Why A Living Wage
We first have to determine what is the criteria in establishing a real living wage. It must not be confused with the minimum wage set by the United States government. A living wage is completely different in that enables individuals to contribute to the overall economic stability of any given community instead of being a drain on an already established tax base. The most correct way in determining a living wage is to figure out what the medium cost of rent or mortgage is in any given county. An example say, in Hillsbourgh County Florida the average cost for monthly rent or mortgage is $1,000, [ this is the low end of the basic cost of rents and mortgages ] Now, to compute the living wage for this county we need to multiply the medium cost of $1,000 by 4 to come up with the living wage of $4,000 per month for this County. That is an annual salary of $48,000 per year. Factor in the cost of living for the region you will find that this living wage is not exorbitant in fact it just covers the basic needs to keep the community economically solvent. What has happened within the past two decades is an exodus of millions of middle class jobs the ones that pay living wages. Compounding the problem in today's local budgets as well as state and Federal budgets are those still employed especially in Florida are faced with wages that haven't kept pace with the ever increasing cost of living have all contributed to today's economic crisis.
It is time employers step up to the plate in realizing that paying a living wage is not only good for the local economy but very beneficial for their business growth, profitability, and stability. In fact paying a living wage for full time workers say in manufacturing, education, health, engineering, construction, and certain service related industries, spurs real economic growth for all.
When employees receive living wages more and more people will be able to purchase the goods and services that are produced, which in turn means more business, which means more production with the end result being more profitability for all businesses. There is another real factor that must be considered when establishing a living wage is that a recent report has stated that the biggest cause of domestic violence , divorce, and abuse is due to the fact of the lack of financial support within the family unit. This does nothing to improve our or any society. Our country was founded on the principle of a strong and stable family unit. Today what has and is happening all over the country is a rapid deterioration of the family unit; compound the massive job losses that are still unabated, we have a very discouraging situation.
The solutions that are being proposed by the President only cover over the real roots of much greater problems. One of which is to remedy the exodus of the American workforce. By leasing up credit so that business will be able to expand instead of contract, to embrace new technology for the creation of better and more efficient products, to continue to research for more efficient and environmentally safe ways of developing more innovative goods and services. Establishing a WPA type program by the government, similar to the WPA that was established under FDR in the 1930's and infusing living wage standards to all. By revamping our trade agreements so that they reduced our trade deficit and encourage companies to stay or relocate in the United States with living wage standards to be offered to all full time employees. By establishing Universal Health Care all across the country in this way it will free additional revenue now for companies to be able to pay living wages that they would not be able to without the establishment of Universal Health Care.
The guidelines to receive mortgages, refinancing, lines of credit, or purchases say, of used or new cars have to be more assessable for all. Today one missed or late payment on just one bill will send the credit score down so low that individuals will no longer qualify for any assistance what so ever. That is one of the biggest causes why foreclosures are still so high. The credit score should not be the only criteria for any individual who is applying for assistance. The easing of credit scores will most likely have a very significant effect toward economic growth because these people will now be able to stave off foreclosure and or be able to stimulate the local economy by purchasing that used or new car.
Our future as a country and the future stability of the world starts right here in the United States and that begins with establishing living wage standards for all workers. Until corporations and business leaders realize more profits and greater growth start with the employee being a viable and valuable contributing factor in ones own community business every where will continue to suffer and the United States will continue to languish in a continuing spiral of economic and social upheaval that America might not be able to resolve.