Friday, November 08, 2013

Implications of living wage

I have noticed that the living wage is now being touted as the level of income necessary to participate in society. I heard a British proponent using this phrase on NewstalkZB yesterday and here is an earlier reference:
A Living Wage of $18.40 an hour is being launched today - that allows people to have the basics but still participate in society.
This is the exact language used in the 1972 Royal Commission on Social Policy which recommended  benefit levels should be set at a level  "which would enable [beneficiaries] to participate in and belong to the community (Royal Commission of Inquiry 1972:65)..."

So as the living wage gets progressively rolled out, the implications for the benefit system are obvious.

(It might be argued that rather than allowing people to participate in society, benefits allow people to not participate. The need to support themselves and their families through paid work and family networks is often what draws people into society. In some cases benefits allow people to drop out of society.)


Mark Hubbard said...

There's a range or problems (the top of which are philosophical) with a basic living wage.

If such a wage is set to truly provide all the basics of life, including, to use the applied terms, participation, then how many will choose not to bother being responsible for themselves, and to live off those forced to pay it?

I don't know what that number would be at the inception of a living wage, but I do know that over time the number will grow, and after a certain stage when the culture has been changed away from a classical liberal ethic, that growth will be exponential.

Proof: our current welfare state.

Allistar said...

If parents are not providing the basics for their children yet they smoke, drink, own a TV or a cell phone - are they guilty of child abuse? Will a "living wage" make a difference, or will such households see more unnecessary items being purchased while their children still go without?

Anonymous said...

What evidence is there that this is what is required? The Treasury report suggested it was based on very little.

Their graph 10 shows that for some reason we need more relative to GDP per head than anywhere else and in exchange rate terms we need more money than people living in London, the rest of Britain, and New York. Yeah right that's credible!

(Sorry I couldn't copy the graph in)


sharihyder said...

"A Living Wage" - my my, does not that bring feelings of warm fuzziness, and a sense of righteousness? Liberals have a great way of substituting words to invoke feelings of betterment. Take the word 'welfare'. Liberals have chosen the word 'benefit' as replacement. I must admit 'living wage' sounds a lot better than 'minimum wage'. Have a look at Thomas Sowell's 2 part article entitled 'Minimum Wage Madness'. Anyone who cannot understand why increasing minimum wage will lead to higher unemployment, please post a response. It's always good to talk.

Anonymous said...

Bludgers don't deserve to "participate in society".

It really is that simple.