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Question of the day

Monday, Jul 28, 2014

* Gov. Pat Quinn has agreed to live off the equivalent of the minimum wage, but he hasn’t yet said what that would entail

At Sunday’s event, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky had just told the crowd that she has lived for a week on a minimum-wage income. She then turned to ask Quinn if also he’d also take what she called “the live-the-wage challenge.” He answered, “Yes.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what that would entail for Quinn, including what amount of money he’d live off of and for how long.

But Schakowsky said she lived on $77 for the week, or $11 a day. That is the amount of expendable money supposedly left over after subtracting typical housing expenses.

She conceded some critics saw what she did as a gimmick.

“I say to them: Try it,” she said. “There’s no way that you can stop into a Starbucks, that’s for sure, or pass a vending machine and decide you want a snack. Everything needs to be planned out for the week.”

* The Question: A political stunt or a worthwhile endeavor? It undoubtedly includes a bit of both, but it’ll be up to you to decide which way it leans. Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


surveys

- Posted by Rich Miller        


85 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    Timing is everything, so it obviously leans political stunt.

    Still, it’s always informative to walk a mile in the other guy’s shoes.


  2. - Under Further Review - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Everything needs to be planned out for many people on modest or fixed incomes as well due to our confiscatory rates of taxation. Schakowsky seems to forget that for every welfare scheme or program that she and her allies approve, someone else has to pay the bill.


  3. - uptown progressive - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Worthwhile - while voluntary fasting is not going hungry, nor camping the same as being homeless, each experience gives us an awareness of the struggles of others which is qualitatively different than reading a report.


  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    UFR, are you saying that the minimum wage is a “welfare scheme?”


  5. - Shore - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    politicians have been doing this for years. why is it a story now?


  6. - Maurice - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    It’s light flying 1st class all the time, then Flying coach once…I do respect the intent of wanting to try to understand the life long feeling in only one freaking week!!! Oh please…poverty impacts emotions too!! Not.just decision on Starbucks or snacks…SNACKS ARE DINNER MANY TIMES!!


  7. - Wumpus - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    I couldn’t even pay my college loan payment living off minimum wage!


  8. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    I lean “worthwhile” by a 50.01% to 49.99% victory over “stunt”.

    If it helps better educate politicians on the struggles people face, it seems worthwhile.

    I would prefer they do it, however, without issuing press releases or trying to exploit the situation for their own political gain.

    It’s like someone publicizing “that one week” they went to church. Stop it.


  9. - Jose Abreu's next homer - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    So this challenge only pertains to eating food?


  10. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    A noble endeavor, but it’s easy to “live” off the minimum wage when everything you do is paid for by the state. So I voted Stunt.


  11. - walker - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Voted stunt. Might be an eye opener for some.

    But we don’t need much more training than realizing that half of suburban homeless adults, some with children, are right now working minimum wage jobs.

    For the economically minded, please remember that our minimum wage level now has less than half the buying power it had when it was last set. We are not talking about a long-term increase, or even catching up, but rather reducing its decline.


  12. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Stunt. No one with a retinue of helpers, a mansion and 24-hour bodyguards can be “walking in the other guy’s shoes.”


  13. - Not Rich - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    Pat Quinn is a lifetime of stunts..


  14. - How Ironic - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Worthwhile. While I understand the notion that somehow they ‘really’ are not living the min-wage lifestyle, it can be eye opening. Particularly that they are doing it for a week.

    If they really stick to the budget, it will be hard enough just eating properly for a week. They are smart enough to figure if they are barely eating properly, imagine if they had to also budget in housing and transportation.

    If it were so ‘easy’, everyone would be living like they made min-wage and banking the rest.


  15. - John A Logan - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    The entire concept is false. Minimum wage was never meant to afford someone a middle class living.


  16. - Bill White - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    @John A Logan

    The question is whether the current minimum wage affords even subsistence living.


  17. - Bobby sox - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Try thinking about absolutely every penny you spend for a week. No restaurants. Cheapest food at the store. No extras. No night out at the movies. Sure it’s a stunt but it is a worthwhile stunt. Try it.


  18. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    A stunt in a long line of Pat Quinn stunts. No sneaking the hors d’oeuvres at your fundraisers, Governor.


