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.

What Happens When You Start Earning a Living Wage

Gothamist has really terrific profiles of five of the 1,400 workers at Resorts World Casino who saw their pay double from $10-$12/hour to $20 or more, plus benefits after their union struck a new contract deal for them. Here's Jeannine Nixon, who works at the casino as a customer relations representative.

How Much Do You Pay Someone To Risk Their Life For You on Mt. Everest?

Thirteen Sherpas, or professional specialized mountain guides, died this week in an avalanche on Mount Everest, while another three remain unaccounted for, and the rest of the Nepalese Sherpa community has decided to close out the season early:

The accident underscored the huge risks faced by Sherpas who maintain and prepare the icy slopes for climbers and trek the routes carrying equipment for their clients. In a season, Sherpas can earn from $3,000 to $6,000 (2,171 – 4,342 euros), which is about 10 times the average annual pay in Nepal.

On Tuesday, Nepal’s Tourism Ministry announced an agreement to establish a relief fund for guides killed or injured while climbing the mountain, one of the key concessions demanded by the Sherpas following last week’s disaster. Funding is thought to be well below that requested by the guides.

Minimum insurance cover for Sherpas on the mountain, the government said, would be raised by 50-percent to around $15,000.

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? 

Seattle: America’s First Large City Approves a $15 Minimum Wage

.@Mayor_Ed_Murray is here! Is he excited about this historic vote? "…Yeah. Tired but happy." pic.twitter.com/se3Wd7lcMd

— Ansel (@Ansel) June 2, 2014

Seattle, Washington’s nine-member City Council unanimously voted to raise the local minimum wage to $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. It won’t happen immediately: The hourly minimum wage will jump to $11 an hour starting next year for large employers like Starbucks, and then according to the Times, “will rise to $15 by 2017 for employers with more than 500 workers that do not provide health insurance, and by 2018 for those large employers who do.”

Women in Favor of Increasing the Minimum Wage

Payscale, a company that provides compensation information, asked 11,000 of its users last December whether they believed the minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour.

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:

Who the Minimum Wage Workers Are

While the president's proposed plan to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 languishes in a divided Congress, the Upshot's Jared Bernstein reports that as many as 34 states may propose minimum wage increases on their ballots this year. Who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage? Bernstein looked at the numbers.

How Much Would You Need to Earn to Afford a One-bedroom in Your County?

The National Low Income Housing Coalition looked at fair market rents (according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development), and calculated how much a worker would need to earn per hour to afford a one-bedroom apartment in their county (the "housing wage").