Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: Minimum wage

Fast Food Workers

People working fast food need to understand, it is a training program. If you can not make a burger right the first time, how are you supposed to build a refinery, road, dam, power lines, computer network… right the first time?

How many companies would tolerant a welder using the wrong welding rod several times a day? You welded that part wrong, cut the weld out and use this welding rod. Only for the person to weld it wrong again.

Or a chemical plant – “You ordered the wrong type of pipe, that is the 10th time this week.” You installed the wrong part, there is no way it ca hold the pressure, do it again. Only for the person to do it wrong, again.

Wages Slipping for Skilled Workers

I spent 15 years in the welding field, was an ASME certified welder, built ASME certified pressure vessels and heat exchangers. The fab shops I worked at are across southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. Places like Creole Steel, Allied Fabrication, Ohmstede, Fabricon,,,, only to name a few.

From 1986 – 1999 I saw wages eroded by inflation and greed by the employer.

One employer never gave raises, what you hired on at is what you made. After you were there for 3 months you “might” get a 25 cent raise, but never anything after that.

Another employer, their idea of a raise was 25 cents a year. That 25 cents was easily eaten up by inflation.

Today (2012), I would have to make between $66,000 – $67,000 to have the same standard of living that I had in 1990 when I was 22 years old. That $66,000 – $67,000 is just to maintain that standard of living, and not to improve it.

Welding shops in the area are not paying anywhere near that much these days. The last welding shop I worked at, I made around $45,000 a year.

Its not just a matter of low-skill jobs being associated with low wages, wages for skilled craftsmen have not kept with with inflation or minimum wage.

In 1987 I went to work for a certain company, at that time their top pay was 3.35X minimum wage.

Today, top pay at that same company is around 2X minimum wage.

Random Thoughts November 16 2012

Time for another random thoughts post.

The Amazing Spider-man

Bought The Amazing Spider-man for the grandkids to watch. The grandkids are between the ages of 3 and 5 and were not interested in Spider-man. But they can watch The Avengers all day long.

Why did Sony have to go back to Spider-man having an artificial web?

I thought The Amazing Spider-man was a rather bland. I like how they got away from the Green Goblin and introduced The Lizard. The original Spider-man movies seem to stuck on the Green Goblin.

Wages Today

A few days ago I was thinking about how much money I was making in the welding shops. In 1987 the top pay of the welding shop I was working at was $11.13 an hour. Minimum wage was $3.35 an hour.

11.13 divided by 3.35 = 3.3223.

In other words, top pay in the welding shop was 3.3223 times minimum wage in 1987.

In 2004 I checked back at that same welding shop, top pay was only around $14 an hour, which was less then 3X minimum wage at the time of $5.15. In other words, wages have not kept up with inflation or minimum wage.

In 1990 I made around $35,000 with overtime. I thought that was pretty good for 22 years old. Minimum wage in 1990 was $3.80 an hour. Other words, I made 9,210 times minimum wage in a single year. But then again, I worked a lot of overtime to reach that $35,000 dollar mark.

To keep up with the standard of living I had in 1990, I would have to be making $66,772 a year. Take my word for it, I make a lot less then $66,772 a year.

How much money are you making today as compared to minimum wage? Have your wages kept up with inflation and minimum wage?

For those of you over 40 years old, how much where you making 20 years ago as compared to today?

Personal responsibility and family values

Whatever happened to family values? It seems that I can not even watch TV with my kids without some kind of profanity or discussion on sex.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Did society cause TV to go downhill, or did TV cause society to go downhill?

My step-daughter told me about a lady she knows that has gotten herself into a heck of a situation.

Man and woman are married and have a child,
Man and woman split up,
Man gets girlfriend,
Girlfriend gets knocked up,
Man goes back to wife.

Ultra-sound showed the baby has a severe case of spina bifida.

I think the pregnancy is too far along for an abortion.

Girlfriend smokes and eats nothing but fast food, or so the rumors go.

Girlfriend works a minimum wage job.

Maybe I am wrong in feeling this way, but why should the child have to suffer because the parents are irresponsible? Did the moms unhealthy habits contribute to the spina bifida?

The father is married but knocks another woman up. What kind of example is that setting for the children? When the kids get grown, will they think its ok to get married then go around knocking other women up?

The girlfriend works at a minimum wage job, so the government is on the hook for birth and medical treatment.

I feel really bad for the child.

This story is repeated over and over and over all over the world. Mom and dad strung out on drugs, children born with fetal alcohol syndrome or other birth defects. What is society supposed to do? We can not cast those children to the side.

The answer is personal responsibility.

What Kind Of Future Will Generation Y Have?

Kevin Felts political commentator

My first wife and I had 4 children (Generation Y), which were born between 1987 and 1996. I often what kind of nation we are leaving our children.

The U.S. government is broke, and still continues to spend money like kids in a candy store. Jobs are still be deported to china, illegal immigrants can get a free education, and now with the policies obama put into place, the illegals do not have to worry about being deported.

In 20 – 30 years will anyone have national pride? What is a nation without citizens and borders? What defines a citizen? Is it someone that walks across the border, then raises their hand for free benefits? What good does it do to be born here, when people can just walk across the river and get equal treatment?

Then there is the free trade issue. As our factories move overseas, what are your children and grandchildren supposed to do for jobs? Those factories also mean national security. It takes longer to build a factory then it does to retool. Lets say we go to war with china and russia, where are our factories?

1 – go to college, get massive debt and hope you land a good job.

2 – go into retail.

3 – start your own business. If you had a rich uncle leave you a couple hundred thousand, maybe you can buy a franchise.

4 – learn a skill and got to work in a refinery, welding shop, land drilling rig or off shore drilling rig.

Thoughts on how to reform minimum wage

Thoughts on how to reform minimum wagePlease Rate This Article We need a structured minimum wage based on how much money the company made. With a structured minimum wage, walmart would have a higher minimum wage then some mom and pop corner store. A flat rate minimum wage creates an unfair playing field, with the […]

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