  19. - Amalia - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    lots of smart policy pols do this sort of thing to create a human bond on an issue. eating food saved from a dumpster was a Senator Ted Kennedy bit that I recall, and Quinn is taking the cue from Jan Schakowsky so it’s energizing her crowd.


  20. - Judgment Day - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Stunt. Makes sense, though - as we just passed the 100 day mark to election day. So, now it’s time for the really silly, desperate stuff to come out.

    “I know, let’s have Pat live for the next week on the equivalent of minimum wage for a week”.

    That’s sure to distract the news media from all the scandals and investigations……

    Ok gang - whatever you say……

    Actually, I wonder if Jan cleared this stunt with PQ beforehand. I can’t imagine not, but if she didn’t, I can just hear the conversation. “I did WHAT?????” (To campaign staff) “How could you let this happen!!!!”.

    Now that would be funny….. disturbing, but funny….


  21. - OldSmoky2 - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    A bit of political mileage, sure, but I voted that it’s worthwhile to force yourself to experience choices many people have to make.


  22. - sal-says - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Maybe be a stunt, but I’m guessing the 7 out of 10 ain’t living that life.


  23. - Under Further Review - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    @Wordslinger:

    No, that is not what I meant. Schakowsky is a classic screamer always waging about economic injustice while sponsoring programs and endorsing policies that empty our collective wallets. Our budgets might be easier to balance if the greedy pols stopped raising taxes and fees constantly.

    Recently, she threatened to stop patronizing Walgreen’s if the pharmacy moved its offices to Europe for tax purposes. She blamed corporate greed and accused the company of avoiding its “fair share” but never mentioned that the USA has some of the highest taxes on corporations and that makes it difficult to compete with foreign countries that tax corporations less.

    An interesting stunt would be if Jan spent taxpayer dollars like the government was on a fixed income.


  24. - Toure's Latte - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Stunt. Saw her list, been eating like that my whole life.


  25. - RNUG - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    Didn’t vote because I wanted to say “both” … which, reading the comments, I got the feeling a number of the commentators thought the same way.


  26. - Responsa - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    No Starbucks? Oh poor Jan. That statement alone classifies it as a stunt.


  27. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    On second thought, change my vote to “stunt”.

    This “challenge” is the type of stuff celebrities and reality tv-stars do to “raise awareness”, whereas politicians have the power to set policy addressing these issues.

    Earlier this year, it was reported that Illinois’ overall poverty rate is the same as it was half a century ago. I would prefer Illinois’ public officials finally do something more effective than making sure the press knows they are taking “the challenge”.

    Regardless, it’s not a “real” test in the case of a Governor or the President anyhow. It can’t be. Most people pay transportation costs to get to work. You don’t pay fuel costs or a ticket fare while being driven around by security. Many similar flaws exist in such a “test” for a Governor or President, so this can only be a “stunt”.


  28. - PublicServant - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    I voted worthwhile, but, Pat Quinn’s week would be better spent being a Violence Interventionalist for a week.


  29. - PublicServant - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    @UFR - As for high corporate tax rates, there are so many loopholes in the tax code that most American corporations pay very little as it is now. The tax rate always being mentioned as being high therefore is a typical dodge talking point meant to deceive, not be reflective of reality.


  30. - Jeff Trigg - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    Obviously a silly stunt that only goes to further highlight just how out of touch Democrats have become with the plight of the working poor. The minimum wage is hardly the most important issue that effects poor workers.

    Is Schakowsky advocating for Illinois to reduce car registration and title fees so poor people can have a better chance of having a vehicle? And gas taxes? Nope, because its an ignorant stunt. Is Schakowsky advocating that the FICA taxes employers pay be given back to the workers instead of the feds keeping that 7.65% of income? Nope, ignorant stunt. Is Schakowsky advocating the standard deduction be increased in Illinois so it doesn’t hurt so many poor people? Nope, ignorant stunt. Its also tellingly convenient that they forget about EITC for this little stunt.

    What about the regulations and business fees a poor person would have to pay just to sell some junk at a flea market to make extra money, or to legally mow some lawns for extra cash, or to legally be a dog walker? And how about those taxes on phone service that hit the poor harshly, not to mention high tax rates on electricity and utilities that the poor can’t avoid. Taxes on internet service too, if the poor are lucky enough, and also TV taxes for the lucky few.

