Nobody wants to work, tinted window edition

I was chatting with a guy who runs an automotive tint film service with three employees. “I can’t hire anyone right now,” he says. What would someone expect to earn? “A high school graduate will make about $60,000 in the first year and $100,000 per year after three years,” he replied.

(Note that, at least with a family of 4, a household earning $100,000 per year is eligible for welfare (subsidized housing, subsidized health insurance) here in Massachusetts. So, technically, $100,000 per year is a poverty wage.)

Why does he need to hire people? If high school grads work their way up to $100,000 per year don’t they stay at the job indefinitely? “After a year or two,” he replied, “they lose their initiative. They don’t want to work on weekends. They don’t want to get up early. They don’t want to drive a long distance to a customer. They don’t have the commitment of a business owner. It was bad before the $600/week and now it is terrible.”

28 thoughts on “Nobody wants to work, tinted window edition

  1. So, working week ends and driving long distance (which is a right PITA and it’s pretty dangerous) is not appealing for a below poverty line salary? Colour me surprised!

    • Below poverty? Nah, below government level of loot giveaways.

      No one in US lives in poverty. In fact, most “poor” Americans are better off than middle class in large chunks of the world.

    • Averros, unless one is teleported to one of such poor countries at the end of the day, to enjoy much higher than average spending power, what matters is the local median income and median spending power — if a lot of people can outspend you for stuff such as a nice house etc, you are clearly not in the right line of work (unless you totally love it).

    • Federico,
      Supply side of US home construction is strong and is ready to meet demand, I assume it is true for Massachusetts too. It is row materials and land prices near to work that push house prices up, which push median salary up, not the other way around,.

    • Low Skilled, the reason why prices are higher in the US compared to [enter country of choice here] are immaterial. If you live in the US, and your salary is below the median of the area you live in, you will be out-competed in basically all important purchases (such as housing) by people who earn more. Your salary might look good on paper, especially compared to [insert non US country of choice], but all that matters are (1) salary, and (2) where said salary is normally used to purchase stuff. If your salary is low compared to the local distribution of salaries, and the job requires working week ends, and doing other unpleasant stuff, I am not surprised few people want to do it.

    • Federico – I meant wealth in real terms, not in funnily colored paper. Westerners don’t understand that things like clean running water is a luxury in most of the world.

    • Federico, income-adjusted US home prices are lower then in countries that I can compare to of my personal knowledge and often they are lower in absolute amounts, although they are rapidly increasing. Over 65% of Americans are home owners. and in most cases it means real 2,000 +sq. ft house on land that at least accommodates front- and back- yards and garage, not under 1,000 sq ft apartment. In the most of USA decent house costs 5-6 median yearly salaries of one person. It used to cost less, 3-4 salaries. In hot markets, where real estate prices are artificially hiked by regulations or real absence of available land pressure on salaries comes from real estate pricing, not the other way around, largely because in the USA many do not rely on salaries but on other income such as inheritance and because many reach or stealthily rich people form abroad want to by real estate in major coastal cities. I think that Europe might have similar pressures

    • Here we go, recent media single family home price bump is not accidental or natural
      home https://www.bizpacreview.com/2021/06/11/blackrock-under-fire-amid-reports-private-equity-firms-are-snapping-up-single-family-houses
      “With home prices taking off, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is taking heat for outbidding typical buyers of single-family homes, reportedly increasing the demand and driving prices upward. ”
      With all recent political posturing by this firm it is highly accidental.

  2. 2 different estimated of MA average and median salaries
    “1. https://www.averagesalarysurvey.com/massachusetts is based on 653 surveys. It claims:
    AVERAGE SALARY / YEAR
    $91,819 USD
    £65,869 GBP

    MOST TYPICAL SALARY / YEAR
    $52,000 USD
    £37,304 GBP

    Salaries are different between men and women. Men receive an average salary of $107,399 USD. Women receive a salary of $75,318 USD.

    The most paid careers are Archaeology & History with average income $220,000 USD and Engineers & Technicians IV with income $135,000 USD.

    2. http://www.salaryexplorer.com/salary-survey.php?loc=88&loctype=2
    No sources cited.
    A person working in Massachusetts typically earns around 105,000 USD per year. Salaries range from 26,700 USD (lowest average) to 471,000 USD (highest average, actual maximum salary is higher).
    Median Salary

    The median salary is 110,000 USD per year, which means that half (50%) of the population are earning less than 110,000 USD while the other half are earning more than 110,000 USD. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.
    Percentiles

    Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of the population are earning less than 61,400 USD while 75% of them are earning more than 61,400 USD. Also from the diagram, 75% of the population are earning less than 302,000 USD while 25% are earning more than 302,000 USD.”

    Second is obviously wrong. Lower bound estimate for 3rd quartile salary is $110,000 and for upper quartile is $302,000. Just upper 3 quartiles already give lower bound for average salary $61,400/4 + $110,000 /4 + $302,000/4 > $115,000 > then stated average and median values.

    First statistics with having archeology as one of the highest occupations in Massachusetts Plymouth rock made of gold? Does not seem very reliable either. Where is the truth?

  3. I find it a little depressing that there’s so much money to be made even in the entry level work of something so completely worthless.

    • With every 30 yards street surveillance cameras in Boston burbs exploding mob and other crime – related opportunities that pay over a median salary require a lot of car glass tinting.

