Blur Explains Stuff - mexican wages

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Blur Explains Stuff - mexican wages

Postby Blurred_9L on Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:41 pm

Hey everyone, the reason for this post has its origin on a thread on twitter regarding minimum wage. Before I begin typing a possible wall of text, let's go over some disclaimers:
  1. I am not an expert at economics or any related topics. On the contrary, I probably cannot reliably remember the prices for some basic stuff. All that I state here is just from the my point of view as a mexican.
  1. I am not encouraging working for minimum wage, or saying in any way that it is okay to do so. Every country has it's own range of prices. Furthermore, I am not implying that any country has it any easier or any harder than any other country, so please do not read too much into this post
  1. I am not the perfect example of an average mexican. In fact, I would probably say that I'm in a much better spot than most of the population. We might need to get into this later

That said, I will start by stating that the legal minimum wage for a mexican is around 73 pesos. At the current exchange rate that Google provides, this is nearly 4 dollars (not quite day). Also, we are talking per day here. A day's journey should be 8 hours. I say should, because I am pretty sure it is not guaranteed to be that. On the worst case, you should take those 8 hours as the minimum time you need to work to get a full-day's pay. When you go out looking for a job, pay rates are specified in quantity per month. I believe American jobs specify quantity per year and quantity per hour, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

With those two things out of the way, let's do a little bit of math. Let's assume that the average person works 5 full days and half of another one (usually Saturday). So 5.5 days * 73 pesos would give us a total of 401.50 pesos per week. Now, let's assume that most of the months have 4 weeks in them. So, multiplying by 4 would give us 1606 pesos per month. Finally, given a minimum wage paying job, you would have earned around 19 272 pesos after working one year (without vacations, I would guess). This amounts to about 1050 dollars.

Of course, all of the above is just numbers. What really matters is the kind of stuff you can buy with that amount of money. First, let's answer what can you buy with 73 pesos? (some of this stuff might be rounded, please bear with me. Also, mexican prices usually already include taxes, unlike American prices)
- 10 bus travels (Normal bus ride price: 7 pesos) or...
- 6.5 kg of tortillas (The price for 1kg of tortillas is around 11 pesos, but it might be cheaper or more expensive) or...
- 2 kg of apples (Apples were unusually expensive, around 30 pesos per kg, last time I checked) or...
- 6 kg of bananas (So, more or less around the same price as the kg of tortillas) or...
- 7 bags of potato chips (Might be less, I haven't actually bought any in a while) or...
- 3 liters of canned fruit juice (1 liter is around 19 pesos) or...
- 1 kg of chicken (Maybe...?) or...
- 2 boxed breads (Size might vary from yours (price is around 30 pesos)) or...
- 2 barrels of water (price is also around 30 pesos, I might get to explaining why barrels later) or...
- probably, a small combo on Burger King or McDonalds (but definitely not on Carl's Jrs) or...
- some other stuff for which I cannot remember prices.
Thing is, the regular mexican diet would probably consist of tortillas and beans (or at least, that's what my parents stories have led me to believe). Beef, chicken and pork are common, but they might be somewhat expensive for poor people. Sometimes, healthy food (as in, actual cooked food) is more expensive than fast food, baked goods or similar junk food, which is probably one of the reasons why obesity has been on the rise (guys, we are ranked #1 in child obesity! Not something to be proud of, I'm sure). Let's remember that the list given above only applies if you decided to buy only the full item. And this does not account for the fact that a person might need to feed children or elderly people.

So, the current exchange rate is around 19 pesos for a single US dollar. Perhaps, this might mean that for someone who gets paid in dollars, life in Mexico might be relatively cheap. I do not think I am qualified to say if this might be true for all places in the US, but at least if you live in the San Francisco area (which is the only part of the US I have actually been to) it might be decently cheaper.

Anyway, outside from basic stuff, any thing that might be imported from other countries has its price risen a bit. This usually applies to technology like TVs, Media Players, Game Consoles & Videogames and Smartphones. Aside from that, gas is expensive, we pay for basic services (water, electricity, phone-line), some of them unreliable from time to time. On the plus side, we get public education including including university level studies. There are also several government funded scholarships for Master's and PhD degrees as well as some other stuff. All of these could be further explained, but it is getting kind of late on my end.

As a bit of a side note, I actually made the math for what I am getting paid in my current job per day (rounding the numbers a bit). Substracting what the government will take from taxes (which is currently 30% percent of my salary :|), I get paid around $10 (dollars) a day. I find this funny.

Anyway, feel free to ask questions, read this post, don't ready this post or whatever. :p
Why should we do the right thing?
-Well... because it's the right thing to do, there's no other good reason.

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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:05 pm
Location: Guadalajara, Jalisco, MX

Re: Blur Explains Stuff - mexican wages

Postby Endless Sea on Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:59 am

Darn it, I want to weigh in on this, but my head is being stupid and also economics scare me @_@
So, apparently I'm the sanest madman this side of the international date line. Seems legit.
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