    Schakowsky wasn’t living on minimum wage for a week, she was living in a fantasy world where the only thing that matters is the minimum wage and not any of the other burdens that government places on the working poor. Unfortunately, many of the low-information voters will buy into this silly stunt that only shows how far out of touch Democrats have become with the poor.


  31. - JustMe_JMO - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    Stunt,
    One week is not long enough to appreciate what is needed to survive on.


  32. - Keyser Soze - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    I voted stunt. But, if Pat and Jan move into a trailer park and sign up for food stamps I’ll change my vote.


  33. - Jimmy - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    I think it’s actually pretty easy for Quinn to go a week not shopping and eating modestly and not paying bills (cable, electric, gas, White Sox season tickets etc.) so he can easily pull off this stunt and shed some light on how this part of our society lives. However, he’ll need to think a lot about ground rules because his campaign will likely end paying for most everything he does during the week on minimum wage and both of some of those items (travel, baseball, eating) will blow a hole in the budget and could lead to negative stories. For instance, I wonder if he could even pay his property taxes on his relatively modest home on a minimum wage salary?


  34. - Commander Norton - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    Of course it’s a stunt. That’s a given. But Quinn has made raising the minimum wage a centerpiece of his campaign, so it makes sense to me that he would use his position in the public eye to raise awareness of the challenges of living on it.


  35. - Anon - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    I suppose it is a stunt, but it is something everyone should try at least once. You won’t really learn much in one week, though. You have too much sitting on your shelves–food, personal care items, cleaning supplies, etc.–to even begin to feel the real pinch in one week. You will begin to get it when you have figured out how you can afford shampoo, toilet paper, and milk this week; and then you realize you also need gas before the end of the week or you won’t get to work. Passing up Starbucks and vending machines is nothing.


  36. - A guy... - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    Stunt. Pat’s already quit cutting the grass. Perhaps Jan could go “bold stunt” and move into a housing project ala Jane Byrne. Or spend a week at a homeless shelter. Starbucks and Vending machine boycotts, yeah, that’s what living on minimum wage means. Ugh. Provocative? Uh, no.


  37. - ppanda - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    A worthwhile stunt. Looks inspired next to Quinnochio-style gimmickry.


  38. - Living in Machiaville - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    Stunt but it sends the message that he’s not changed his stripes. Best fix for working poor is to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit. Puts far more money directly into the pocket which will then be spent (maybe saved).


  39. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    What a stupid, pathetic and patronizing stunt.

    What she needs to do is go back to her first job with that minimum wage - and stay there. We’ll even find people to give her $10.10 a hour if she stays pushing that broom, or wiping those dishes. Obviously Jan is already overpaid if all she can think up are political stunts to justify her reelection.


  40. - BIG R. Ph. - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    It would be better if he actually lived in the shoes of an entrepreneur that had to make the money to pay for the minimum wage. And then feel the impact of the State not paying their bills, over-regulation, etc


  41. - Stuff happens - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    I’d also like to see legislators take in a foster child for two months. Everyone thinks they have all the answers until they actually experience the process firsthand.

    Where do they think some of those kids go when their parents are incarcerated? It’s not just orphans or kids rescued from abuse.

    Now that I realize I’m ranting, back to the subject at hand. As the first commentator said — it should be done, but why does it always have to be before an election?


  42. - Geneva Guy - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    This issue, coincidentally, is the very same issue that Rauner most memorably botched during the primary season. Maybe, just maybe, Quinn is swearing off vending machines to draw light more to Rauner than his own policy. Because remember, all he’s advocating is that you get off your couch and support a non-binding ballot initiative this November. Not exactly, “Takin’ It to the Streets!”

    To the “worthwhile” set supporting the $10/hour non-binding referendum, I ask…1) Why are you confident that raising the state min wage now (presumably while the Fed and our neighboring states do nothing) will result in a net benefit to all Illinoisans and what support do you have for these positions; and 2) I would ask Quinn if he’s also willing to live on the $10/week increase he supports, after the $8.25 week, so that he can report back as to the appreciable differences in cultural agency and quality of life he enjoyed(notwithstanding the thrill of being able to now consider spending more pocket change on old bags of vending machine Fritos).


