What is a good wage?

Denkt

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I recently got a job as a software developer in Sweden and maybe have an income/compensation that put me in top 25% in my country just on starting salary + bonus while getting 6 weeks vacation, free drinks and coffe at work and such without having demanding work conditions and will probably have enough money for a mortage in about 2 years.

From what I can tell talking with americans it sound like even some of the best paid people in many ways would have it worse than me, much less vacation and worse work conditions, maybe worse income/saving potential due to things like student and healthcare cost and debt and things like car and rent costs. And that is like top 25%, if you go down the income ladder it seems it get much worse for americans than it get for Swedes while it don't really seems to get better if you go up, maybe you get a bit more income in USA but all the huge costs and drawbacks, especially the very little time off work make earning more money pretty meaningless. Being at median income in USA sound like poverty to me, meaning like half americans could be considered poor.

Like is wages and compensations in USA, even for the top jobs so bad as I'm thinking/hearing compared to what we get in Sweden?
 

Denkt

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5000 euros/month sounds ok.
I don't think you can really put a number, as incomes and cost of living is so different in different places, like you instead probably should look how people live and to me it sound like americans in particular while on paper may earn massive wages don't really get much out of it and in many ways probably have it worse than people living in countries that is on paper much poorer.
 

Denkt

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USA should on paper be many times richer than Mexico or Brazil but in terms of things like life expectency and probably work condition it don't seems to be doing much better, meaning probably a combination that economy of "rich" countries, especially USA is exaggerated compared to other countries and the economy is not setup to benefit normal people (but that should be worse in Mexico or Brazil than USA, so USA being that close to the countries may mean its productivity/wealth is exaggerated compared to Mexico and Brazil).
 

El_Machinae

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I'm not sure what a good wage is. My intuition is that it's enough that you feel like you can save for retirement. I know too many people that Live For Today with their spending because retirement seems utterly impossible

I live poor, but I do so voluntarily, and I find that I'm able to maintain a much lower QoL spending pattern (vs my peers) because I *am* actually just saving the remainder. But it's because I made enough such that saving feels like it's getting me somewhere.
 
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Denkt

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I get retirement from my job as well as from my country without needing to save for it myself, which I also can do. Maybe scandinavian countries have pretty good wages however compared to like the rest of the world if something like this is accurate https://news.gallup.com/poll/166211/worldwide-median-household-income-000.aspx.

And I don't think people live in poverty in order to retire in my country, like a pretty average place look maybe something like this.
And very poor area, with median income under bottom 10% could be something like this.
 
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Verbose

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I get retirement from my job as well as from my country without needing to save for it myself, which I also can do. Maybe scandinavian countries have pretty good wages however compared to like the rest of the world if something like this is accurate https://news.gallup.com/poll/166211/worldwide-median-household-income-000.aspx.
Yes, but if you are on the Swedish retirement plan you really need both the national and the global economy to keep chugging along at reasonably steady growth, if there is going to be reasonable money at the end. And right now it's all pretty bonkers.
 

Denkt

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Yes, but if you are on the Swedish retirement plan you really need both the national and the global economy to keep chugging along at reasonably steady growth, if there is going to be reasonable money at the end. And right now it's all pretty bonkers.
It look good for me. Real wage growth in Sweden have been pretty good in the last 30 years and probably will continue grow overtime. The overall economy seems to be in better shape than it have been in the last number of decades, I remember how poor people was in Sweden during the 90s and early 00s compared to today and other countries like China seems to have seen its own significant improvements, so I don't see much to worry about.
 

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If you can pay, say all your monthly fixed expenditures (rent, mortgage, utilities, health, insurance...) with something like ~60% of your income after taxes, you should be good. The actual amount you get paid is secondary.
 

