shelly Leachman on July 30th.

While Shelly does the best she can with all the punatively shuffled reporter beats there, a seasoned reporter on this story, such as the resigned Josh Molina, would have known that the City Council months ago made many emphatic statements that an expansion of the wage ordinance was dead on arrival.

The story now is whether the wage advocates or coalition will try again. It all depends upon whether PUEBLO really can deliver new voters and improved propensity voters already registered. If so, then they indeed will garner some meaningful clout in Santa Barbara and the County. But that is a long way off, if ever.

So, that is how the newspressmess affects the wage ordinance, too.

8/15/2006 10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto should have said...

Who decides how much income is enough and what are the basics?

Many people earn far less and still are here. So maybe they are paid enough and already have the basics?

The city police union says that a $75 thousand annual salary might be enough for the basics. If government subsidizes wages and housing, that money has to come from somewhere. Should it come from the savings gained by lower police salaries?

8/15/2006 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this blog is about Santa Barbara, then let's get back to the issues we are still facing. The living wage issue has been enacted and so there isn't too much more to say.

I like talking about workforce housing and the whole growth/no-growth issue so I'm partial to those threads. Maybe Sara should consider a permanent thread on that issue?

8/16/2006 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a dead horse. Artificial wages to keep people in a place the can't afford to live.

8/16/2006 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

Ok. It sounds like nobody wants to discuss living wage issues. I posted it because it seems to me that the living wage is inextricably link to the housing issue. Service sector workers, who work in Santa Barbara, either have to pay the high cost to live here or pay the high cost to commute. Regardless of all the developers' dreams, we cannot build ourselves out of the high cost of real estate on the South Coast.

I believe it is wrong to simply let the free market grind people down into a Dickensian state of poverty. I think it was Winston Churchill who said in another context, "Appeasment is feeding an alligator in the hope that he will eat you last." In my view, we can either address these issues through the Byzantine (and yes, Machiavellian) process of public policy development, or we can wait until its our turn in the alligator's maw. On to the next subject.

8/16/2006 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Churchill was referring to the Nazis. I don't think you can use that to boost support for a meaningless living wage.

8/16/2006 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mankind is divided into rich and poor, into property owners and exploited; and to abstract oneself from this fundamental division ;and from the antagonism between poor and rich means abstracting oneself from fundamental facts.

8/16/2006 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stalin - you're quoting Stalin? I guess that makes sense if you're trying to get another socialist living wage through City Council.

8/16/2006 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

Thanks Anon. 2:48, I agree. It may be true that we "have the poor with (us) always," but that does not give us an excuse to ignore their plight.

8/16/2006 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

Income should be distributed according to need. Why is it someone can live in a $5 million dollar home and another under a park bench. Our founding fathers were collectivists at heart. Plymouth is a good example of the collective sharing of resources. A living wage is a start but what about redistribution of income by taxing all income made over $100,000 with a 90% tax. The monies will be redistributed to the homeless, working poor, non-native working american poor. With a president who can spend billions and drive by bombing campaigns certainly we can afford to give everyone a living income and a roof over thier heads.

8/17/2006 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should force the rich to take in the homeless.

8/17/2006 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto should have said...

If income beyone $100K is taxed at 90%, people would not have much, if any, incentive to earn more income beyond that amount if 90 cents of every dollar earned is taken away.

I heard the Communist system of government-decided wealth re-distribution has failed. The Soviet Union is no more.

But somehow I think "Mike Pinto" knows all that and just likes to have fun with these missives. And Das did invent adveerbs, by the way.

8/17/2006 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Pinto,

I'm curious why you describe the founders as "collectivists at heart."

8/17/2006 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

What fun! As I have written before, I rather enjoy Mike Pinto's ideological purity (so doctrinaire!). But if we look just beyond the piety of Mr. Pinto's posts, we can see the playfulness, which makes a pretty damn fine point. The free market creates winners and losers, always has, always will. We seem to be stuck with the free market, so, unless we wish to abandon all sense of our simian community, we have to some how take care of the victims of the free market through public policy.

(Just for Mike - remember my brother the cop? He's a socialist. Oh so confusing.)

Thanks for keeping the string going.

8/17/2006 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public policy? Huh, Government nipple you mean. Look at all the ruined lives that have resulted from Welfare. Lets have more.

8/17/2006 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

The former Soviet Union was a military dictatorship not a socialist state. Wealth redistribution has worked and is working in Venezuela. There is incentive to work at the 90% taxation level. The incentive is helping people. Why is it incentive is always tied to making more money for ones self? A living wage is a start but allowing people to live in dignity is what we should be aiming for. Das might not have invented adverbs but he did bring a more civil tone to campaigning in our county.

8/18/2006 5:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Das civil? Perhaps when he is talking about himself.

8/18/2006 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take the discussion about the merits of Communism and incentives to work so other people can get the money over to Hoverbike (look it up easy)

8/18/2006 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Socialism does not work, sorry Mike. Never has and never will. Free market economies are far from perfect, but no one and nothing created by man is or will be perfect. Balance must be achieved between competing principals. Government control of everything scares me to death.

I work for the government and let me tell you the waste, fraud, incompetence and ignorance is beyond comprehension. If only people knew how bad it is on all levels of government there’d be a tremendous uproar. But, people don’t know, don’t care and serve up doctrines like Mr. Pinto espouses that lead us down a road we should not travel, but are.

I get sick to death of hearing George Bush and other “leaders” calling us a democracy; we are NOT a democracy, we are a representative republic. If you study our history and the history of our founding, then you’ll see that socialist ideas were present (though not named as such) at our founding and soundly rejected as unworkable.

The whole idea of “a living wage” and such is just blather and does not focus on real answers to real problems.

8/20/2006 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd need at least $160,000 per year as a living wage to buy one of those new "affordable" condos they want to build.

8/21/2006 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

Please do not give up on Mike Pinto. His heart, which in the end is more important than the mind' is firmly ensonced in the right place. Before, I flippantly suggested that Mike read some Adam Smith for sobering reality and Tom Robbins for for a little fun wisdom. But I was mistaken. Mike, I now recommend "A Man Without Shoes," by John Sanford. Sanford, a writer's writer, who was blacklisted by the commie haters, comes to the conclusion that the working class in the United States don't want the help of the intellectual left. The North American working class(I include most Canadians here) prefer the lottery player's dream of strking it rich by pure luck. That does not mean that we should not care for them by redistributing wealth from the rich to poor. It just means that we should not expect to be thanked for our troubles. Hang in there Mike Pinto. For those of you who think that we should allow the market to grind people up into so much hamburger, well, I recommend Sanford's book to you as well (although I doubt you will get much out of it).

8/23/2006 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recommend Atlas Shrugged.

8/23/2006 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

Ah, Ayn Rand and the theory of humans as Great White Sharks devouring each other is such lovely perspective of human nature. Unfortunately, Ms. Rand failed to understand that humans are not sharks but rather are fundamentally cooperative apes who survive by nuturing reciprocally altruistic and cooperative relationships with one another.

8/24/2006 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you belive that, you should host a TV show like Oprah...

in reality it ain't ture

8/24/2006 9:06 AM  

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