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View Full Version : Would you feel guilty hiring someone for $1 an hour?



The Bigfella
12-28-2011, 09:15 PM
Serious question.

I spent a couple of hours this morning doing copy typing. It doesn't particularly concern me... there's edits that have to be done and a client has scanned and emailed the edits to me. However, I could hire someone for a couple of months for what my time is apparently worth.... and I was talking to someone the other day who does exactly that.

My friend runs a publishing company and she has an employee in the Phillipines who does basic work like that and also follows up her debtors. Phone charges are cheap (really cheap)... and she initially paid this woman $1 an hour. She's decided the woman is a good employee and doubled her pay ($2 /hour) and is planning to take her to $3 / hr soon. That's a full time employee for $4,000 a year ($6,000 after her next raise)

So, would you feel guilty or would you feel you were helping someone?

Paul Pless
12-28-2011, 09:23 PM
I know that I support 'offshore outsourcing' indirectly by some of things that I buy; but I don't think I'd be interested in outsourcing any of my labor directly. I'd hire a domestic temp to do that type of work for me. As it stands I'd probably have trouble clearing a similar offshore service through my client's confidentiality agreements, not saying it couldn't be done, but it'd be a head ache for sure.

BrianW
12-28-2011, 09:34 PM
As it stands I'd probably have trouble clearing a similar offshore service through my client's confidentiality agreements...

The mystery deepens. Just who is the Pless guy?

Mrleft8
12-28-2011, 09:40 PM
The mystery deepens. Just who is the Pless guy?
He can hear things that normal, mortal human beings can't..... And his breath smells like Milkbones....

seanz
12-28-2011, 09:48 PM
Some say he has elastic knee-caps and can make himself taller at will and is fluent in 23 different languages, one of those is Dolphin.......

Paul Pless
12-28-2011, 09:52 PM
Having broken one of my kneecaps in the past I can categorically reject that I have elastic kneecaps. Sure would have been nice though. . .

ramillett
12-28-2011, 09:57 PM
I started my career at $1.25 an hour , It's not where start , It's where you end up :)

seanz
12-28-2011, 09:58 PM
Having broken one of my kneecaps in the past I can categorically reject that I have elastic kneecaps. Sure would have been nice though. . .

Well, you would say that, wouldn't you?
;)

Waddie
12-28-2011, 11:47 PM
So, would you feel guilty or would you feel you were helping someone?

I've hired a few that weren't worth a dollar an hour.......

regards,
Waddie

Meli
12-28-2011, 11:58 PM
I suppose it depends on how much per hour you can make in the time your employee is freeing you up.
If I can earn $60 per hour extra by employing someone else like a house keeper to do my other menial chores, then I reckon they are entitled to a decent whack of what I am making in that hour.
My other job is a skilled job and I can earn $60 per hour doing it, so I reckon half that, or the at least the going rate in your own country is fair .
If you want to give the work to someone in a country where their rates are cheaper, well you are still ahead and give ate least one person a hand up.

bobbys
12-29-2011, 12:11 AM
I would gladly pay her 2.00 an hour to sub for me on gun threads here!.

Only 1.00 on any Glenn or Mr Left threads though....

3bucks on any Religion threads seems fair as long as she is Catholic and rolls wit da Pope!

Nanoose
12-29-2011, 12:11 AM
I think holding to the ideals of Fair Trade is a good place to start.
What is a fair wage for that job in that country?

Meli
12-29-2011, 12:23 AM
I think holding to the ideals of Fair Trade is a good place to start.
What is a fair wage for that job in that country?

And that's why all of our low skilled jobs are being shipped off shore and women in particular who usually take up this kind of work are forced onto social security.
In other words, the employer in this situation makes a huge profit and the taxpayer picks up the bill for the employer.

It's just wrong.

The Bigfella
12-29-2011, 12:26 AM
From my discussion with the publisher, I'd say its $1 an hour.

I spent a day sitting with an Indonesian guy who was doing commission selling of meals and rooms... and he made $2 that day.... so, unless the rest of his days were vastly better, which I doubt... I'd say $40 isn't a bad wage.

I might explore it with one of my Timor-Leste contacts. The only thing is, I don't want to end up spending half my time managing the process.

fishrswim
12-29-2011, 12:46 AM
Basically, it depends on what the prevailing wage is where the worker lives. If you pay at or above the prevailing rate, you are being fair to the worker. However, I took a cursory look at a web site that provided data on average wages for different jobs in the Philippines and it seems like $2 per hour is too low and that $3 might be about right.

Whether or not you are depriving an American worker of a job is a different question.

Nicholas Scheuer
12-29-2011, 05:49 AM
Offhand, I'd say $3 to $4/hr in the Phillipines is a fair wage, though I have no certain knowlege of the wage sale over there. Seems to me that $1/hr to a Phillipino who seems to be a valued employee doing work which your friend would definately NOT want to pay a USA employee $12 to $16/hr is just taking unfair advantage.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-29-2011, 10:03 AM
Serious question.

