There is no such thing as a living wage


June 16, 2014 12:42PM

I am quite frankly fed up hearing about how America needs to provide a living wage for all its workers. The talking points from the Left are that companies need to provide their workers with a $15 minimum wage, calling it a living wage. By definition, a living wage is an amount of money you are paid for a job that is large enough to provide you with basic necessities (like food and shelter) to live an acceptable life. The living wage is basically a made up term that every single person will interpret differently and only makes sense as approached through the scope of each individual’s personal experiences. You couldn’t possibly apply the term to more than one person. Liberals have taken advantage of the vagueness of the definition and have readily transformed the phrase into what they want it to mean: wealth redistribution. The fact is that saying $15 is a living wage is both unfair and shows a complete lack of knowledge about how economics work. For example, the living wage for a single man with no college loans in Reading, Pennsylvania may be $4 an hour, while the living wage for a single mother of five in New York City may be $65 an hour. The fact is that an across-the-board $15 hourly wage is not even close to covering some people’s basic needs, yet it is more than necessary for others. People should be paid based on what they agree to accept in exchange for work, and what employers are willing to pay based on that person’s worth to the company. Wages are supposed to be an indication of the value that a person brings to a company, not the amount of money that a person needs to live a comfortable lifestyle based on the previous choices they have made. In closing, proponents of the minimum wage need to just be upfront about their goal, giving the working poor more money at the expense of the middle and upper class. I obviously don’t agree with that goal but at least that would be an honest description of their objective rather than a phrase that has no real meaning and is just used as a catchy sound bite to win people over to their side. -Mark Cunningham Enjoy the Beacon blog? Help us keep it going with a tax-deductible gift.