Originally, I was born in Fresno, CA. We didn't have the most healthy job rate when times were good, let alone once the recession hit. I spent five years looking for a job- and didn't find one until I got the help of a friend online in Claremore, Oklahoma, who let me move in. In a month I was working at an auto parts store, even though I knew jack shit about cars. I was making enough that I could've survived with that job. I'd be poor, I couldn't go to college, but I could survive.
I was lucky enough that I had a nice computer I'd gotten from when there was a windfall in the family, and I'd taught myself to program enough Python and Django to get a webdev job remotely. But even if I hadn't, I could've survived on this. Getting me out there cost a grand total of perhaps ~$1500, at most, and that'd get me my first month's rent. Tack on another $1000 and I'd have 3 months rent total and enough leftover to get a cheap bed.
Is this economically feasible? Would it even provide good economic value? People are needed in these rural areas, but I just don't know if it'd provide enough economic reward to actually be worth it to the country.
Basic trade skills, pays you for earning a GED, most of the centres are rual so it's hard to fall into 'temptation'. Overall a great program.
Then again I have been incredible throughout my life, winning the birth lottery pretty big and probably can't hope to truly understand the psychology and desires of much of my own very diverse country. Maybe I am wrong. Hopefully I am wrong. After all I can only really see this world through my own biased bullshit perspective.
However, many of them are incredibly close to their family or friends- after all, what's the point of life if you don't have anything you love in yours? I was a bit fortunate that my family had effectively written me off as a failure, which left me little guilt to feel when I left.
Then, my entire life turned around. In the span of 14 months, I go from unemployed, to auto parts delivery, to paid-for-shit web developer, to absolutely amazing webdev/product development job. All without college, and thusly, with no debt.
I got stupendously lucky, once the bad luck ran out. But I don't imagine as many had the pure hopelessness that I had before, where you have no moral support from friends/family, and no hope for work, which gives you no reason to not leave.
Have you ever even been to a poor neighborhood, in your life? I've lived there. Everyone I knew growing up lived there. Poverty doesn't work that way. Blowing your money on booze and drugs and gold chains and other luxuries? Christ, you barely have enough money for food, let alone all of that. I don't mean "barely enough money to buy food after all of the other things", I mean that tonight you're having a can of chicken noodle soup, just like the last three nights in a row, so that on Friday you can go to McDonalds for two or three items off the dollar menu as a treat. The people you're talking about are dozens of steps above the people I'm talking about.
I'm talking about the people for whom if they made even $10k a year they'd be some of the happiest people on earth. There are millions of them, in America. And Christ, no shame in asking for government handouts? WHAT government handouts? Are you at all, even one iota, familiar with the welfare system of the United States? It's incredibly hard to get much of anything beyond for a few months unless you have some kind of job. A few years if you're a pregnant woman. And when you're jobless for this many years, well, too bad.
I'm sorry, but you couldn't possibly know less about what you're talking about. Your statement smacks of overt racism, and if you seriously claim "Well hey white people get gold chains too", I just hope you realize that you're not fooling a soul.
I wish I could point you to full text articles, but they're all behind paywalls. Try googling 'joblessness black youth depression' to read some relevant abstracts.
You should recall that less than a century ago people felt they were entitled to own other people, perhaps you mean that as a whole our society has grown averse to letting people starve in ghettos.
"The reason poor people remain poor is because they don't have access to capital."
Sorry, I couldn't quickly rediscover the author / researcher who made this statement.
Everything costs more when you're poor and it's harder to get ahead when you're underwater. Having been "poor" (medical debt), I heartedly concur.
I learn all sorts of new things listening to Mind Over Matters on keep.org every weekend.
I don't think there are many loan products currently that could fill that kind of need, so it could be an open opportunity.
I find that hard to believe.
Combine that with not knowing where to look or who to ask when it comes to getting remote programming work, you don't really have a lot in the way of recourse.
Short of full on Basic Income, we could at least continue a much larger version of the government teen jobs program mentioned in the article. Money given to low income youth tends to find it's way back into the economy quickly. Much of the money from a government jobs program would be spent at the mall or walmart, some of which would end up in the hands of vendors and suppliers, which could get spent on apps and web services run by hn users. In short, poor people don't save a lot. Some percentage of our tax money will come back to us.