Denkt

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If you can pay, say all your monthly fixed expenditures (rent, mortage, utilities, health, insurance...) with something like ~60% of your income after taxes, you should be good. The actual amount you get paid is secondary.
Yes I can. The stuff I read on internet make it sound like americans and maybe many europeans is stuck like on 1970s era wages or something as terrible like that which would mean the average person in those countries would probably be considered poor in Sweden. I don't know why people in those countries seems to be so against unions and such, I'm in a union even though I'm a software developer, but I suspect that is a major reason for poor wage growth in those countries.
Like this seems quite telling:
While there are some major setbacks in the Swedish real wage growth, atleast the long run tendency is an increase, american one is on other hand completely stagnate.
If you look at things like life expectency it seems USA was already far behind by 1970s having life expectency similar to 1950s Sweden and by 1970s Sweden still had like life expectency USA would reach like 2 decades later and now it seems to even be more like 3 decades behind, even in late 19th century USA seems to been behind quite a few european countries in life expectency and maybe other health signs meaning USA probably never really was particular great compared to other countries of similar level of development.
 
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Zardnaar

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Depends on the country generally 50% to 100% more than minimum I consider good.

Depends on your job but for blue collar type jobs. If you're a doctor, engineer or something not so much

So around $18 usd an hour or more. Minimum wage was around $15usd currently $13ish (currency fluctuation).
 

Hygro

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I recently got a job as a software developer
ONE OF US ONE OF US

USA should on paper be many times richer than Mexico or Brazil but in terms of things like life expectency and probably work condition it don't seems to be doing much better, meaning probably a combination that economy of "rich" countries, especially USA is exaggerated compared to other countries and the economy is not setup to benefit normal people (but that should be worse in Mexico or Brazil than USA, so USA being that close to the countries may mean its productivity/wealth is exaggerated compared to Mexico and Brazil).
I just visited Mexico, in the rich touristy part of the yucutan it is extremely poorer than the USA. Indeed your highlighting Mexico is an interesting one, everything rough about the USA is magnified in Latin America.

I have experience in these four American countries:


2020
GDP per C​
PPP​
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
USA
$63,543​
$63,543​
Costa Rica
$12,076​
$19,700​
Mexico
$8,346​
$19,796​
Nicaragua
$1,905​
$5,300​

I will tell you those numbers accurately reflect vast differences in wealth. Industrial goods cost the same in actual dollars in all three. In Nicaragua you can easily find yourself in a service job expected to work well above 40 hours a week, like 70, and the boss to employee relationship is far more medieval. Mexico is not reliable lawful, i.e. whole swaths of the country are run by drug lords.

In Nicaragua, everywhere was a fight to stake a claim for civilization like against nature and absolute material poverty etc. But in Mexico and CR, that fight was won, but haphazardly, and the fight is against everything being super janky. And boy is it super janky.

You would have to be theorizing to think standards of living in these countries is at all equal. But fortunately the theorizing has available modules like GDP comparisons to make it easy.

There is some levels where it's true, what's the difference really. But those gaps between GDP measurements and that concept are still reflected reasonably in PPP. Like in Nicaragua, most everyone have clothes, transportation, electricity, internet, etc. But instead of fancy crest toothpaste you get the most basic efficient colgate. Internet is fast-ish but comes packaged with facebook favoring data plans. Transportation is motorcycles. Houses are earthquake and hurricane resistant, small, generally unsealed to the onslaught of insects, no climate control, the cooking done with wood fires and propane.

In CR/Mexico the infrastructure still can't take toilet paper in the toilet, everything is in mild disrepair, most people aren't living much better than Nicaragua once you're in the countryside, maybe a pickup instead of a motorcycle tho.

Infrastructure in all 3 countries, they're working hard to expand it but it's nothing compared to the USA. The differences match the differences in GDP.

It's really hard to stress how different the wealth levels are, you'll have to see it.
 
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Denkt

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Depends on the country generally 50% to 100% more than minimum I consider good.

