Living Wage in South Dakota should be at $22.50 per hour

I have been advocating for a long time that living wage in South Dakota, especially Sioux Falls should probably be nipping the heels of $20.00 per hour, imagine my surprise when this report came out;

This means that of the 50 states, (Puerto Rico and D.C. are not included) South Dakota is one which costs the least to survive in. But how does a $9.95 minimum wage match up to a $45,000 living wage?

Assuming a 40-hour work week, and 50 working weeks per year, a $9.95 wage comes to $19,900 per year. To match the living wage for South Dakota, the minimum wage would need to rise to $22.50/hour.

Our cost of living adjustments are also very high (notice housing);

While we have a governor who blabs about liberty and freedom and a mayor who decries ‘wage inflation’ you can tell the reality is that we lag very far behind and don’t look to their supposed leadership to help the situation. It’s time to start electing representation that wants to make changes instead of coddle the business elites, hospital industrial complex, and welfare developers.


#1 Very Stable Genius on 12.29.21 at 9:22 pm

Isn’t a significant increase in the mayor’s pay a form of wage inflation, too?

#2 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.30.21 at 1:29 am

This report is just another Democrat/Liberal attempt to force the community to raise businesses to raise their costs in one night. You do that, and you will have inflation like none other over night, and it would damage our economy faster than you can say the word “Wages”

First off, I contend the ‘true living wage” in South Dakota is closer to $15,600 dollars a year, or $7.50 per hour. I have managed my lifestyle now for more than 30 years and have always sustained my “Basic Living Style” at/or around that figure. Yes, I am single, but at the same time, a married couple would have dual income of a minimum of $31,200 @ $7.50/hour.

After “federal taxes” removed from that income, you are speaking of an annual net income of $14,040 dollars. That is more than enough to pay for Rent @ 7,800 dollars; Electricity @ $453 dollars; Car Insurance @ $780 dollars; and Food $4,200 dollars for a grand total of $13,233 dollars in annual “basic living expenses.

Now, couple that with the South Dakota Minimum Wage of $9.95 per hour, and you expanded your net income to roughly $17,592 dollars a year, or an increase of $3,551 dollars. Figuring, you keep your Rent, Electricity, Car Insurance, and Food expenses roughly the same from year to year, you are good.

What can you use the additional $3,551 annual income for – Investments in Healthcare @ 3,900 a year.

Also taking into account the average Business is currently paying “employees” between $10 to $17.50 Per hour, I think the wages are fine in South Dakota.

When discussing a “Basic Living Wage” – you need to really speak of only those “Basic Living Expenses” for the most basic and cheapest places to live, let alone, NOT living beyond your means, but reinvesting your time and energy by seeking out additional income elsewhere – part time jobs, additional capital assets, self employment income, etc-etc.

Fact is, a person living on $9.95 hourly wage can in fact live very basically, just fine.

#3 D@ily Spin on 12.30.21 at 9:16 am

The wage market is in the process of defining itself. Businesses need workers so badly they’ll pay $12/hour or even higher. It’s important that government assess the cost of living but mostly albeit for taxation levels and fairness. COVID got people used to staying home looking for welfare advantage. Indeed, a welfare mom with 5 kids has it better staying home. Marriage has become unpopular partly because of divorce laws but also because a dad can sneak out the back way when social services shows up. There’s been cultural change. The population got tired of excess taxation, government waste, and irrelevant overseas military action. It’s getting hard to find patriots who appreciate their freedom.

#4 rufusx on 12.30.21 at 10:39 am

From the study cited; “South Dakota has the 29th highest cost of living.” That does not = “….one which costs the least to survive in….” (from the KELO quote). Seems to me that the KELO reporter(s) haven’t a clue that being 29th of 51 is right in the middle of the bunch – not one of the lowest cost. There are 22 states where it costs less to survive.

#5 rufusx on 12.30.21 at 10:43 am

ziterrich – so you are uninsured and qualify for food stamps and that’s how you’re able to survive – on the backs of others.

#6 rufusx on 12.30.21 at 10:44 am

ziterrich – PS – how do you survive the winters naked and shoeless?

#7 $9.95 on 12.30.21 at 10:47 am

A few years ago, my son “worked” at HyVee making pizzas in their deli. He was making over $11 an hour as a 16 year old with zero experience. He quit because he was bored just standing there waiting to take orders. Who the hell is actually making $9.95 per hour-other than high school kids-and why are they still working there?

And, this whole living wage thing is going to get ugly if the R’s can’t control the moron in the Whitehouse (or whoever has their hand us his ass)

#8 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.30.21 at 11:56 am

RUFSX – I dont understand the questions you asked me, I do not think the same as you evidently, for 30 years of life, or those years since Graduating Highschool, I have done a fairly great job of “income management”. I routinely keep a financial spreadsheet for every month of the year, and I itemize all my daily expenses for 365 days. I think I know what my “basic living costs” are as compared to my Entertainment Lifestyle, and Other Investments in areas of Healthcare, Retirement, etc.

