Should you be able to support a family of 4 working 34 hours a week as a Walmart cashier?

May 15 40 Comments

Recently saw an article decrying the fact that nationally, the average Walmart front end employee works 34 hours per week at $14.46 per hour which amounts to ~$25k tc, and is below the poverty line for a family of 4.

This made me reflect. Should working 34 hrs per week as a cashier be enough to support a family of 4? Is that a reasonable expectation? If not, is it reasonable to expect people to move their career beyond that level prior to starting a family? What is our societal expectation?

TC $280k

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TOP 40 Comments
  • Oracle pzd
    What's the alternative? Have both parents working and pay nanny with your minimum wage job?
    May 1510
    • OP
      The alternative would be to wait until you're past the min wage level to start a family. Our social expectation would then be that if you're working a job that a high schooler can do on their summer break, you're probably not in a financial position to support an family of 4.
      May 15
    • Amazon edyc6
      That's one alternative, but not the only one. There is significant value to society in people having more kids and having them earlier so another solution is generous tax funded child support.

      That at least doesn't make companies pay for what amounts to a national priority.

      I probably voted the same as you in the poll but reached a different solution. I don't think Walmart should be made to overpay for jobs. I think society as a whole does face an existential threat if we don't get the birth rate back up.
      May 15
    • New / Design
      fk specism

      NewDesign

      PRE
      General Assembly
      fk specismmore
      What the f am I reading? There is too many people already. We don't need insentives to have more babies, especially if people don't have the means to educate them.
      May 15
    • Oracle pzd
      We are not getting rid of adults working minimum wage jobs anytime soon. In the meantime, I wouldn't want the children to suffer because of that. I can get behind a lot of restrictions on having children, but a minimum TC for having children is unacceptable in principle.
      May 15
    • New / Design
      fk specism

      NewDesign

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      General Assembly
      fk specismmore
      Agree, we don't need min wage restrictions for babies. Sex Ed and access to sex health should be enough, but I don't see that implemented any time soon.
      May 15
    • Oracle pzd
      Are you sure? I don't see much evidence for people taking anything into account before having children, other than they want to have children. (Accidental pregnancy notwithstanding.)
      May 15
    • Amazon edyc6
      Hopefully fewer people fret about what to take it account, and hopefully we as a society find a way to make that a good choice.

      Societies that don't prioritize children die.
      May 15
    • New / Design
      fk specism

      NewDesign

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      General Assembly
      fk specismmore
      Can you give me an example? I see more societies that suffer from poverty and end up killing everything around them, including them. We don't have resources to feed everyone, specially if we keep killing animals for food.
      May 15
    • New / Design
      fk specism

      NewDesign

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      General Assembly
      fk specismmore
      Amazon, you should watch Idiocracy. Great movie. Or at least the trailer
      May 15
    • Amazon edyc6
      We actually have the resources to feed everyone. Every time somebody predicts that we will run out of some resource we always find a way around it. All the way back to Malthus technology keeps on finding ways around what seem like obvious limits.

      Anyway high birth rate is a third world problem. Developed nations have a low birth rate problem.
      May 15
  • Credit Karma EllisDee25
    Wow, bunch of people here who never worked shit jobs.

    1. 34 hour jobs are not the choice of employees; it is either s shift/staffing decision (if I want to be generous and assume neutral intent) or a way to prevent employees from qualifying for certain benefits.

    2. Cashiers work harder than people making lots of money. Low-paid jobs are de-skilled in order to be replaceable, they are not “easy”.

    These jobs can be hard and you get 0 slack for any regular human things like snacking or going to the bathroom or having a cold. Think about this the next time you work from home, chat with coworker casually, use your phone to message friends, or take a piss without having to beg your manager or endanger your employment in order to do so.

    3. Most importantly, jobs are not rewards for your skills or merit or talent... they only exist to make money for investors and whatnot. It’s idiotic self-flattery for well-paid workers and a social myth that jobs are some kind of reflection of inherent qualities.

