Talk:Living wage

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Definition[edit]

The opening line of this article "Living wage is a term used to describe the minimum hourly wage necessary for a person to enter the wealthy or affluent range." is hideously biased. Living wage has never had anything whatsoever to do with wealth or affluence, it was originated so that people did not work full time and suffer homelessness and starvation.


from Webster's Dictionary

living wage Function:noun Date:1860 1 : a subsistence wage 2 : a wage sufficient to provide the necessities and comforts essential to an acceptable standard of living

52.129.8.47 (talk) 17:08, 27 July 2009 (UTC)bjl610@comcast.net


Yeah, this really reads like an encyclopedia entry. Trey Stone 05:38, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Contradiction[edit]

Doesn't there seem to be a problem here?

"San Francisco, California, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Madison, Wisconsin have notably passed very wide-reaching living wage ordinances."

"Living wage laws typically only cover businesses that receive this type of assistance or have contracts with the government. epi.org"

Salvor Hardin 13:02, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

There's no contradiction - most ordinances are contractor and business assistance only. A few are area-wide. Thus the "typically" in the epi quote.

Ok, but that seems like a pretty lame response to the criticism when it offers counterexamples earlier in the article.

Salvor Hardin 02:09, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Opposition/Criticism[edit]

I feel that there should be a section on criticism of the living wage concept. Many people are critical of it. Some criticisms include that each person's living wage is different, that the living wage can change rapidly (depending ones lifestyle), and that many politicians attempt to define the minimum wage at unrealistic rates. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.198.218.36 (talk) 22:06, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Living wage is being defined without regard to the an individual's ability to choose other employment or travel to obtain better employment. It's primary tenet seems to be that any job, regardless of skill level or experience required, should pay enough to raise a family. No consideration is given to the very real possibility that as minimum "living" wages increases, so too will the cost of goods and services produced by those people enjoying such a wage. People of education and experience will then, unsurprisingly, demand higher wages for themselves. Leading to inflation - and higher expenses for those making the new wage. Which they will then be unhappy with....ad nauseum. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.35.3.95 (talk) 02:52, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Chart Removal?[edit]

Should the charts be removed? They deal with Minimum Wage, not Living Wage - which is quite different. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.95.53.167 (talk) 17:21, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Living wage and minimum wage are, economically, identical. Non-economists tend to use the term "living wage" when they mean a minimum wage that attains a basic standard of living. Wikiant (talk) 21:29, 31 January 2008 (UTC):
I agree with removal. The living wage concept is not primarily an economic one, but a concept of justice. The charts do not address the consequences of a minimum wage that is calculated as a "living wage". Pustelnik (talk) 18:03, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Whether the wage is forced above its equilibrium in the name of justice or in the name of economics is irrelevant to the result. The charts highlight two questions re justice: (1) does the increase in the wages of some justify the disemployment of others; (2) does the increase in the wages of some justify a disproportinate disemployment among the less skilled vs. the more skilled? Wikiant (talk) 20:24, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Professor Kim Swales's work[edit]

Someone has removed the material I put in on this. Why? It seems apposite, and unless there is a sound reason, if I reinstate it and it gets removed again, that sounds like vandalism. P.M.Lawrence203.194.54.27 (talk) 09:05, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

If you look at the edit summary, you'll see that I removed the passage and asked that you submit a (reputable) journal reference. The passage looks like ego-spam. Wikiant (talk) 12:47, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
It would have been more constructive to raise the matter here, rather than going by your impressions. See Talk:Minimum wage for a fuller reply. P.M.Lawrence 203.221.28.105 (talk) 07:48, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Economists' Views[edit]

There has been some disagreement as to whether or not this passage from the citation: "Similarly, 90 percent of economists agreed that “a minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers.”" supports the sentence, "The majority of economists argue that basic economic theory suggests a mandated minimum price for labor, a "living wage," is harmful to low-wage workers and increases unemployment." I don't understand the problem with this. Wikiant (talk) 23:01, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

If you have trouble understanding the concept that this Living wage article only concerns the topic of "living wage" rather than the topic of "minimum wage", then perhaps you're out of your league in making edits here. J.R. Hercules (talk) 23:14, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
It baffles me why people who are likely otherwise reasonable and respectible folk become incredibly rude when sitting behind a keyboard. Please note the passage in question, "...economists argue that basic economic theory suggests a mandated minimum price..." A "mandated minimum price" for labor is, by definition, a minimum wage. Wikiant (talk) 23:37, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but your response is horribly condescending and totally unhelpful, Mr. J.R. His point is a totally fair and valid one. I also see you as being willfully misunderstanding, for the sake of being argumentative and disagreeable. The concept of a living wage (this is in the article as well) is a concept that there is a certain wage required for a person enjoy a standard basket of necessities like housing, food, etc. As the article goes on to point out, advocates for this living wage see workers as entitled to this wage as a measure of social justice. Wikiant correctly points out that advocating laborers receive at least a living wage is exactly equivalent to raising the nominal minimum wage; one must identify what the living wage is and make sure workers are not consistently getting compensated below this level. You arguing this is conceptually different from a minimum wage makes yourself look foolish, and "living wage" advocates as sorely misunderstanding of the science of economics. 76.230.209.70 (talk) 21:30, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
I believe that you and J.R. Hercules are the ones being unnecessarily rude. Whether Wikiant is right or wrong, you should assume it is a fair mistake and not call him "foolish" or be telling him to pick another field.J1812 (talk) 22:13, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Catholic Social Teachings[edit]