I have never lived beyond my means, and when I want or need excessive income for other things, I expand my income in a number of manners.

Also Note: By Managing myself in a commercial sense, introduces another ‘factor’ – the Federal Income Tax drama, When I decided to become SELF EMPLOYED in 2001 providing my labor to my family repair shop, it removed me from that “employee status” to be a self employed person taking a % of the company’s profits. I then in 2015 got my very own Used Dealer License to act as my own business of buying and selling used cars, while at the same time, I often took those part time jobs to help inrease my gross income/revenue.

Your biggst savings is the amont you can ‘save’ from paying Federal INcome Tax by making yourself as much a commercial perosn as possible, everything I do is always in relation to business, so that effectively lowered by “basic cost of living” even further, due to the major expense writeoffs you can take, #1 – the Self Employment Tax itself, which allows one to claim 50% of that ‘tax’ as a write off. For most people, thats a huge write off, that and you got depreciation of assets, and the losses you incur.

All in all, I have kept my basic lifestyle to under $20,000, but inreased my private lifestyule to $26,000 to include my favorite hobbies such as Camping, going to movies, and dining out with friends.

You asked how I fund my Healthcare and Retirement – well, easily, my business becomes my largest source for ‘retirement capital; so I keep my income invested there, additionally, I take any excess profits not used and dump then in TRUSTS, 1 for healthcare, and 1 for Retirement.

I am not sure about you, but I think I manage myself quite fine, although the “Democrat COVID Pandemic” hurt the economy for 2020, which forced me to take on additionals to sustain myself. I guess, that is something that most refuse to do – “EXPAND THEIR INCOME”

And lastly – I have never lived off the government, I refuse to not take Tax Subsidies, Credits, etc, I refuse to take any kind of Federal or State Welfare. Instead, I simply work as much as necessary to generate as much income as possible, and I dont care if it pays $1 dollar per per job or $5 per hour or $20/hour. IT all goes to the same bank account – MY COMMERCIAL ACCOUNT. This allows me to manage my money as I wish, avoiding as “Much” tax as possible which I now can reinvest where I wish the money to go. ALl in how, my Basic Life Expneses remain @ $15,000 a year.

You put to much stock in ‘hourly wages” – without no due understanding on how to manage your lifestyle.

#9 "Workin' at the Car Wash, Yeah!" on 12.30.21 at 2:17 pm

Mike, how many miles do you have on that ’64 Mercury Comet that you still drive?

#10 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.30.21 at 3:22 pm

I have never owned any Mercury, thanks for asking.

I have only had 5 cars in my life –

1983 Honda Civic Hatchback; 1986 Buick Somerset; 1980 Chevy Silverado Pick Up; 1993 Isuzu Trooper; a 2008 Toyota Rav 4.

All vehicles had 180,000 to 200,000 miles on them. Today, I do not officially personally own any vehicles, I simply BUY and SELL USED CARS. I buy them, clean them, fix them up, drive them, sell them.

I wont buy any vehicle newer than 10 years old, cause its just a waste of money. I buy what i believe my customers want, what they can afford, and I try to help as many people as necessary, as well as provide decent used cars between 150-200,000 miles.

I prefer: Pontiacs, Chevys, Fords, Toyotas, and Hondas.

Thank You for Your Concern,

#11 Very Stable Genius on 12.30.21 at 4:45 pm

I would like to begin by offering some theme music for my comment here. I suggest that you open an additional tab for this. I don’t mean to be condescending, but actually I just recently learned how to do this. 😉 …. :

Let me begin by commenting on this assertion:

“And, this whole living wage thing is going to get ugly if the R’s can’t control the moron in the Whitehouse (or whoever has their hand us his ass)”

When you say “ugly”, what you are really talking about is inflation and not “this whole living wage thing”. The twlwt is nothing but a by-product of our inflation and the inflation to come. But we were over due for a inflationary period in our history. So, I am not surprised that it is finally happening. But how it is happening is interesting. I think that if Trump had been re-elected our inflation right now would not be as bad, but that would be because of his inevitable failure under Trump in rolling out a successful vaccine program, which would have caused the consequences of covid to be continually greater and thus damaging to the reopening of our economy. Simply said, Biden’s inflation is a by-product of his successful, or more successful vaccine program. Trump’s program would have been a disaster. Hell, Trump even kept quiet his own shots, while he likes to boast about the vaccine being his own single-handed creation.

Now, let’s talk about Mike. Mike makes an argument which my late stepfather (RIP) used to make often, and he was conservative too. I’ll call it the: “Why isn’t everyone else like me argument?” Conservatives often do this when dealing with public policy, which is totally contradictory to their capitalistic beliefs of identifying a market then manipulating and profiting from it. The failures that Mike identifies in people are what makes capitalism to work actually. If everyone did what Mike wants us to do, then the economy would shrink and collapse causing even greater economic hardship and a lack of jobs and better paying ones at that.

A smart capitalist, and I think it is very ironic that it takes a liberal to preach this, understands that you accept economic behaviorism, but try to manipulate it for the sake of good public policy, like paying people a decent wage so they can have dignity, self-reliance, and the ability to interact with the greater economy, so that the economy grows like a smart capitalist wants it to do.

