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I've always considered cost of living a personal choice. Granted prices of essential goods and services tend to rise, but to agree that one is deserving of a raise due to changes in personal lifestyle seems to contradict what I am trained to do: pay for the duties of the job and any additional value the employee's skill set brings.

Right, wernst. If increases in family lifestyle costs affect wages and salaries, it will show up in the pay surveys. Follow the competitive labor market surveys and you also follow the "local living cost" pattern, insofar as it is relevant to labor costs. Personal choices control the spending budgets based on available cash from all family members, savings and credit draws. Wish I could work for some fool who would pay me according to my spending preferences!

I suspect Jim already has a variation of this on one of his "lists" somewhere, but I always got a laugh out of a sage old phrase my dad liked to verbalize:

He used to say that he wished he could hire people for what HE thought they were worth - and sell them for what THEY thought they were worth.

Probably a subliminal driver that predisposed me to go into the area of compensation (thanks alot, dad).

Wise man, your pop.

Believe Elliott Jaques was the guy found that felt-fair pay perception sensitivity ran 90% to 120%. Any wage or salary below 90% of what you feel is fair results in behavioral change on the job. Any wage of salary above 120% of what you feel is fair is the upper trigger point. The thinking is pretty obvious, and the trend to overvalue yourself has been confirmed by behavioral economists like Dan Ariely, too.

My wife just had a baby. My house is being foreclosed on.

Don: Wouldn't those "need" excuses be covered by #6, Cost of Living? They actually are more compelling than "I want to buy a bigger house," but I still just consider those examples of the "I want more money to spend on things" argument.

Should "I want it" be a separate category of rationales for a raise? It doesn't offer any justification to support the request beyond simple self-interest.

A funnier variation on some of the above would have been, my house is having a baby and my wife is being foreclosed on. Plus, I think it's more emotionally evocative.

And finally, once again timing is everything - especially since I spotted this over the weekend: http://dilbert.com/strip/2016-05-07

Pretty sure this was torn from somewhere on the Brennan List.

Ha! All but the last panel with the great punch line that I accidentally evoked in another blog yesterday, Chris, saying "You only deserve what you earn for yourself." But re your variation: obviously, you have been working too hard again.

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