Depends on your job but for blue collar type jobs. If you're a doctor, engineer or something not so much

So around $18 usd an hour or more. Minimum wage was around $15usd currently $13ish (currency fluctuation).
I've read the wage situation in USA is so poor that if minimum wage would have followed productivity growth, it would be quite close to the average wage in USA today which is quite telling. Even being like a doctor or engineer in USA seems not so nice with poor work life balance, student debt and lack of job security and being a blue collar worker seems even worse.
If something like this is correct, it basically seems very hard to ever get ahead in USA with even salaries over $100k could be poverty
 
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Zardnaar

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I've read the wage situation in USA is so poor that if minimum wage would have followed productivity growth, it would be quite close to the average wage in USA today which is quite telling. Even being like a doctor or engineer in USA seems not so nice with poor work life balance, student debt and lack of job security and being a blue collar worker seems even worse.

Well here you can't really raise a family on minimum wage.

$21.50 NZD an hour X40 $860 19%tax approx $696 approx $461 usd.

Getting 40 hours is the hard part. Rent on a room locally is $150 a room per week but a house is likely around $450. I live in cheap part of the country. Expect to pay around another $150ish for food and utilities maybe more. Half your wages gone almost right there.

I've met American blue collars here and things like teachers who say they get more than USA.

USA you get more for more skilked degrees than here eg doctors, engineers, IT.

There's not many jobs paying decent hourly rates though. Trends towards near minimum wage hourly and salaries to get more. Can't think of to many jobs that pay$30-$40 an hour but I know people who get that or more on salary.

Average wage is around 50% higher than minimum but only around 30% get that or more and that was a few years ago.
 

Denkt

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Seems like it is better to be something such as a programmer in like Sweden than USA even if wages on paper may look much lower (but cost of living is much lower as well). Things like getting 6 weeks vacation, job secruit, social security, free/cheap colleges, very cheap healthcare, public transit, unions and so on as those things make such a huge difference. Life expectency even for the well doing americans seems to be on the lower side and things like healthcare is so much more expensive while from what I read is no better in terms of quality than what would be considered average in countries like Switzerland or Scandinavian countries.
Basically I don't think it make much sense to work in USA at all as the system there seems so designed around owning stuff and working there will pretty much never get you ahead of the cost of living.
 
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Zardnaar

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Seems like it is better to be something such as a programmer in like Sweden than USA even if wages on paper may look much lower (but cost of living is much lower as well). Things like getting 6 weeks vacation, job secruit, social security, free/cheap colleges, very cheap healthcare, public transit, unions and so on as those things make such a huge difference. Life expectency even for the well doing americans seems to be on the lower side and things like healthcare is so much more expensive while from what I read is no better in terms of quality than what would be considered average in countries like Switzerland or Scandinavian countries.
Basically I don't think it make much sense to work in USA at all as the system there seems so designed around owning stuff and working there will pretty much never get you ahead of the cost of living.

Well Sweden's generally regarded as one of the best countries to live in now in terms of money.
 

Denkt

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Well Sweden's generally regarded as one if the best countries to live in now.
Sweden seems to maintained about a wage to capital ratio of around 70% to 30% from like 1960s to 2020s, something which don't seems true for USA, which is probably explaing why wages in USA don't seems to be growing after 70s.
 

Zardnaar

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Sweden seems to maintained about a wage to capital ratio of around 70% to 30% from like 1960s to 2020s, something which don't seems true for USA, which is probably explaing why wages in USA don't seems to be growing after 70s.

Well they are just heavily slanted towards upper middle class or better.

For average working joes there's probably 20-30 better countries.

Way I've had it explained it you can earn big money over there in some types of jobs and they pay for your health insurance.

You're screwed if poor and no job or job doesn't cover insurance.
 

Denkt

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Seems to me like you need your parents to pay for your college and you be overall lucky for you to come ahead in USA which make things like poverty and wealth there very generational with social mobility being more limited than in most other developed countries nowdays.
 

Zardnaar

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Seems to me like you need your parents to pay for your college and you be overall lucky for you to come ahead in USA which make things like poverty and wealth there very generational with social mobility being more limited than in most other developed countries nowdays.

Kinda preaching to the converted.

Lots of countries now have better social mobility than USA.
 

innonimatu

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Social mobility is an overvalued thing in comments. It is useless of there is a permanent mass of poor. What good is there in being able to "rise" if there is huge permanent underclass you permanently risk falling into?
 
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