The Evil Black Economist supports a living wage and the "Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act" (living wage bill) currently being debated by the NY City Council. Living wage bills are an obvious way to put more money in the hands of low wage workers. San Francisco, CA and Santa Fe, NM have enacted living wage bills.
Living wage bills have little proven effect on overall employment level: up or down. Jobs cannot change location easily nor change their experience or education requirements. Pretty much the same condition holds true for people. A skilled carpenter or electrician cannot work remotely. Companies make up the extra cost though small price increases and increased productivity.
New York city has further qualified the wage requirement such that only companies receiving subsidies from the government must pay the wage. So the tax people pay would be used to generate better jobs.
A living wage is also a way to reduce income inequality. Occupy Wall Street has made reducing income inequality a center piece of their agenda.
You can read the website of Livingwagenyc.org to get the latest news.
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