  43. - Geronimo - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    Stunt. She lived on $11 a day for one WEEK? Anyone can do that. Try living your life on $11/day. What housing? What transportation? What clothes? What insurance? I’m embarrassed for her that she did that. Clueless.


  44. - Leroy - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:50 am:

    Stunt.

    One of the many in the cunning array of stunts we’ve seen this election cycle.

    I look forward to seeing more!


  45. - MEP - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    I’ve done this challenge before and I think it can be enlightening, but there were plenty of times that an advocate for a “living wage” like Pat Quinn could’ve taken this challenge so it’s a pure stunt.


  46. - Jay Dee - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    Pure stunt.

    If the Governor was on the fence or against raising the minimum wage, then I would say it would be worthwhile for the reasons others have listed. But since he is already in favor of a higher minimum wage, I don’t see how it is worthwhile from a policy making standpoint.


  47. - Jerome Horwitz - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    stunt - Governor Quinn should try to live on the wages being paid to social service direct care staff. He may become more willing to increase rates of reimbursement to social service providers.


  48. - RonOglesby - Now in TX - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    ““There’s no way that you can stop into a Starbucks, that’s for sure, or pass a vending machine and decide you want a snack. Everything needs to be planned out for the week.””

    that’s how I live my life anyway… everything is planned out. Must be a real shocker to those in gov not being able to do whatever they want and spend regardless of what is coming in.


  49. - dupage dan - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    JANE BYRNE LIVES! Sheesh, what silliness. How well did it work out when Herronor did that @ Cabrini Green? Pathetic.


  50. - DuPage - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    Stunt! There is a lot more then skipping Starbucks. They didn’t take into account paying other expenses that many minimum wage workers have to pay. Housing, transportation, medical, the electric bill, etc.
    Let’s see them live in a relative’s attic,(or a homeless shelter), go without air conditioning, go without a car, just antenna TV, go to a library to use a computer, and things like that. Otherwise it is sort of an insult to people actually working for minimum wage.


  51. - bored now - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    worthwhile. it is good for the people who represent us to walk in other people’s shoes. unfortunately, this kind of thing tends to be done by the politicians that are already a voice for the common person, so it’s closer to a stunt than i’d like. now if someone like paul ryan did it, *that* would be worthwhile!


  52. - Gooner - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    Stunt, for the reasons Trigg stated.

    Adding — so what’s the “goal” here? For Quinn (or Jan) to come back and say, “You know, that was really really tough!”

    If you are so out of touch that you think living on minimum wage is anything but brutal, then you should not hold public office at all.


  53. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    stunt it makes people talk so i guess it`s ok donate money saved to food pantry?


  54. - Wensicia - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    A stunt and wasted on the guy who wants to raise the minimum wage.

    Ask Rauner: “For one week, could you live with a daily grocery budget that’s less than the cost of the two cheesy chili hot dogs your friend Christie and you enjoyed?”


  55. - Belle - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    I voted worthwhile but realize it has aspects of both.
    I saw the Jan-Budget back when she did it and thought about what a stunt is. But, if it but it makes you think for just a few minutes, about how life would be different, the stunt becomes worthwhile.
    For some people, it has become a life-style.


  56. - Anon. - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    Stunt. It would be educational for an opponent of the minimum wage hike or for someone who is neutral to try living on minimum wage, but for the governor to do it won’t change his mind (unless he somehow discovers that you can live pretty good on minimum wage!) and won’t educate anyone else.


  57. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    A stunt. You don’t really know what it is like to live on so little a day if you do it for a week, knowing that the end of your low standard of living is in sight (and while sleeping in your comfortable bed in your comfortable neighborhood).


  58. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    Stunt.

    Let’s give, very little, props for highlighting the everyday issues of the wage, but isn’t highlighting it, a stunt …to highlight it?

    Stunt? Worthwhile?

    Quinn.


  59. - Archiesmom - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    Worthwhile. I guess it may inevitably be a stunt when someone chooses to live in a way they are not required to in order to either make a point or gain greater understanding. I know people who have chosen to live on a food stamp food budget for a week, and it has been shockingly illuminating for them. So I have to approve of the attention it will draw yo the issue.


