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Earning Purchasing Power

One of the great limitations that affect all human beings is that of time. We cannot earn, buy, or make more time, no matter the wage or salary scale upon which one’s income is based. That is as true for us as it is for factory workers, for coffee cooperative members or crafts makers. Time is the true limitation of all human beings.


Purchasing power is based on the concept of time. The Purchasing Power Index (PPI) translates costs into units called minPP or minutes of purchasing power. The minPP unit is based on the 60 minute per hour standard.


Any worker paid for working a:
40-hour week - earns - 2400 minPP per week
45-hour week - earns - 2700 minPP per week
48-hour week - earns - 2880 minPP per week

The earning of purchasing power can be calculated for any number of hours per week, as long as there is payment for the hours. Therefore when salaried workers work overtime and do not receive extra compensation they do not earn additional purchasing power. What varies as wages, prices and/or inflation increase or decrease is the cost in minPP for any item that needs to be purchased.


Therefore, to determine a Sustainable Living Wage or a Sustainable Living Income, each and all of the necessities of a worker and his/her family must be obtainable through the purchasing power that the worker's wage provides.


The Sustainable Living Wage or the Sustainable Living Income

  • meets present basic needs, including health care and education

  • provides ability to participate in culturally required activities such as births, weddings, and funerals.

  • allows for savings for future needs


The Purchasing Power Index (PPI)

  • calculates the minutes of work at a specific wage that are required to purchase a specific item

  • is expressed in minutes of purchasing power, or minPP


The 40-hour work week results in 2400 minutes of purchasing power (minPP) earned in a given week.

The 50-hour work week results in 3000 minutes of purchasing power (minPP) earned in a given week. Any change in wages and/or prices and/or inflation changes the number of minutes of purchasing power required for any item.

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