General / Off-Topic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is Burning

If only they knew how much money they could make doing this kind of work.
“They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.”

French min wage; E10.03 hr, E18255 yr
Carpenter E24960 yr
Stonemason E26253 yr
I do have a price, but it's way higher than this.

Of course, I can afford to be choosy. Most people, even in a place as well off as France, cannot.
 
French min wage; E10.03 hr, E18255 yr
Carpenter E24960 yr
Stonemason E26253 yr
That's a pretty minimal wage for skilled work. I paid several men who were operating as subcontractors (by definition very highly skilled) an average of $500.00 per day last year, though that was based on volume of completed work as opposed to hourly. Skilled tradesmen in mine or related fields can average that kind of money every day of the year, if they're willing. Unfortunately, most men nowadays lack the discipline. Moderately skilled labor in the construction fields are 15-25 hourly, and work is more or less unlimited. You'd be amazed how many people would rather cash in a welfare check, though, rather then take such an opportunity.

Edit: @Morbad, having that kind of financial flexibility sounds great. That's one of the awesome things about America, our system allows literally anyone to climb into the ranks of the millionaires or to fall down through the cracks based on their ingenuity and effort, and one of the reasons to be repulsed by anything even mildly smelling like the social systems in Europe where you're essentially chained down to whatever caste you were born into, or that society dictates. A great example of which would be your reaction to Felix's little wage comparison.

o7
 
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@Morbad, having that kind of financial flexibility sounds great. That's one of the awesome things about America, our system allows literally anyone to climb into the ranks of the millionaires or to fall down through the cracks based on their ingenuity and effort, and one of the reasons to be repulsed by anything even mildly smelling like the social systems in Europe where you're essentially chained down to whatever caste you were born into, or that society dictates. A great example of which would be your reaction to Felix's little wage comparison.
I'm far less convinced that the American dream is alive and well. Most people, even here, have fates that are far more influenced by their origins than many are willing to admit, and things aren't getting better.

My wife is possibly the only person at her current place of employment that wasn't essentially born into the upper echelons of academia. Among her peers, two parents with doctorates are the norm, and an easy ride through school, with unlimited assistance from those already part of the clique, who already know all tricks and have all the contacts, is a given. Conversely, my wife comes from a working class family and is the first person among them to have a degree of any kind, let alone multiple degree in STEM fields, including a doctorate in planetary science. She had to figure out everything herself, and even taking advantage of all the aid we could muster, we both nearly bankrupted ourselves putting her through school and staying a float at the same time. Shes a professor now, and will be going up for tenure soon. A big part of her motivation for doing what she does, instead of making double or triple in the sort of industry positions she's passed up, is helping kids, who would otherwise fall through the cracks; not from a lack of ingenuity or effort, but from a lack of inherited privilege and nepotism.

My own relative success, even though I like to take credit for it, would not have been possible if I was not born into a stable, fairly well-off family. Indeed, even with such advantages, I'd not have been able to get my own footing after leaving home had I not had a fairly sizable inheritance from my late-father's union pension. I could easily have wound up dead or in prison without that financial reprieve (in my youth I was far more likely to resort to a weapon, or a prybar, than a job application) that gave me time to readjust my priorities and develop some more...marketable...skills.

I suspect my own parents were probably of the last generation where hard work and dedication was actually a significant competitor to inherited privilege, or a likely way out of an absence thereof. They had to fight for what they had, and they certainly had a harder time of it than many, but there was at least a real sense of optimism. They lived through, and took part in, the Civil Rights movement and there was that sense of progress and expanding opportunities. My mother was the daughter of an Italian immigrant and a formerly wealthy Irish Texan heiress who lost everything in the Great Depression. She was the first girl in her school to take a shop class and was nearly expelled for wearing jeans rather than a skirt when she had to walk to class through a snow storm. My father was a poor kid from Spanish Harlem who had to join the Navy to escape a ghetto that by all accounts resembled a darker version of the West Side Story. They met at a GE factory after Vietnam and soon after my mother was making 35 dollars an hour (in the early 1970s, not adjusted for inflation) and was able to be the bread winner while my father worked through an IBEW apprenticeship. Wisely, they waited until they were sufficiently settled to have children, and their children certainly had a leg up because of that.

Anyway, I see plenty of smarter, harder working, people than myself every day. Most of them will never have my flexibility, and no few of them are going to die the gutter. I also see abject morons, who have no idea how good they have it, who will never work a day in their lives, get bailed out by wealthy parents as they rake in 15% a year and enjoy all sorts of special treatment because of their names or money. Still a fair bit of room in the middle, but it's shrinking at an alarming pace.

Edit: I can't speak to your personal experience, but my own; those of my friends, family, and acquaintances from around the globe; as well as demonstrable statistical facts, suggest that America is nothing special among developed nations when it comes to socioeconomic mobility.
 
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A good stonemason, and when I say good I mean someone who master the old technique, could easily make 80.000 USD a year. It’s a trade that it not that common and the skills needed takes years to learn.
 
That's a pretty minimal wage for skilled work. I paid several men who were operating as subcontractors (by definition very highly skilled) an average of $500.00 per day last year, though that was based on volume of completed work as opposed to hourly. Skilled tradesmen in mine or related fields can average that kind of money every day of the year, if they're willing. Unfortunately, most men nowadays lack the discipline. Moderately skilled labor in the construction fields are 15-25 hourly, and work is more or less unlimited. You'd be amazed how many people would rather cash in a welfare check, though, rather then take such an opportunity.