I spent a couple of hours this morning doing copy typing. It doesn't particularly concern me... there's edits that have to be done and a client has scanned and emailed the edits to me. However, I could hire someone for a couple of months for what my time is apparently worth.... and I was talking to someone the other day who does exactly that.

My friend runs a publishing company and she has an employee in the Phillipines who does basic work like that and also follows up her debtors. Phone charges are cheap (really cheap)... and she initially paid this woman $1 an hour. She's decided the woman is a good employee and doubled her pay ($2 /hour) and is planning to take her to $3 / hr soon. That's a full time employee for $4,000 a year ($6,000 after her next raise)

So, would you feel guilty or would you feel you were helping someone?

Neither of the above.

US$1 or A$ 1 an hour is 44 pesos an hour; 1,760 pesos a week, 7,000 pesos a month.

US$ 2 an hour is 14,000 pesos a month

Let me put those numbers into context:

This house would cost P 2.25M (A$ 52,000) to buy and rents for Pesos 6,000 a month. It's a small three bedroom house - one of many such built by Cammelia Homes who are a big local developer, it's in a gated community and is very safe, however it is at the extreme edge of commuting range to Manila:


http://i535.photobucket.com/albums/ee352/acraigbennett/Corinahouse4-1.jpgI

Internet access is P800 a month, cable TV (pretty good!) is P650 a month, electricity maybe 2,700 a month, a basic laptop will cost P 15,000 and a small airconditioner about the same.

An able seaman earns US$ 1,200 (P52,000) a month (tax free in the Philippines) if he is on ICC TCC rates.

A maid in Hong Kong, where, unlike anywhere else in Asia, the paternalistic British established a minimum wage for amahs, gets HK$ 3,650 a month (P20,000 a month).

Now, does your friend think that she should be paying her typist roughly what a maid gets in Hong Kong?

Most of those maids are Filipina and are sending most of that P20K back to their families.

If she is a good worker then it seems to me that P 20,000 a month, i.e. A$ 3 an hour, is pretty reasonable.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-29-2011, 11:19 AM
I have omitted tax and SSS (Philippines Social Security) payments from that calculation. Knock off roughly 17% for that, for P 20K a month. Say 11% for P 14K a month. Her employer should be paying this.

Some more grist to the mill - a registered nurse gets P 186 an hour, basic. A call centre worker gets about 100 pesos an hour. A web designer might get 350.

So is a copy typist worth more or less than a call centre operative?

Ted Hoppe
12-29-2011, 12:12 PM
Serious question.
So, would you feel guilty or would you feel you were helping someone?

So would you feel guilty if you paid 75 dollars for a three day (72 hour) weekend for the company of on-call Philippine girlfriend - if you knew you were "helping out her family" while getting your business done?

Many do just because they can. Exploitation is what is immoral not the act of getting something done cheaply.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-29-2011, 12:17 PM
I would just say - looking around the Internet there are plenty of sites offering wage comparisons, but many of them are out of date - the Philippines is doing better nowadays and some of the very low salaries indicated are just wrong.

Note also that the peso is hardening quite steadily against the Dollar - it was seventy or so ten years ago, fifty or so five years ago and around forty- three or forty-four now.

I'd also suggest paying a thirteenth month, as is usual in East Asia.

Ted Hoppe
12-29-2011, 12:25 PM
I would just say - looking around the Internet there are plenty of sites offering wage comparisons, but many of them are out of date - the Philippines is doing better nowadays and some of the very low salaries indicated are just wrong.

Note also that the peso is hardening quite steadily against the Dollar - it was seventy or so ten years ago, fifty or so five years ago and around forty- three or forty-four now.

I'd also suggest paying a thirteenth month, as is usual in East Asia.

Paying a bonus of a months salary is quite normal. I like how things are shared family like and members of the group are honored and praised. I like the tradition of sharing the bounty of a successful business in asia on the Lunar new year. It is a time of reflection and family.

Traditions like these in Asia which are hidden from normal sight are discretely done away with here in the west except to those in upper management who share in rewards, vacations and prizes.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-29-2011, 01:20 PM
So would you feel guilty if you paid 75 dollars for a three day (72 hour) weekend for the company of on-call Philippine girlfriend - if you knew you were "helping out her family" while getting your business done?

Many do just because they can. Exploitation is what is immoral not the act of getting something done cheaply.

I agree.

Pay the rate that permits the roughly equivalent standard of living.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-30-2011, 07:18 AM
From my discussion with the publisher, I'd say its $1 an hour.

I spent a day sitting with an Indonesian guy who was doing commission selling of meals and rooms... and he made $2 that day.... so, unless the rest of his days were vastly better, which I doubt... I'd say $40 isn't a bad wage.

I might explore it with one of my Timor-Leste contacts. The only thing is, I don't want to end up spending half my time managing the process.

You would, of course.