Wages Essay

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Living Wages
Introduction
Over the past decade, politicians have sought to reform the national poverty levels by lobbying for what is frequently referred to as a living wage. Living wages, on the most elementary level, are the absolute minimum a person must make per year or per hour to stay above the federal poverty level. While the number of people that receive living wages is still small, Wood (2002) suggests that this is a trend that is gaining momentum across the United States because it may help reduce employee turnover and increase worker productivity.

Living wages became a hot topic in 1994 when Baltimore, Maryland officials adopted a policy that required all companies that received public funds or worked on…show more content…

When the first minimum wage law was enacted in 1938, www.reponsiblewealth.org (2005) asserts that legislators reasoned that good paying jobs would increase consumer purchasing power, the notion that the economy can be healthy if wages are held synthetically high, which in turn would stimulate the creation of more jobs. This act was in the decade of the Great Depression, and people were struggling for necessities.

However, along the same line, people working for minimum wage today are not technically struggling to make ends meet in the first place. About 64 percent of people earning minimum wage in today's society are not the sole supporters of the family; they are children living at home with their parents. The people we, as society, consider to be poor are truly benefiting from living wages. According to Malanga, (2003) a recent study completed on low-wage workers in California found that 80 percent moved up the economic ladder in the 1990's with their income almost doubling to $27,194. Forty percent of the "poor" in California own their own home, 97 percent own color televisions, 66 percent have air conditioning, and about seven in ten own cars.

The steep wage increases brought about because of living wage laws are increasing the quality of the worker's lives, obviously bringing them slightly out of poverty and placing

First Claim Paragraph

 

 

 

The debates about the minimum wage in our society revolve around a variety of [choose one or more: economic, political, ethical] perspectives. 

 

 

  • Economic issues related to the minimum wage include enforcing a basic standard of living for the poorest class of workers, raising the average earnings in an economy and stimulating economic growth by encouraging more spending among those receiving a minimum wage. 
  • Political issues related to the middle wage principle involve the amount of power a government has to regulate businesses and the role of lawmakers in providing a fair wage to the poorest workers. 
  • Ethical concerns related to the middle wage include the perspective that those who work the lowest paying jobs should be able to afford a basic and decent standard of living, and that lawmakers have an ethical responsibility to address the needs of the lowest paid workers. 
  • Legal issues related to the minimum wage include determining the set value for the minimum wage in an ever-changing economy and making decisions about when to change or update the minimum wage. 

 

 

Wikinvest.com Reference Page on the Minimum Wage Principle

 

United States Department of Labor Information on the Minimum Wage

 

U.C. Davis Center for Poverty Research: History of the Minimum Wage

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