Capitalism is a great system, but it isn't perfect. The best predictor of future income is parental income. Direct action is the best way to break the cycle.
Or another argument against minimum wage. Minimum wage gets increased as cost-of-living goes up (albeit with a large lag). That's good if you're the household bread-winner trying to live off a minimum wage job. It's bad if you're a kid looking for some spending money. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
> Or another argument against minimum wage.
How about both?
It would be like a developer who makes ~$85K/year breaking into someones bank account online and transferring just $800 out. And consider the punishment of that crime versus armed robbery.
What you would likely see is people collecting wages off the books. People working odd jobs part time for maybe $250 a week and collecting their minimum income. Way less risk than crime; much better pay. This is bad, but nowhere near as bad as robbery or working the black market.
People don't join gangs to pay their bills.
You can get spray paint for $1 at the dollar store. It's crap, but it's not like you're using to rust-proof your patio furniture. You can even get "used" cans at some places (like pawn shops). Considering the age restriction on purchasing it, I'm guessing either A) people turn a blind eye to that rule B) it gets shoplifted, or C) Old gang member member buys and distributes it.
Artistic tagging and graffiti are a different thing. Due to the amount of paint used, they do tend to steal it if they lack money. "Racking" or stealing it is also considered a part of that outlaw culture. A large mural can cost hundreds of dollars to execute. Even a small picture can take a few cans of paint.
To get an idea of the amount of paint, search for images of "gang graffiti", and then for "graffiti murals".
The idea that they will suddenly change their lifestyle after being given some unconditional stipend seems to be in a direct contradiction with the observable behavior of vandals.
Beyond that, there's something inherently silly about your question - perhaps its the way it assumes the worst of people. You might as well ask why don't teachers get tenure and leave as much teaching as they can to subs without being fired, or why don't programmers pass all their work on to elance or odesk and get some additional outside work to make more money. These things may happen on occasion, but I'm inclined to believe that most are not so mercenary/sociopathic.
Why wouldn't someone with no job but a basic income, if they wanted more money get a job?
Given the choice, it's generally more lucrative for the average person to simply find work.
Being part of a gang is a way for young people to exist. It's not just a question of money. It's also an occupation, because there's nothing else to do. And there is the remote possibility that you might become very rich. Which will never happen with living wages.
These young people don't need money. They need a job.
I stopped reading there.
The reason black youths have high unemployment rates is their (typically unwed) mothers already live off a combination of section 8 housing, food stamps, medicaid, other govt. programs and whatever they can get under the table to keep their reportable income low.
This produces an environment where one can not thrive - black children do not learn the value of work nor understand how society and the rest of the world works. More of this would make it worse. Social programing is problem. Why create more of it?
Got a source, there, David Duke? FYI low-income/poor black youth ≠ all black youth.
The source is my current home in Georgia and my wife's experience as a HS teacher.
Having gone to school in the south I will tell you that it is a really strange place. There was an expectation that as black person you would be stupid. Most of the black people I knew played along. I don't really get it.
How do you claim know what we believe??? Our experience does not mean we believe, or endorse the current status quo of the situation on the ground. But it really is the situation here. A lot of black youth in single parent welfare section 8 households with little hope for the future. From seeing it first hand, I don't believe basic income via the government is the answer.
White people smell like hotdogs and never take baths. Source: I live in Vermont and my husband works at a car dealership.
^this is how stupid you sound.
25% of Americans are food insecure each year. If you gave them enough money to not be (we sort of try to do this: about 15% of the US population received food stamps at some point last year, but 15% is less than 25%, and the monetary amount is sometimes too small to prevent food insecurity), some amount of it would probably be misspent. Let's suppose 1% of recipients misspent it. 750,000 people blowing government money on heroin and hookers is a huge number of people. But a program with 99% efficiency -- where only 1% is misspent -- is also objectively really fucking efficient; a charity only has to spent 80% of its funds well for most people to consider it efficient.
So do you care about a huge number or a huge fraction of people abusing the system? Personally, I'm OK with the idea of hundreds of thousands of people abusing the public trust if it means that tens of millions are bootstrapped out of poverty.
