Living wage ordinances typically set a wage above the federal minimum wage, but they only apply to businesses that service receive state contracts or recieve assisstance from the government. Living wage policies are meant to ensure that workers recieve enough income to secure basic amoynts of food shelter, transport, medical needs and other necessities.
Cry Wolf Quotes
…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.
Maryland legislators’ good intentions do not change the fact that living wages result in job loss, particularly among the less skilled and less educated.
The quickest way to kill jobs is to have this ordinance pass. It is dumb and dangerous.
The ordinance would cost the city [Chicago] nearly $20 million per year. The city would spend more than 20% of this amount ($4.2 million) on the administrative costs of certification, monitoring, and enforcement of the ordinance. This $20 million cost would require a permanent tax increase on citizens of Chicago.
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.