Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Living wage

During our 3 January meeting, we agreed to discuss a living wage at our 10 January meeting. There are lots of ways to approach that topic, but here are some suggested questions for discussion:

What is a living wage? I suggest that we not spend much time on how much a living wage should be in Dollars, but instead focus on the economic, social, and political concepts behind the idea of a living wage, and whether and how those concepts might differ from those behind the ideas of a minimum wage or a guaranteed minimum income.

Who would support a mandated living wage? Why? Who would oppose such a mandate? Why?

Who would/should bear the economic burden of paying for a living wage? Employers? Consumers? Taxpayers in general?

Most, if not all, living wage mandates in the US so far have been at the municipal level. What are the economic and political implications of a locally-mandated living wage?

What might be the economic, social, and political implications of mandating a living wage at the state or federal level?

Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen.” Karl Marx (and many others)

The Wikipedia entry for a living wage (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_wage) is long, but pretty thorough for our purposes. The following are a few articles I found that might be of interest:

Romeo living wage


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