Hear, hear! We have to stop governing our society by what a small percentage may do. We need to start using some business logic and leverage the best ideas for the most people. Is spending food stamps on heroine an abuse of the system? Yes.
But so was selling loans to people they knew couldn't afford it, and then taking out an insurance policy on them defaulting.
The issue here is that family lives of these kids are train wrecks. No stability, no father, probably a mother who was a pregnant 14-15 year old. The 5% kids who have a job probably had a strong grandparent or religious presence.
To help these kids, you need to intervene around ages 1-3 with daycare/headstart. Give them some hope and structure, and get them away from or improve the skills of their clueless parents (who are often kids themselves).
Anyway you could reduce that number drastically by offering basic income in the form of goods: a bed to sleep in, clothing to wear and food to eat. Nobody is going to cheat themself to the ability to sleep in two beds, and you can only eat so much food.
This might be more expensive, but I feel like a program with tens of thousands of cheaters would be a non-starter (and will die as soon as fox gets the story).
But I gotta disagree with you on goods versus money. Trying to provide goods to everyone is inefficient and wasteful. It's central planning, and the central planners don't know what the situation is on the ground, and can't customize the plan to every situation. Free beds, great. What if the guy already has a bed? What if he's got a friend whose couch he can crash on and can do without a bed for a year or three? What's he supposed to do with it? So it goes with everything. If you gave him the money instead, he could do something else with it. Buy booze and heroin, maybe, but he could also spend it on welding classes or a netbook, get a job, advance himself.
Just giving people money is the essence of American socialism. Planned economies have vouchers for bread, vouchers for beds, vouchers for cars. And it works like shit, because the planners can't plan for everything, can't adapt to the situation on the ground. America has Social Security. We send you a check, and you spend it on whatever your greatest need is. It's worlds better, because the people with the most information are making the decisions on how to allocate resources. It's capitalism-tastic.
But I am not interested in getting the most out of every dollar in aid - I am interested in getting people of the aid ASAP, and I don't think the best why to do that is to make their lives as good as possible right now. A place to sleep, clothing and food are the necessities of life (technically you could run around naked. In practice you would freeze to death in most of the places you could go) and this form of basic income would allow people to survive, but force them to work (or somehow produce) for anything above survival. In addition any little thing they did would bring immediate rewards to them.
In the case your person who already has a bed, he would certainly be welcome to just eat the meal and with his basic needs taken care of a mimimum wage job would enable him to save for the text-books or whatever.
I am assuming for the sake of this that people are lazy and will do no work that does not benefit them, that if free money is available people will take them, and that most would not use that money to do long term life improvement (certainly some would, but if you look at the number of people in the US who are overweight you will note that most aren't will to take pain for for pleasure later). If they have earned the money at a job it is theirs to do with as they please, if they get it from the government it comes out of their neighbors pockets. It seems only fair then that their neighbors should decide how it is used.
The greatest good for the greatest number. Focus on the successes.
Not everyone can be helped. But withholding help because of some free loaders isn't moral.
Everything mentioned in this article rings to true me. The transition traditional low-end jobs to middle-aged people and closed-circle of internships and job programs in particular.
That said, the first step towards mitigating this would seem obvious - stay in school. Unfortunately, anecdotal experience says the particularly bad situation for young black teens starts with a general de-valuing of education and victim mentality at home.
We shouldn't engage in wishful thinking either. Even if they graduate high school, the unemployment rate that awaits them is still pretty dismal. I believe the employment/population ratio for young black males "increased" to 33% for high school graduates...
Only the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't count incarcerated people in that ratio. So if you throw in that 1 in 9 young black males who are incarcerated, (I know it's higher, but 1 in 9 is the rate for high school graduates), you can see pretty clearly that even with a high school diploma they barely crack a 20% employment/population ratio. And that's actually being pretty generous with the numbers.
Of course, 20% - 25% is a better chance than 5%, so it's TECHNICALLY better to have a high school diploma...
But since the unemployment rate for whites with no high school diploma hoovers around 12%... it's actually MUCH better just to be white, than it is to graduate high school.
For blacks, especially males, I think the only way education really helps them in a material fashion, is if they can manage to graduate college.
Of course not. That's why I refer to staying in school as a "first step" as opposed to a solution.
