EDIT: A lot of the commenters point out it's based on AVERAGE apartment rent. (As opposed to median), which makes it a lot less interesting.
Why so much focus on wage, when we could instead focus on building more housing? It seems like on some level if you increase wages, landlords will just increase rent. If you increase supply, landlords will reduce rents so their buildings don't remain empty.
Doing some quick math, if someone works 40 hours a day for 52 weeks a year at a minimum wage job, they will make:
7.25 * 40 * 52 = $15080 a year.
The VOX article says you should spend at most 30% of income on rent. Which works out to: 4524 a year or $377 a month.
At current mortgage rates (assuming 0 down), someone could break even in 30 years spending ~$77K to build a 1 bedroom apartment using $377 a month to make the loan payments.
It follows that if you could construct 1 bedroom apartments for less than $77K per unit in today's market you could solve the housing problem, and make money simply by providing 1 bedroom apartments to low income minimum wage workers.
An anecdote. When Facebook was based in the Palo Alto area it offered stipends to employees who lives near the office. Landlords learned about this and increased rents accordingly.
I'd expect landlords to do the same if wages go up and supply remains constant.
>Ace Hardware is a retailer-owned cooperative. Where the franchise board is owned by the member franchises.
The Ace Hardware franchise requires ~$1 million in startup costs to open a store and be part of the "co-op". Most employees don't have that kind of money and they don't have the collateral to secure a $1 million loan from the bank. When the ticket for admission into the "co-op" costs $1 million, that's not the type of co-op people are discussing. The REI stores co-op is also not a good example of what workers are thinking about. REI is not employee-owned.
I think we need to level-set. When threads pop up about cooperatives, the driving sentiment is from typical workers/employees who don't like the corporate ownership structure (founder has equity worth millions/billions, and/or CEO is drawing $500,000+ salary, etc).
Therefore, the co-op structure where all employees are also the owners and share the profits looks very attractive. The problem is it will end up being a modest business. E.g. a cooperative of IT consultants. The IT Consultants Co-Op don't need members to contribute $1 million each to capitalize the business; they just start billing clients right away. They can pool their modest funds from their hourly billings to buy the shared office a laser printer and a coffee machine.
It would be great if a cutting edge big company (like Google, Amazon, or SpaceX) with ambitious and very expensive goals (driverless cars, drone delivery, Mars colony) could be "employee-owned" but it can't. Employees don't have the money.
See my comment and article about Publix. It can happen but requires management to have that vision to begin with. Thing is, most have never heard of this stuff working and wouldn't even consider it. Past that, there's the whole angle of "let's get rich owning our own company and selling out our workers later." But, get word out about the successes, then we might get more of them. And maybe I'll be lucky enough to work for one. :)
There is an interesting metaphor here of how B2B integrations are similar to a farmer's dilemma. Two B2B companies talk about doing an integration. Both will benefit if it is done, but one generally does more of the work.
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I think Tawk does a pretty good job of handling the basics. Most of our customers operating at any scale end up integrating Olark with a CRM such as Salesforce or a Helpdesk solution. We also have excellent cobrowsing, and a there's also a lot you can do with our api, http://www.olark.com/api.
It's also important to remember they will need to monetize eventually.