  4. “A high school graduate will make about $60,000 in the first year and $100,000 per year after three years,”

    I call BS!

    • Not if he/she need to travel on location to tint mob hitmen glass. Maybe some extra services on a side.

    • @DP: I don’t doubt it. I’ll guarantee they can make that much in a year (at least in some cases, depending on location and the kind of clientele, and whether the company does more than just cars.) In New Jersey, window tinting requires a license and insurance, just like doctors, dentists and plumbers. You can tell when a business does not list any prices on its website that you’re going to get something expensive. It’s not a commodity business when it has to be licensed by the State, and it is licensed because of state-to-state vehicle regulations.

      Window tinting on upscale cars and SUVs can cost well north of $1,000.

      From one place I know in NJ:

      https://tropictint.com/

    • @Alex
      Sir Mix-A-Lot would agree with your categorization of the precision required in the trade:
      Runnin’, movin’, tabs expired
      Girlies try to diss and say my car looks tired
      Hit my brakes, out slid Skittles
      Tinted back window with a bubble in the middle

    • B.I.: Thanks for that awesome video link! The subtitles definitely help. I think Kanye West’s Gold Digger is still the more important rap song for young people to study (depending on the state; maybe not in Nevada where custody is 50/50 by default and child support is capped at $13,000/year). But this one is surely the best on a window tint theme.

    • @BI: Oh, no doubt there’s a lot of hip hop being played in many of these cars, and they want their rides to look just like the videos and GTA. And they don’t want no bubble in the middle of the back window. But not limited to that by any stretch, and that’s why I can understand $60,000 a year and up to a tinter who is willing to work hard and hustle. It’s all location.

      If you’ve never driven through Jersey (or lived there like I did for a long time) there’s a car culture there like Southern Cali., just more Jack Nicholson. I could go into the ethnicities here but I might start World War IV.

      And everyone including the well-heeled want their ride lookin’ –===<<>>===—. Take a ride through some of the richest towns up in the clouds near Fort Lee and extending over toward NYC and NYS headed toward what used to be the Tappan Zee (now the Mario Cuomo) bridge. You will learn, Luke.

    • @BI: In the middle of the —===<<>>===— should be the word: “SWEET”

      Because that is how my best high school friend *always* wanted his 5.0 Mustang GT 5-speed to look. Immaculate. There was never any dust. There was never any grime. The windows were as dark as the law allowed, and the interior smelled like the vanilla perfume on a Las Vegas hooker. He was in high school and spent his money.

  5. I’m loving the current state of affairs, a rare employees market in late stage capitalism. Oh, how the tables have turned. If we were to frame things by using a job creators mentality turned against themselves, it might sound something like: Business owners weren’t properly prepared for a rainy day, and had to lay off or fire their employees, and now they find themselves ill prepared, unable to adapt and lacking the initiative to compete in a competitive marketplace.

    Sign me up for some record inflation so that some of my mortgage debt evaporates. Get ready for the massive correction! Good news for most American’s who owe more than they have saved.

    • Yeah, I guess all the surviving senior citizens on fixed incomes are going to be broke. (Although some of them own real estate, so they might be ok)

    • And conservative investment in real value creators now means loosing money. Only speculative “investment” make sense, it means next financial bubble. Doubtful that current state of affairs will lead to immediate higher salaries, the highest salary growth in upper quartile of salaries is about 7% annually average 3%. Nobody will be able to pay off mortgage off this. Most likely extra $300 per week from Uncle Sam and quitting jobs nd having free time to spend more money means higher level of indebtment.

  6. “I can’t hire anyone right now”

    Problem solved –

    Chamber of Commerce: Worker shortage can’t be solved without ramping up immigration
    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/06/02/economy/worker-shortage-immigration-chamber-of-commerce/index.html

    “As businesses grapple with record-high job openings, the US Chamber of Commerce is loudly calling on Washington to allow more foreign workers to legally enter the country.

    Neil Bradley, chief policy officer at the Chamber of Commerce, told CNN Business that the worker shortage can’t be solved in the long run without ramping up immigration…

    The Chamber is advocating for Congress and the White House to double the cap on employment-based visas, double the quota on H-1B visas for highly skilled temporary workers and H-2B visas for seasonal workers and take other steps to reform the immigration system…

    Citing “increased labor demands,” the Department of Homeland Security announced in April that it would increase the number of H-2B temporary visas to non-agricultural workers by 22,000…”

    • Why keep businesses on booze of lower then market price labor? Sometimes I agree with @seniorpablo, let them businesses , pay employees more, charge more or close. Maybe part that closes will supply deficit labor to the part that stays open. Why constant mercantile interventions from the government?

    • @DP: Not many people understand that this is the intent and the predictable consequence — except the people who made the policy. I’ll bet Larry Summers understands it. He’s kind of on the “outs” now with the Kamala Administration, though. Even NPR doesn’t listen to him anymore.

  7. Supporting “on the ground” evidence from a FB friend of mine who is an owner/operator independent trucker, and thus drives basically everywhere on the east coast. He’s seen a lot over the years, but nothing like this:

    “I can’t believe how many places I’ve been to over the last week from Pennsylvania down to Georgia I just can’t believe how many people are looking for workers I understand that you can stay home and make money but what happens when that runs out I’m seeing places that have been in business for 5060 years and you’re about to go out because they can’t find people to work you know I might be a lot of things but at least I got a good work ethic’s and I’m glad my parents and put that in my head.”

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