>But since the unemployment rate for whites with no high school diploma hoovers around 12%... it's actually MUCH better just to be white, than it is to graduate high school.
I'd expect it's even better to be born rich and well-connected. Equality and the distribution of wealth and influence are important topics, but they're the last thing anyone who's actively struggling should be concerned with.
>For blacks, especially males, I think the only way education really helps them in a material fashion, is if they can manage to graduate college.
Both the statistics you provided and my experience disagree with this notion.
If you're white, you're more likely to have a father present, and not a single mother struggling with two jobs.
STEM fields by and large are the most friendly towards alternative (or complete lack of) education. A well-manicured GitHub, a decent resume, and not looking like an idiot in an interview trumps most college degrees for mid-level developer jobs that aren't Facebook/Google/etc.
I suspect he's pretending all STEM is programming though.
I am not. I would have said programming if I had meant it.
ETA: Ironically enough, I am a non-degree holder (dropout) working in a non-programming STEM field. My bio is a bit out of date since I have indeed gotten out of the data science community.
On a side note, I did find a job with a startup, but that was because of a chance encounter while trolling the right bars every night for 3 weeks looking for that chance. Smiles and handshakes always trump resumes.
You don't need HS to do either of those things, though I would insists on a clean background check if you are to go into my home.
Oh and my non-existent dog could use hypotetical walk to.
This is the kind of Washington, DC b.s. that gets regurgitated in the news. If you look at the U6 unemployment rate, the net impact has been a huge upturn in total unemployment:
I'm so glad to see things like Black Girls Code. These kids need mentors that aren't sports stars, or music stars. Oddly enough, music is one industry I always remember running into a lot of black people in - Macs and ProTools used in music production.
That's not odd at all. Blacks are hugely overrepresented in the music industry (as well as the pro sports industry).
You gotta love how American society is always collectively wringing its hands about how there aren't enough black people in STEM, but nobody mentions how underrepresented Asians are in the entertainment and pro sports industries.
Pro football has around 80 men on the roster (more than any other sport), and 32 teams (again, on the high side), so you're looking at less than 3000 athletes employed by that one sport. Even if all the athletes were black, which they're not, that number is less than one in a thousand of the total population.
'There are jobs for blacks in pro sports' is a complete canard that needs to be abandoned.
I had a couple jobs - as a high schooler in Massachusetts in 2000. I learned a lot of job/life skills from those jobs...
Paul Solman: 5 percent?
Andrew Sum: Yes.
Paul Solman: 95 percent unemployment rate?
Andrew Sum: Jobless. Not all of them would be classified as [unemployed], but they're not working. In other words, you could just say, "I gave up looking for work," which a lot of them do, but only 5 percent are working. Yes, 5 percent.
Another factor is geography. Last year, in the summer in [Washington,] D.C., only 15 percent of the kids worked; California, only 20 percent; Arizona and large parts of the south, 20 percent. Yet in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, you had 50 percent to 55 percent of those kids working.
This part is unclear to me. Is the "those kids" in the last section (about the geographic factor) still referring to the "young black highschool dropouts", or to a more general group again?
But still, 95 percent..
However if black youth unemployment rates in those states is better than the national rates (it is unclear if the article is claiming this or not), then it is probably worth looking into what these states are doing that makes this the case.
We have programs for this:
* http://www.jobcorps.gov/home.aspx -- This provides room, board, a stipend suitable for a teenager with no expenses, and vocational training for those under 25 years old (i.e, teens)
* http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ -- There's really no disputing this one. Any one of them can hoof it over to the nearest community college and get some skills and a paid work-study job.
* http://www.army.mil/ -- Many of you probably don't like this, but it's probably the most successful organization at turning lazy teens into productive citizens, however, it carries the risk of death or dismemberment. My point, is there are many options.
To split hairs over the minimum wage because 95% of 1% of kids (the approximate dropout rate) don't have jobs is nonsense. So, because these kids who did not do their civic duty are unemployed means we should lower labor standards for everyone else, including those who have to feed families, such as the parents of these very children? It can only worsen the situation.
Min wage is already so low that it is not the driver to whether someone is getting hired or not. The big corporations that run most of the "small" businesses now, can pay. They just need to know they're indeed getting a valuable worker.