Now, the best way to do this is make sure that people are paid a living wage, and that we do not have a economic development program, locally or nationally, that is predatory through things like low wages, but rather promotes decent capitalism or a form of capitalism which promotes a valued product and a valued means of production.

Because, all of the good that we have in our society is a product of past good, or integrity, and when we do not recognize this and continue, or increasingly, to promote bad, predatory, and indifferent economic policy, then our policies, intentionally or not, become a cancer which then begins to eat away at the greater good, or the foundation of a fair but competitive form of capitalism which is decent and not predatory, and offers a valued product whether that product is a tangible item and/or a fulfilling job.

( – and Woodstock adds: “‘…if Trump had been re-elected’?”…. “Jiminy Cripes don’t even go there man!”… (“Although recent polls have him 8 points ahead of Biden right now, which the media doesn’t want to talk about”… (“God help us!” ….))) #TrumpWithInflation #BadNews #InverseWeimarianHitler

#12 Angry Guy on 12.30.21 at 5:10 pm

zitteRICH… I think the word you are looking for is EMBEZELMENT.

“IT all goes to the same bank account – MY COMMERCIAL ACCOUNT. This allows me to manage my money as I wish, avoiding as “Much” tax as possible which I now can reinvest where I wish the money to go. ALl in how, my Basic Life Expneses remain @ $15,000 a year.”

#13 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 12.30.21 at 5:38 pm

To reduce vehicle expenses, due too lower wages, Mike wants us all to open-up an used-car lot, but then who would buy our cars? #IllBuyYourCarIfYoullBuyMine

#14 Further Fear & Loathing on 12.30.21 at 5:44 pm

’86 Buick Somerset? Did you buy that one off of a dead grandma?

#15 rufusx on 12.30.21 at 10:42 pm

zittereich, sounds to me like you’re living the Cuban life – and I don’t mean Mark – or in Miami. If the US economy were based on your preferences, it’d be like Cuba’s. onlky high-level government officials would have new cars. Everybody else – stuck in the ’50’s.

#16 Very Stable Genius on 12.31.21 at 10:15 am

Say, I wonder if Mike might know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy who can hook me up with a rebuilt carburetor for my ’57 Chevy? That’s how they do it in Havana:

( and Woodstock adds: “Say, is it fair to say that the difference between a deprived communist and a frugal capitalist is that the latter calls such a reality freedom?”…. )

#17 Mike Lee Zitterich on 12.31.21 at 5:09 pm

I cant believe how much some of you like to disagree with how people manage their lifestyles. MY LABOR is my labor. I can commercialize it in order to invest in myself anyway I wish to. You cannot embezzle from oneself. IT is your money. Have no idea where that came from. I think I understand how to separate my “Commercial Expenses” from my “Personal Expenses”. I been doing this for 30 years. I am not telling you how to manage your life, but you people need to learn how the “system” all works. Those of us who “invests” in our labor, our capital assets, property, land, retirement, healthcare, education tend to pay less federal income taxes than those who do not.

Instead of attacking the messenger, maybe you should learn how to do as some of us already do. Learn how to “commercialize” your labor, your name, separating yourself from your ‘commercial identity”.

I have the right to sell my labor as a Commercial Identity, investing my Gross Income in Capital Assets such as Tools, Supplies, Inventory, Equipment, Clothing-Uniforms, Advertising My Name, My Vehicle(s), Cell Phone, Internet, etc-etc. What is left over is my “PROFIT” or “GAIN” which is then taxed as Personal Income (net income).

If you dont know this by now, then I have no idea how to help you.

And to that person who wants to know where I got my 1986 Buick Somerset, why does it matter to you what kind of car I drive? I loved that car, I will never borrow money to buy a car, I rather pay $1,000 to $2,000 for a car, drive it for a period of 5 years, sell it, and go buy another one. I never told you to go in business of a USED CAR LOT, I simply told you what I do, and dont do.

Perhaps if some of you would stop bitching about “WAGES”, you may figure out how to escape from being a “Wage Slave” by taking control of your own LABOR a your very own “Commercial Identity” doing whatever it is you love to do.

Turn those ‘wages’ into Capital, thus financing your own “Commercial” identity, allowing you to reinvest that capital back into your own “Commercial Expenses” which of course become assets, assets that turn into future income.

Relax, Enjoy Life, Have Fun,

#18 Rambling Guy on 12.31.21 at 9:16 pm

Over in Minnesota, a “Commercial” is what we call a hot roast beef dinner with bread, gravy, and smash potatoes here. Personally, I don’t care to be carved up by the capitalists and served. But it might not bother some, for themselves, that is. To each their own. Our mayor wants us to stay away from gravy, however, which makes this topic rather dry if you ask me and less of a true “Commercial” at that.

#19 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 12.31.21 at 9:20 pm

I once knew a woman who was into “commercialization”. She could always be found at the same street corner for shop talk, or was that just conversation.