Saturday, November 12, 2016

Minimum wage

One of the local news sites recently finished a series where their journalist tried to live in Kherson on minimum wage. That's 1450 griven, or $56, a month. If you read Russian, and are interested, here is first page of posts from that series. This is just day 2, with a few photos of what food she could afford.

According to this site, the monthly average wage in Ukraine in general is 4362 griven ($170). In Kherson region--the third poorest--it's 3249 ($127). So, some of the people we know are above the minimum, but there are many who aren't (of course. That's how averages work, eh?) I'm thinking particularly of orphanage graduates, elderly people, single mothers.... many, many people we know have to live like this, and it's just hard. Think of being able to spend the equivalent of about a dollar a day for everything you need, having to worry about and sometimes skip the luxury of bus rides that cost about an American dime, and not ever having anything extra at all.

The journalist found it very hard. (Again I say, of course.) She would have made it, if she hadn't had something happen to her tooth that required a trip to a dentist. Even if we ignore that, she pointed out that she barely survived. She had enough food, but absolutely nothing special. She couldn't buy any clothing, and there was nothing to cover emergencies.

Oh, and then contrast these thoughts with this recent article about the rich people of Ukraine.

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