    Maybe the question should be: is it reasonable for the Waltons to become the richest family in the world by making the lives of thousands and thousands of people in the US and China austere and miserable?
    May 1510
    • Oracle pzd
      Job are not reward for merit, skills or talent? How exactly does credit karma hand out jobs?

      Which exact point are you trying to make with your rhetoric question about the wealth of the Walton family?
      May 15
    • Credit Karma EllisDee25
      Most jobs at CK are based on business needs... like at almost all companies (excluding edge cases of favoritism or whatnot by higher-ups.)

      It’s like you are arguing that the point of a carrot on a stick is to feed a donkey, not make him go where you want him to go.
      May 15
    • Oracle pzd
      Well the point of carrot is to feed someone. (Otherwise that carrot might as well not exist.) When you have more donkeys than carrots, you need to prioritize somehow. You are not allowed to create a prioritization policy that disincentivizes farmers from growing carrots, because then everyone will be worse off in a world without carrots.
      May 15
    • Credit Karma EllisDee25
      “Well the point of [jobs] is to [provide wages].” Nope, it clearly isn’t - it’s to turn an investment into a return.
      May 15
    • Oracle pzd
      Job != 🥕
      Your initial analogy was wrong if that's what you had in mind.

      All 🐴 are entitled to 🥕 (because we can't let them die), but not all donkeys are entitled to a job.
      May 15
    • Credit Karma EllisDee25
      “Job are not reward for merit, skills or talent?”

      Carrot is a reward for a donkey, right? So that was my analogy. Because when you lead a donkey with a carrot, the point isn’t the reward, but to get labor from the donkey.

      You seem to be arguing that jobs exist to reward people for their skills. I do not believe this claim has any valid empirical connection to how jobs actually function in modern society. Rather, jobs are created in order to get people to do something that will be profitable for investors.

      A company dosn’t hire a skilled artisan to work on an assembly line and pay them more because they have more skills and knowledge... they pay them the same as unskilled labor because all the artisan production has been replaced by low-skilled factory work so the artisan has no other choice.

      Jobs are not there for us... they exist only to make money for the company.
      May 15
    • Oracle pzd
      I interpreted carrots as minimum necessity for subsistence, for a donkey.

      A job is a transaction. No transaction will take place if both sides don't benefit. You are talking about employer but missing the employee. Short of coercion, you can't get an employee to accept a job if he didn't benefit from it.
      May 15
    • Credit Karma EllisDee25
      Lol, yes but you don’t put a carrot on a stick for the purpose of NURISHING the donkey!!! The point of putting it on a stick is to control the donkey!
      May 15
    • Microsoft TrumpWins
      Reminder that EllisDee is a Marxist. They will never see an employer as a benevolent figure. The Marxist attitude is that the employer or investor always has ulterior, evil, and greedy motives to screw over the guy at the bottom. The Marxist can’t ever see their own greed even while theyre convinced anyone breathing deserves a high paying job as a birthright.
      May 15
    • Credit Karma EllisDee25
      No, I reject moralism. Like I said repeatedly, these jobs are there to make a return for investors (not to reward people or punish them for the sake of being evil). For the investors this is “good” but for people living paycheck to paycheck, this arrangement is unsustainable.

      Marxists think capitalism is destructive and self-contradictory, not “evil”. In fact Marx and Marxists think early capitalism was progressive compared to feudalism despite all its brutality.

      But my main point here is simply that jobs are not rewards for those employed (or a reward for merit or skill), the only purpose they serve is to turn investment into return. Do you have a counter-argument or just ad hominem?
      May 15
  • New thunda
    Yes. Expecting people to not have kids until they have enough money simply doesn’t work in practice. It never will.