The other thing is, a lot of that 95% can be accounted for by kids who don't want a job. They'd rather play x-box, or work as a foot soldier in the local gang.
We have programs for this. Job corps, seriously. There's nothing stopping young people from working here. The jobs exist. The skills do not.
Teenagers in rural areas already have plenty of opportunities to be employed below minimum wage, but these opportunities largely do not exist right now in urban areas. I suspect this partially accounts for the employment discrepancies in rural and urban areas.
(Dropping the minimum wage for this should only be done for teenagers who have more social safety-nets than adults.)
A lot of these kids need exactly that - a change of environment. I have a second cousin whose mother is always getting fired from minimum wage jobs, is constantly getting kicked out of apartments, and couldn't provide him with a stable home life. His dad is long gone.
Job Corps provided him with a place to stay, training, and a job. But the best part of it was that he had to move an hour and a half away, close enough to visit but far enough where he wouldn't be distracted by all the trouble in our crime-ridden and poverty stricken city. They also teach personal skills and things like money management.
If you don't get the kid out of the ghetto, you'll have trouble getting the ghetto out of the kid.
I'm just saying that the Job Corps isn't a great fit for all teenagers, and that all teenagers would benefit from working at any sort of job (and that a lower minimum wage for teenagers would facilitate this. I think that work for the sake of work is good for teenagers, but that minimum wage gets in the way of this).
What jgreco suggests is good, as long as it's just for teens and doesn't go lower than it currently is (i.e., lets raise it for adults, since they often have to feed children)
I can agree to this, except, lets do it this way: lets leave the minimum wage where it is for teens, and raise it for everyone else. That'd also solve the problem of adults working jobs that are meant for teens.
Once the minimum wage was lower for "school jobs" the market would efficiently define which jobs can be given to school kids and which can't.
2) Need for government agency to enforce the age requirements. Modeled after immigration authority, such agency would need to be able to raid the businesses in order to do age verification, to ensure that teenager-compatible jobs are not given to adults. Also, such agency needs to ensure that people are fired on the day they reach 20th birthday, and thus lose the "teen" status.
And if their years of experience do not matter, they would be replaced with lower-cost younger labor well in advance of them reaching particular age group considered "older".
That said, it's pretty easy as a middle-income white guy to cast judgement on people living in a situation I can't even dream of understanding. This is a pretty complex subject.
When you look at one hour of one person's work, the difference between $9, $7, $5 and $3 an hour seems trivial. Surely the employer has a five dollar bill sitting around, right? But when you look at full work weeks of time, plus the costs of training the job, multiplied by all of the employees the company will hire, the difference in hourly wages emerges. And, equally importantly, the employer perceives this difference and given time will react rationally to a lower minimum wage. For every dollar of "labor standards" achieved, the minimum wage imposes a skill and manners floor with no ladder beneath it for people who need to get a leg up into the employment system with experience. Lowering this floor lets an employer take a chance on someone or even take a chance on two people where only one could be hired previously.
Job Corps, FAFSA grants, and the military all essentially pay below minimum wage for job training without economic benefit, i.e., productivity (ignoring the various effects caused by foreign wars.) Additionally, while the training provided is supposed to bridge over neatly to employment, it never does perfectly and sometimes does not match real-world needs at all. It would be better to just let companies directly pay lower wages and also provide the training by having the employee learn the actual job instead of a simulated job.
Not really. You won't train them with a $3 / hour worker. Their timesheet won't be done by a $3 / hour worker. Their workspace and equipment will cost more than $3 / hour. If they piss off a customer, or steal from the till, or break stuff, or bully other employees, or get you sued, the cost will be the same.
People in non-tech fields have to practically beg to get an internship which pays nothing. OK, internships should be about training, not work (it's the law), but we all know that's often a load of crap. That's because all staff have overhead, so even a free worker costs quite a bit.
As someone who has managed a variety of budgets, I assure you that the wage portion of an employee's total cost is still meaningful.
Correct. They'll just be cheaper. If value > cost, then it's worth it for a business to pursue.
If something is only slightly useful, then it's still useful and still worth having at some cost.
When I was a teenager for a time I was (legally) employed below standard minimum wage working as a farm laborer.