Edit: @Morbad, having that kind of financial flexibility sounds great. That's one of the awesome things about America, our system allows literally anyone to climb into the ranks of the millionaires or to fall down through the cracks based on their ingenuity and effort, and one of the reasons to be repulsed by anything even mildly smelling like the social systems in Europe where you're essentially chained down to whatever caste you were born into, or that society dictates. A great example of which would be your reaction to Felix's little wage comparison.

o7
That’s why I told my kids from the very beginning, I will leave you nothing, get an education, work or stave. Of course they don’t know I’m not being 100% honest but they got the message.

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Every town fool is trying to change it into something it’s not, one wonder why that is?
 
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Social mobility in the US is as stagnant as in the UK.

edit; **** me that's dark, here's the link; OECD
I'm at work so don't have time to parse the provided link, but I can tell you that here in America any healthy person who is stagnating is doing so as a consequence of their own choices and designs. The "disadvantaged poor person who can never get ahead no matter how hard they work" is no more real than the Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus. People stay poor for the most part because they are lazy, undisciplined and take no risks.

There is equal opportunity for all here in the USA, just not equal outcome.

@Morbad, don't have to read your post closely, sorry. I will later.

@lysan, I'd say thats kind of low for a master stonemason. A good residential roofer can make 80-100k annually (I pay that to several subs, and I'm not the highest by any mean) just reroofing asphalt shingles, so I'd have to think someone with stone skill would command a higher income.
 
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OK the US rates a 5, same as the UK. OECD global; average is 4.5 and France rates 6.
Top of the pile is Denmark at 2 and bottom is Colombia at 11.
For reference Canada, Australia and New Zealand all rate 4.
Norway, Sweden and Finland rate 3.
Alongside us in the 5 bracket are Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland and Austria.
 
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I can either go with a graph, or I can speak with intimate authority about pay scales in the construction industry.

The irony is that despite how lucrative this work is, far and away the hardest part of running any construction company regardless of size and scope is finding people willing to work. You'd think with a salary such as I mentioned you'd have a line of applications, but sadly that couldn't be farther from the truth. I'm in the process of scaling back my bidding process for just this reason; there is FAR more high paying work than there are people willing to do it.
 
True I've seen more than enough people desperately scamming their way to a pittance than earning far more for less work legitimately.
I get the impression they simply can't see the possibilities and default on a view that they have to scam to get ahead.
 
I'm at work so don't have time to parse the provided link, but I can tell you that here in America any healthy person who is stagnating is doing so as a consequence of their own choices and designs. The "disadvantaged poor person who can never get ahead no matter how hard they work" is no more real than the Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus. People stay poor for the most part because they are lazy, undisciplined and take no risks.

There is equal opportunity for all here in the USA, just not equal outcome.
This strikes me, as someone who has lived in half a dozen states across the eastern US, as completely false...to the degree that I'd think it was a joke coming from most people. It's also objectively incorrect.

Interestingly enough, it does seem to be a common perception, it's just not supported by any facts.

A good residential roofer can make 80-100k annually (I pay that to several subs, and I'm not the highest by any mean) just reroofing asphalt shingles, so I'd have to think someone with stone skill would command a higher income.
This is higher than my gross household income and I've got it pretty good.

I can either go with a graph, or I can speak with intimate authority about pay scales in the construction industry.

The irony is that despite how lucrative this work is, far and away the hardest part of running any construction company regardless of size and scope is finding people willing to work. You'd think with a salary such as I mentioned you'd have a line of applications, but sadly that couldn't be farther from the truth. I'm in the process of scaling back my bidding process for just this reason; there is FAR more high paying work than there are people willing to do it.
With a salary such as you mentioned, you would have a line of applications anywhere I've ever lived, because it's at least double the median, granted the cost of living in Alaska is higher than most (though not all) places I've lived.
 
This strikes me, as someone who has lived in half a dozen states across the eastern US, as completely false...to the degree that I'd think it was a joke coming from most people. It's also objectively incorrect.
imo jason is likely in a particular area in construction/maintenance boom, and maybe extrapolating too lightly to ... the whole 'us'.

the us is big. and the world is even bigger. as an example, he's paying low skilled construction workers about what the average software engineer makes in spain. that said, finding talent is indeed the hardest part for any tech firm too, and that can originate salary spikes but usually only in specific areas and contexts (like i assume is his case). on average i'd say salaries are going down and loosing purchase power.
 
So move to an area where there is a need for the services you can provide. I didn't say everyone IS doing, but rather anyone COULD do it.

I'm not in Alaska anymore, either, but my brother is. He, like myself, started from abject poverty the likes of which make the Kentucky coal mining story look like living in Disneyland. He now co-owns a multi million dollar construction company that pays skilled labor 50-70 per hour, and the subs much higher. The work is out there. The thing is, when we were growing up in the Alaskan outback, we would literally have starved if we waited for someone to make life "fair" for us. I employ the same survival mentality to my current situation as I learned from boyhood, and perhaps that gives me a different mindset to the average human.

Remember guys, I'm talking equal opportunity, NOT equal outcome. If you weren't born into it you have to fight for it. It's funny, because that's what my brother Will says: every day he grabs his tool belt and walks out the door he's going out into the world to fight for his wife and children's very survival, and when he says it he means it with a complete absence of hyperbole.

Moral is that the opportunity is there, but relatively few people will show the same discipline to take advantage of it.
 
I think you hit something there, there is a qualitative difference between those to whom survival means sitting on the couch waiting for a benefits cheque and those for whom it means going out and finding something, anything remotely edible.
 
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