Living wage is defined as the minimum hourly income necessary for a worker to meet basic needs for up to a lifetime. This includes food, shelter and clothing. This concept means that a person working a full time job without additional income should be able to afford a quality of life. This still includes housing, food, clothes, utilities, transport and wow recreation. We may be able to imagine that taking a vacation to the Virgin Islands is actually being done by cleaning the bathrooms during a day off; but to most people who have traveled there and depending on experience it probably does not compare.
The US Department of Labor states that it's mission is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of wage earners, job seekers and retiree's of the United States; and to also assure work related benefits and rights. But what happens when those who are educated are subjected to wages or jobs that they are over-qualified and ultimately underpaid? Those who have educational accomplishments and or degrees should be entitled to wage adjustments accordingly.
The minimum wage in the US ranges from $7.25-$9.04 an hour depending on what state you reside in. This should be considered the poverty equivalent regarding income based upon what it actually costs to live in America per person, because such wages are impossible to support oneself let alone a family of four. What should also be included as an allotment for living and maintenance are expenses such as: retirement, education, insurance(life, health, home, auto, disability), home furnishings and appliances, access to information eg. internet, tv, radio, phone. This means that in an economy where jobs are being outsourced and the remaining jobs up for grabs are set according to the minimum wage level it has become very difficult for those with college degrees, professional degrees or other educational accomplishments to obtain employment and or salary compatible with their educational background or degree. Therefore, there are those persons with degrees and accomplishments who are under employed and well under the salary that they should be earning.
2012 average median salary:
High School Diploma is $31,000
College Degree is $51,000
Masters Degree is $61,000
Doctorate degree is $58,000
Ph.d degree is $53,000
Please note that other specialized degrees ranged between $40,000 and $47,000.
Salary is many times determined by the job one has and experience. But if the jobs are not available in abundance to hire those with education and qualification then an adequate adjustment to ones survival needs to be implemented. If the US government has control over what minimum wage is, thus instituting an income and poverty employment approval; then it should be the same US government that should be responsible for declaring a living salary earnings and stipend adjustment for those citizens who have obtained degress or other educational accomplishments but who either do not have a job or have a job but do not earn the income necessary in order to live in acceptable and decent means. The living salary earnings and stipend adjustment will operate according to the highest degree received or whatever degree one has that will produce the highest earnings. As such the degree or specialized degree will have a salary median that will be used to determine ones monthly earnings and stipend according to the state a person resides in. The living salary earnings and stipend adjustment will be provided on a monthly basis in accordance with ones salary ie. If you should be making $3,500 a month but only make $1,800 a month before taxes; that $1,800 will be deducted from the living salary earnings and stipend adjustment and monthly one will be provided with $1,700 in taxable income.
People continue their education to eventually improve the lives of themselves and not to impair the lives of those around them including the government and taxes. If one has served the government by education, then it is the government that must serve by creating the jobs and salaries to employ persons who have obtained college degrees and accomplishments or they must provide the adequate in wages by implementing the living salary earnings and stipend adjustment to accommodate equal opportunity employment for all.