The Year America Gets a Raise

The savings rate among Millennials is at negative 2 percent, partly due to stagnant wages coupled with increases in fixed costs. A bad labor market—lots of low-wage work available, but not enough ones with decent pay—have caused many young people to work multiple jobs. As Carl E. Van Horn, director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, told the Times: "The only cure for young people in this position is an economic recovery of robust proportions."

Voters Decide They Want Higher Minimum Wages

This morning, after the election, much will be discussed about how Republicans have won enough seats to take over the senate.

The Story Behind Costco’s Free Samples

When I was a kid, my father would devise a cheap lunch that consisted of taking me to Costco to snack on some free samples, and then we’d split the $1.50 hot dog and soda combo in the food court (it’s still $1.50 today—an amazing deal after taking inflation into account). This was done more out of necessity than frugality, though I was unaware of it at the time. I was more fixated on that fact that stores gave all those samples away for free.

The Atlantic writes that this is a tactic that actually boosts sales, builds loyalty, and occasionally gets people to buy things they wouldn’t have picked up at the store in the first place:

Ariely adds that free samples can make forgotten cravings become more salient. “What samples do is they give you a particular desire for something,” he says. “If I gave you a tiny bit of chocolate, all of a sudden it would remind you about the exact taste of chocolate and would increase your craving.”

But maybe the most interesting part of this story has less to do with the premise of the Atlantic article, which is to examine the psychology behind free samples; it’s about the labor behind free samples and you’d miss it if you didn’t read until the very end:

Waiting for That One Job

A few years out of college, my younger brother has been unable to find a full-time job working in early childhood education, so he has cobbled together employment with three part-time jobs: working with pre-schoolers at a private school, doing administrative work at a non-profit, and retail work. He lives at home, and the majority of his money goes to car payments, health care and student loans. "I'm trying to save, but it's hard," he told me. He was mostly at his a-few-dollars-above-minimum-wage retail job during the holidays, working early shifts in the stock room ("people buy a lot of stuff, and then they return a lot of stuff," he explained). I bought him dinner and we talked about his career prospects. "I've been looking for that one job, but it hasn't appeared yet," he said. "I'm mostly just tired."

Working in the Fast Food Industry for a Minimum of $20 an Hour

In Denmark, $20 an hour is the lowest rate the fast food industry can pay thanks to an agreement between Denmark's largest union and the Danish employers group Horesta which includes fast food outlets like Burger King, McDonald’s, Starbucks.

When Restaurant Workers Can’t Afford to Eat

In July, the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) of New York, an organization dedicated to improving wages and conditions for people who work in restaurants, released a report called "Food Insecurity of Restaurant Workers." The report, based on surveys and interviews with people in the restaurant industry in New York and San Francisco, shows the ways in which the employment conditions of restaurant work make it very difficult for workers to feed themselves.

The Business of Yoga Studios

More than20 million Americans practice yoga, andmore than 1 million of them live in New York City.

How Much Can Dog Walkers Make? How About $120,000/Year

I don't know if they found the one dog walker making it work, or if that's a good example of what most dog walkers/sitters in Orange County earn.

America Arrests Working Mom. Good Job, America!

Welcome to the US of A, where you can get arrested for letting your nine-year-old play in the park while you go to work at McDonald’s. Spluttering with indignation? Let Conor Friederdorf of the Atlantic articulate your outrage for you. His skills are well-honed.

By arresting this mom (presumably causing her to lose her job) and putting the child in foster care, the state has caused the child far more trauma than she was ever likely to suffer in the park, whatever one thinks of the decision to leave her there. Even if the state felt it had the right to declare this parenting decision impermissible, couldn’t they have given this woman a simple warning before taking custody?

Also, even though it is against the law for your boss to tell you not to discuss your salary with your coworkers, odds are your boss will either not know that or not care. For that matter, you may well not know your rights, either. Let’s go over them, shall we?