    So there has to be a way to guarantee anyone can support their family with minimum wage. You are doing a massive disservice to the kids (our future) if not.
    May 153
    • New / Engna206
      I didn’t have a child until I was 35 years old. It’s called birth control. The shit works. Either use condoms or have your partner use the pill.

      As for working. I would rather education be subsidized in some way. Provide them with a liveable wage as long as they work 20 hours a week and go to school the rest and maintain good grades in a degree that offers value and has a probability of getting them a decent livable tc.

      I was homeless trying to go to school. I slept in my car in Washington. Made it through a year and ended up just skipping all that self teaching and getting into the engineering life.

      I don’t have some high tc. I only make 92k a year. But it’s enough to support myself and my kid.
      May 15
    • Microsoft
      🤴king🤴

      Microsoft

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      Cubic
      🤴king🤴more
      92k easily puts you in top 15% of individual income. While that may seem low relative to the numbers you see here, it's quite high relative to the rest of the country. It's almost 4x as much as the OP's example.
      May 15
    • New / Engna206
      Yeah. Sorry I’m speaking based on the assumption of Bay Area or Seattle. Situation. Children ultimately are not a requirement in life. I think people should just focus on career. Two people making 40k can support 1 child and live a modest life I think.
      May 15
  • New Ejs
    IMO, a person's salary should reflect the value they contribute to the company's bottom line. This is an easy job with no educational barriers that can be learned in a day. This just doesn't justify a high salary, no matter how badly I feel for their personal situation.

    Cashiering (is that a word?) is a simple task that's easy to automate, and businesses will always go with the cheaper option. If we legislate that they be paid a living wage, we'll likely see more of them put out of work by machines. (Works with me, because I don't need a person judging me when I buy 8 candy bars).
    May 150
  • Tableau / Eng
    The Plague

    TableauEng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    The Plaguemore
    The amount of shitty coders who think they are Einstein is astonishing
    May 153
    • Oracle pzd
      The amount of _people_ who thinks they are Einstein is also astonishing. Coders are no exception.
      May 15
    • New thunda
      Coders are more prone to it, let’s be real.
      May 15
    • Microsoft
      🤴king🤴

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Cubic
      🤴king🤴more
      The bubble that blinders live in is astonishing. The cashier in OPs example probably works harder than most of the kids here that make at least 5 times as much.

      Humbleness and empathy would go a long way, but instead we get TC induced narcissism.
      May 15
  • Citrix Systems XDOa40
    You are asking the wrong people. They will never understand because people here are full of themselves.
    May 150
  • Capital One / EngyVjt53
    The real answer here is that childcare should be nationally subsidized so that both parents can work. Almost every other first world country does this. It leads to better outcomes for both the parents and the children. And better outcomes means better workers and better workers mean more $$$ for everyone.
    May 150
  • Facebook
    Instagrаm

    Facebook

    PRE
    Google, Microsoft
    Instagrаmmore
    Man, this is Blind, wtf are you asking about
    May 150
  • Microsoft iiieeegemm
    Two solutions to this problem :

    1. National health care which removes the burden of health insurance costs from employers allowing them to pay you more

    2. Subsidized or national child care
    May 150
  • Nvidia signale
    Albertsons please chime in
    May 150
  • Microsoft Bundi
    The expectation is that both parents work. Plenty of working adults juggling the work with having kids without having a nanny.
    May 150
  • Microsoft FFSake
    The way it should be is not the way it is. While it is an obvious mistake of a parent to miscalculate their capabilities, the mistake would be paid by kid. We want to live in healthy society without violence, criminal, homeless (you name it). Yet we penalize someone who has no voice in this situation by saying to his parents - you should think what you are doing...
    May 150
  • Google ry5Q94
    No. Wages are based on market value of the work, not personal needs of the worker.

    That said Walmart effectively receives subsidies because so many of their workers are on welfare and that's not right either.
    May 151
    • Microsoft iiieeegemm
      Yep. Our taxes help support their employees
      May 15

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