I'll give you my take on this.
What creates employment is consumption and people earning next to nothing don’t consume.
So if you cut the minimum wage all you'll end up doing is reduce the overall consumption, which in turn will drive up unemployment.
The truth might in fact be the reason the USA economy is so stuffed is because the minimum wage has not gone up in decades leading to greatly reduced levels of consumption.
So a negotiated minimum wage still covers a large proportion of jobs. In Denmark somewhere around 80% of jobs are covered by the negotiated minimum wage agreements, which are typically set at $20/hr. The main exceptions making up the 20% are small mom-and-pop stores (kebab shops and such) who don't join the employer confederation and therefore aren't subject to the agreements. But all jobs at large companies, like supermarket clerks and janitors, are covered by the minimum wage.
In Denmark this was basically the social-democratic outcome of the late-19th-century labor strife: the moderate wing of the labor movement reached an agreement in September 1899 with moderates within the business community to adopt a consensus-based approach to workplace conditions and pay. That held, so both the laissez-faire capitalist advocates and the militantly socialist portion of the labor movement were sidelined for a century or so.
If you raised minimum wage, you would just drive McDonalds to automate away more of its menial jobs and make Walmart replace all the cashiers with self checkouts, which I think is good (eliminate the useless wastes of peoples time) but it doesn't mean more people are employed for labor.
The real issue is that the distribution of economic resources has been direly concentrated in very few for 30 years, and they are now the predominant drivers of economic activity because nobody else has any prosperity anymore. It is a compound effect that the people with the money to hire and employ others have nothing to hire or employ them for, and thus they don't, instead they push their money into avenues that make profit off of regulatory exploitation rather than productivity (big banks & the fed, fortune 500 investments, lobbying for monopolies to get artificial markets).
As an investor, how many of these dropouts would you like to hire at one of your startups tomorrow morning?
I don't really understand which solution you're pointing out as a candidate for crowdsourcing. Microloans are as much of a solution as pawn shops, to be brutally honest.
So I'd argue the open market in the US don't have enough demand for physical human labor at the bare minimum cost to keep people alive. The consequence is a lot of people are just not working. We have nothing for them to do at the given price that anyone is willing to pay.
So if the market has no unmet demands for toil, then guaranteeing a minimum wage job means you are wasting that persons time on some task that nobody needs done, at least not for the price he is paid, and you are not only biasing away the labor market you are wasting that persons time on some task that isn't valuable to be done.
Even if you have some market demand, the given rate is dropping annually due to the cheaper and more efficient automation of physical duties. I guarantee you once automated vehicles are entering the market and are legally allowed, there will be an absurd displacement of menial labor driving delivery trucks.
Other industries rife for that kind of displacement are farming (considering most farming tasks are procedural, automated farming machinery is practical, even if it needs high precision to harvest using computer vision), retail (with automated vehicles, you might as well buy all your goods online, shipped directly to your home, with no need for an intermediary store except in rare conditions like furniture and cars where you want to "sample" in person the goods), and construction (if you plant factory made homes, might as well build a foundation machine to excavate and lay a foundation without human intervention).
And then you have no use for human meat sacks moving their arms. We are already approaching that - it is why this problem even exists today. What happens when we get there?
In the mean time, we have to accommodate the current generations of people by subsidizing work. It's the only way to sustain our current paradigm and give people livelihoods, instead of leaving them desolate in the transition phase with callous explanations of technological progress.
When that happens, the human race will be able to retire -- communism / Basic Income will actually work in that world, everyone will be able to get the necessities of life, and the small proportion of people who are willing to work for fun, or unnecessary luxuries that aren't necessary for survival, will be very small compared to today's pool of human labor, but still enough to maintain the robots and do the remaining jobs that robots can't do.
(Of course you could set the basic income at whatever a minimum wage job would provide.)
It has some advantages over more traditional welfare systems. For instance it could be implemented with far less bureaucracy and would help improve labor mobility in the middle class by decreasing the friction of changing jobs and moving to different areas with better jobs (improving labor mobility would benefit the economy at large).
Start with a few unexamined wrong assumptions, select the data that fit your conclusion, dress them up with anecdotes and prose, and there you go!