Living wage policies have been established in cities, counties, school districts, states and other public agencies throughout the country to lift workers out of poverty. Most living wage laws set minimum wage and benefit standards for public contracts, subsidies and leaseholders on public land. Several are based upon a geographic zone. Today there are over 150 such laws in place.
Cry Wolf Quotes
The living wage movement has become the latest effort to impose socialism on the United States, one city at a time.
…the stated goal behind the living wage movement is poverty reduction, and many of the ordinances mandate a wage that would lift a family of four above the poverty level. However, as with minimum wage increases, economic studies have shown that living wage mandates do more harm than good to those living in poverty through resulting job elimination and shifting entry-level jobs from lower-skilled workers to higher-skilled workers.
Living wage proposals are economically unfair because they change the basis on which our economy operates. Instead of allowing the market forces to determine pay, living wages put the interests of employees above all other consideration…and they base wages on what the worker wants instead of on the value of work performed.
This is bad news for cities. The living wage poses a big threat to their economic health, because the costs and restrictions it imposes on the private sector will destroy jobs —especially low-wage jobs — and send businesses fleeing to other locales.
Related Laws and Rules
The Economic Impact of Local Living Wages
The Economic Policy Institute finds that the costs of living wage ordinances are often overestimated.
Examining the Evidence: The Impact of the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance on Workers and Employers
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy: The LA living wage ordinance brought a pay raise to 10,000 workers, most of whom were poor.
Backgrounders & Briefs
Political Economy Research Institute is a think tank focused on a variety of subjects such as diverse financial regulation, living wages and environmental protection.
University of California-Berkeley Labor Center carries out research on labor and workplace-related issues.
The National Employment Law Project is an organization that promotes economically just public policy in the face of the prevailing trends of the law several decades.