Can We Avoid Low Wages Ahead

A noteworthy article titled Low-paying jobs are here to stay appeared on CNN Money today. It does not report good news, but it does focus our attention on a very real situation that we must adjust to and respond to if we want to succeed with our money in future.

Wages to Remain Stagnant for Years

The story reports on a study done by the Economic Policy Institute. Overall conclusions of the study are that income will remain essentially stagnant over the next several years. There will likely be a slight increase for upper income workers and possibly a continuing reduction in pay for many lower pay workers but nearly thirty percent of workers in America will continue to earn below the poverty level.

For a long time now I have suggested the same thing. My reasons, as you may know if you have read some of my previous posts, is that our recession is an economic correction from the overspending rampant in our country for years and not a business cycle, meaning that only increased productivity can make things better.

How to Avoid Low Wages

Is there anything we can do to avoid being harmed, or in many cases we should be saying further harmed, by this trend. Yes I think so.

More important than anything else, every person needs to accept responsibility for themselves and their future. This means two things in particular. First, deal with current realities by doing whatever you have to do to adjust to any changes that have been forced upon you—don't dig yourself into a deeper hole if your financial life has suffered as a result of recent events. Second, choose a productive future for yourself, redirecting your income path if necessary.

How to Get Higher Wages

Farming, personal care, building and grounds maintenance, food preparation and health care support are fields with the highest percentage of low paying jobs. Most of these fields expect growth but opportunities for making a decent living are low. Other fields are more promising. You can choose and prepare for a better paying job if you want to, and why not?

The key point to get from this study, in case you had not realized it before, is that we all need to plan for the future with the understanding that what we see now is the new reality. Do not wait for things to get better. They will not in the near term. If we want to do better we must plan and prepare to do so.

Opportunities for More Income

Realize that the options for success have not changed. In worse times than these there have always been tremendous opportunities for success for those who demand them and go looking for them. Don't let your future happen; make it happen.


  1. Sometimes God doesn’t give us money, but gives us talents to share. In my case, I would iimgane that if I had money, I would probably not use it as wisely as I should. In that case, I am blessed that we have what we need and no more. I would like to think that I would be able to manage my money wisely, but I know that God is much wiser than I. However, He has given me the ability to share what I have, however little it is, and what I do, in order to help others. God has blessed me with the ability to sew, and using that sewing ability and the ability to teach, I can help others to learn. Maybe it has no particular monetary value, but being able to take care of our own needs without relying on others to take care of them for us, has been a blessing for me.

    • Certainly money is not more important than many of the priorities you mention. I wrote a line some time back that I have referred to often and may consider making a motto of sorts: It is not what you have or what you make, it is what you make with what you have.

      What God expects (from a biblical point of view) is that we be good stewards of what he gives us. Stewardship means nothing more complicated than being a good manager, using wisely whatever we have. Seeking money for its own sake (the love of money) is seen as evil, but the Bible does teach that when people manage wisely (are good stewards) of what God gives them, they will be trusted with more.

      At the same time, as long as we have enough (and most of us have more than we need) it is often a wise decision to choose to do those thing that do not give us great wealth in order to do the things that are meaningful to us. Certainly my wife and I did. We both gave up careers that would have been much more lucrative from a financial point of view to live in a way that allowed us to take care of our severely handicapped son. As a result he lived many years longer than anyone expected and brought joy and inspiration to many others.

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I am sure many will appreciate it.

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