  60. - Sir Reel - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Stunt.

    He could have released a report with facts and figures but instead says, in effect, vote for me.


  61. - ChinaTown - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    Worthwhile stunt.

    Its success or failure will in large part depend on how the campaign team defines and discusses the experiment and messages (humanizes) its affect on or lessons learned by PQ.


  62. - Judgment Day - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    If they really wanted to do a ’stunt’ that was useful, either one of them would volunteer at a food pantry and go out on food runs to the grocery stores to pick up food to stock/re-stock the food pantries.

    I’m not talking about a photo op, I’m talking about going and getting the food, loading it in the van(s), taking it to the depository, and then unloading it into the depository. Full boat. No glory, just doing the grunt work - and next weekend, seeing that the supplies are empty, and it’s time to do it all over again. Then you start to realize that it’s not a stunt - it’s reality.

    Do that every Saturday morning for a month starting at 7:30 AM (should be done by 1:00 PM or so). They’ll get an education. Course, that assumes they actually have the capacity to learn anything new.

    Have Rauner do it also. And it should also apply to each of the ‘Four Tops’. See what the reality is we’re facing out here.


  63. - reflector - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:44 pm:

    Only those on minimum wage or close to it can truly know what it is like.


  64. - zatoichi - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    If you have to talk about it then it is a stunt. Did she sleep in regular bed, drive the same car, wear the same clothes, get a Link card, try to find a Medicaid doctor? Still, a worthwhile task to understand what some people go through.


  65. - Anon - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    It’s popular to cast blame on the poor as deadbeats and loafers living the life of riley. Let the critics walk one week in their shoes to see just how high on the hog you can live on welfare. It would be refreshing to see a conservative Republican or two take the challenge.


  66. - Mokenavince - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    Stunt! However it would help him knock off an few pounds. More Quinn BS.


  67. - Plutocrat03 - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    Stunt

    I lived on less than that when I returned from the military. It was doable as long as they remembered to send the check.


  68. - Soccermom - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    Just to clarify, I think the $11 a day is the amount that the average minimum wage worker has left over after paying for housing and utilities. An 8-hour day at minimum wage in Illinois is $58 before taxes.


  69. - Anon - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:05 pm:

    If living on minimum wage for a week qualfies as a stunt, then what was holding a press conference with chickens?


  70. - Del Wasso - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    Why can’t the Guv’s adventure be considered both a political stunt AND a worthwhile endeavor? The two are not mutually exclusive.


  71. - RonOglesby - Now in TX - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:09 pm:


    If living on minimum wage for a week qualfies as a stunt, then what was holding a press conference with chickens?

    that’s a stunt also.


  72. - Mongo - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    Worthwhile.

    I am out of town this week and today tried a banana for breakfast, skipped lunch, bought chicken (4 pieces at Jewel) for dinner and some diet pepsi. If I had $11 bucks for the day I’d have about $5 left.

    But I know that I can have 2 or 3 or 4 days like that, and then go to a fine restaurant Friday or Saturday. But watching dollars during the day makes you realize how much food costs have risen. I’d bet, just like a presidential debate some time ago, a lot of the commenters here can’t tell us what a gallon of milk costs.


  73. - Gene Debs - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    The fact that food prices have gone up does not indicate an overall rise in inflation. Some indicators are anomalies. I think the take away is this. Do you feel sorry for corporations, given that they have to pay such high taxes (if indeed they do)? Or rather, do you feel more sympathy for workers who work for wages that can’t possibly pay the bills? I choose the latter.


  74. - Demoralized - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:12 pm:

    I think it’s a worthwhile stunt, though I don’t see how the Governor of a state can truly appreciate the pressures of living on minimum wage when they have drivers to take them to and from the office. Transportation is going to be a big issue for people living on minimum wage.


  75. - In_The_Middle - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    Maybe he should fill up the state airplane he flies on with that minimum wage.


  76. - Chris - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:26 pm:

    An online take home pay calculator pegs the net amount as $267 per week.

    So, backing out the $11/day, that’s $190/week for “rent”, or about $825 per month–pretty slim pickings in Metro Chicago for $825/mo *including* heat and electric.

