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Old 06-06-19, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
That's not the way it works.

Minimum wage employees walk, bike, take transit, drive old cheap cars, or get rides. Those employees are not compensated with pay for transportation.

People that make wages above minimum are paid for the job they are hired to do. Higher value to the employer gets that employee more money. That increase in money could be used to change that employee's housing-to-transportation cost ratio. Closer to work might mean more expensive housing, but potentially less expensive transportation. These employees are not compensated for transportation, they are paid a competitive rate based on what their job is and what part of the world the job is located.
The competitive rate is based on norms and standards that factor in costs of living. If costs of living are lower because overall transportation and infrastructure costs are lower in the economy as a whole, then that savings can be distributed across the spectrum of wage levels and industries.

The employers that do pay their employees compensation for transportation are usually employers that hire their employees to drive their own personal vehicles for the job.
Ok, I get it now. You are talking about explicitly compensating for transportation. That's not what I mean. I'm talking about transportation and infrastructure costs factoring into the general cost of living implicitly.

Like has already been mentioned, transit infrastructure is paid for by the people with taxes*, bonds, and tolls.
Mostly by businesses, actually, who pass the costs on to their customers as higher prices, rents, fees, etc.

Sure, cost of living is part of what has driven wages up, and you touched on housing which is a big part of it. Plus, the USA has some pretty high living standards even if you leave cars and housing out of the picture. How many of us would go without air conditioning, smart phones, the internet, etc. One landline phone per household sure is cheaper than four smartphones in the same house. My bills certainly were much smaller back when all I had was a land line phone and books to read. So were everyone else's bills too.
All those things are separate issue from transportation and infrastructure costs. The costs of everything would go down if driving went down to a fraction of total transportation, because large numbers of people would simply not need as much money to afford the same standard of living as they did when they drove. Prices would be lower and so would their personal transportation costs.

Many people would reject this, however, because they are easily tricked into believing that less efficient things are worth more because they are more wasteful; like when people pay more for less concentrated laundry soap because the bottle is bigger so they think they're getting more for their money when in fact the number of washes they get from the bottle is the same as a smaller bottle with more concentrated soap.
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