Should how a living wage relates to Catholicism be the FIRST section on this topic? While I agree that it is significant, I don't think it is the primary focus of the concept of a living wage. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ochbad (talkcontribs) 06:45, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

fixed Hugh (talk) 23:58, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Recentism[edit]

There's a fair bit of recentism creeping into the article, and a lack of international perspective. This article isn't "US advocacy for a living wage", but "Living wage". Scholar demonstrates that there is plenty of material to consult. Searching "Harvester living wage" is illuminating. Fifelfoo (talk) 21:22, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

"Subsistence wage" usage by economic historians[edit]

Economic historians use the term to mean literal, biological subsistence. This is roughly 3 dollars a day in real wages, multiple families in one room, clothes of rags, minimum calories and so on. This "biological" subsistence is a tiny fraction of the "subsistence wage" in real terms.

I'd like to see this difference clarified, the difference between subsistence as economic historians use it and subsistence as this article seems to use. Perhaps they could be separate articles. — Preceding unsigned comment added by J1812 (talkcontribs) 16:55, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

I've just noticed that term "subsistence wage" is unsourced, and all the sources use "living wage" as their title. So the easier solution might be to contest it, assuming that it's usage here is a mistake.J1812 (talk) 17:03, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Can a living wage work? We can plug in a good example into models to find out for sure...[edit]

By definition, a living wage is such a wage that is set up to provide a minimum level of pay regardless of employment status.

It is a hotly debated concept since it ties into capitalist beliefs and concerns with minimum wage observations. Here's how we might test the concept to see if it does work.

The best way in computer terms of implementing a concept like a minimum living wage is to divide the populous earning income as follows:

0 income is covered by top 1% earners

bottom 1-2% earners covered by top 2-1% earners

bottom 2-3% earners covered by top 3-2% earners ....

if minimum standard of living is equal to, say, 20,000 US dollars, works out to equation:

E (sum of squares), i = 0, n = 99;

function() = if (avg_income(i) <= 20,000) [ ( ((20,000-avg_income(i)) * pop(i)) / (average_income(n-i) * pop(n-i)) ]

Results in pop(n-i)'th taxation to cover pop(i)

As we can run this on top of a tax structure, we can plug it into any economic model, make adjustments, and see the results until all models suggest a satisfactory outcome. Of course, this would be a separate tax that can be implemented in less dramatic ways, or it could also be funded by corporate taxation. Those are varying options, but here is the point to realizing this:

Plugging in data to mathematical models is no error in logic. It will either confirm an economic model or invalidate it - along with any law, variance, or assumption. This is a way to prove or disprove the notion of a living wage, what its affects might be and are likely to be - and this is how you convert a concept to agreement and consensus, challenge economic belief which is in dire need, and advance from concept to real world use.

Of course, nations could always mandate education attendance or retraining requirements as long as that is also provided free, and you could use a similar tax structure as this to enable that, but these are variances of implementation that are reliant on social values and societal values, and can safely be ignored in this example. All we should be concerned with is validating/proving the concept of a living wage, validating its affects and outcomes.

If this is not done, I am sure the argument and debate will rage on without ever being seriously considered or implemented. It is my assumption capitalist societies will be required to implement something similar to a living wage to remain fiscally viable with the continuance of technology and robotics replacing or eliminating human labor.

A capitalist society running on, for Bill Gate's recent example, of only 15% of its current labor participation rate has no way of even funding or financing itself. Interestingly enough, we should never reach that point of 15% of today's labor rates; I would expect complete market failure well before 30-40% participation...

97.88.168.200 (talk) 05:57, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Confusion[edit]

These lines in the lead: "In addition to this definition, living wage activists further define a living wage as the wage equivalent to the poverty line for a family of four. This is two adults working full-time with one child age 9 and another of age 4." seem to contradict this: "This usually works out to be $3 to $7 above the federal minimum wage" as 2 full time workers in a family of 4 would only need to make $5.9625 an hour to meet the first definition.

Further confusion[edit]

The opening sentence states:

"[A] living wage is the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs. This is not necessarily the same as subsistence, which refers to a biological minimum, though the two terms are commonly confused"

but subsistence wage is redirected to this Living wage article! If subsistence and a subsistence wage are not to be confused with a living wage, should there be a separate subsistence wage article? BobKilcoyne (talk) 08:25, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

That's discussed in an earlier post: Talk:Living_wage#.22Subsistence_wage.22_usage_by_economic_historians
Alyssa3467 (talk) 16:27, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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Merger proposal[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was to merge Living wage in the United Kingdom into this article. Polly Tunnel (talk) 10:56, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

I would like to propose that the Living wage in the United Kingdom article should be merged into the Living wage#United Kingdom section of this Living Wage article. The one-paragraph summary here could easily be expanded using the content from that article, which is not very large. There is no other article called "Living wage in…" (a particular country) and it seems unnecessary to maintain one just for that one country. Polly Tunnel (talk) 11:49, 2 April 2016 (UTC)


The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Wrong interwiki links[edit]

This article is linked to wrong articles in other languages such Português, Galego and Spanish were is linked to extrema pobreza (extreme poverty) instead of the correct meaning salario vital.--P2prules (talk) 01:41, 21 October 2016 (UTC)