    That doesn’t count a bus pass ($100/month–which would knock you down to $7.67/day), to get around, so PQ (and Jan, for that matter) better find someone to donate a bike to him, if he wants to spend $11/day on food, laundry, phone, etc.

    Unless we start seeing PQ hanging around his house, and riding a bike to meetings, it is *only* a stunt.


  77. - WhoKnew - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:59 pm:

    They would have more than $11 a day if they –”LIVED IN A VAN, DOWN BY THE RIVER!!!”


  78. - Lil Squeezy - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:59 pm:

    Worthwhile stunt. Would have been a more worthwhile stunt if done prior to an election year. People kinda see through this sort of thing. I hate elections. Insert Churchill quote on democracy.


  79. - E town - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 6:26 pm:

    Do it for a month then it might be less of a stunt


  80. - Under Further Review - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:09 pm:

    I thought one of the goals of the redistributionists and socialists was to hobble the middle class, so as to make their statist planned economy fantasies possible. It seems as if the middle class and petit bourgeoisie elements were an obstacle to their plans. So after successful crippling the middle class, the new Left argues that no one can survive on the subsistence wage jobs that remain.

    Vicious circle and hypocritical too. If you want to grow the economy, you could lower fuel prices, but that would anger the radical greens. In some places, these folks are called “watermelons” — green outside, red inside.


  81. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:34 pm:

    UFR, you’ve got it all figured out. And as you point out, that’s just one of the goals.

    There’s been nothing more insidious in say, oh, the last six, seven, years, than how the all-powerful, reckless and greedy minimum-wage earners crashed the world economy, but then got bailed out and got away with it with nothing but cost-of-doing-business fines due to their overwhelming political clout.

    Just watch: kick the minimum wage up a couple of bucks, they’ll do it again.


  82. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:09 pm:

    –If you want to grow the economy, you could lower fuel prices–

    UFR, what are you advocating? Who could lower fuel prices? State seizure of the means of production of energy?

    From energy producers according to their abilities, to energy consumers according to their needs?

    What do they call that? I think there’s a name.

    You understand, I’m sure, that oil extracted and refined in the United States is on a spike up. In fact, refineries in the United States export more oil-based products — gasoline, diesel, jet fuel — than are consumed in the United States.

    And consumption in the United States, for many reasons, is on a steady decline. Yet price is set by the world market.

    Tell us who should lower fuel prices and how, in keeping with your so thoughtfully expressed principles.


  83. - Late to the Party - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 7:51 am:

    Two things (shades of Dr Suess)

    Thing One: In America, the poor have color television with cable, air conditioning, $40 a month cell phone, maybe a car or two, a computer, and so on.

    Thing Two: “There’s no way that you can stop into a Starbucks, that’s for sure, or pass a vending machine and decide you want a snack. Everything needs to be planned out for the week.”

    I make more than minimum wage and I can’t afford Starbucks or eat from a vending machine.

    I too have a budget where “everything needs to be planned out for the week.” But I do it every week.


  84. - Fan - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 8:15 am:

    Do it for six months and some might be impressed.


  85. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 8:31 am:

    The antipathy to the minimum-wage earner in the ongoing “debate” here continues to amaze.

    Those guys really grind some gears in some circles.

    We all live in an era in which the criminal recklessness and greed of a handful of already unbelievably wealthy financiers — “respectable” bookies, really, — drove the world economy into the ditch, throwing millions out of work and their homes, wiping out the hard-earned savings of lifetimes.

    These weren’t the “job creators,” or innovators, or producers. They were the financiers, whose sole purpose was to bring together those with capital seeking to invest and those seeking investment for which they would take a little bit for the service.

    Instead, they turned the world of capital into their own rigged casino where only the house wins in the end.

    Not only did they get away with it, but they got made whole, on your dime, when it all went south. They paid some cost-of-doing-business fines, admitted no guilt, and got right back at it.

    For the last six or seven years, the whole crime against humanity has been chronicled on a daily basis in publications like the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. Library shelves are filled with books on how it all went down.

    But despite all the readily available knowledge and evidence, some comic-book “economists” reserve their scorn for the burger-flippers and gas station clerks, warning of the dire consequences that will be visited upon all of us if those folks get a modest bump in their lousy wages.

    It’s farce.


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