Matt Nolan blogs at TVHE:
Let me start this by underlying everything with a certain point – living wages are idiotic if our concern is to make sure that the worst off in society have a sufficient income. By imposing a “price floor”, you are ensuring that there are a group of people who can’t get jobs and will get hurt – unions don’t care because they don’t represent the unemployed, but I find it morally abhorrent. You want a minimum standard of living for societies worst off – have a minimum income, it’s as easy as that.
Let’s take someone working full time at $19hr. What does this person earn pre-tax $39,420pa (this excludes benefits which they are targeting to increase it further). What is nominal GDP per capita. $47,157pa.
So either we have a society where different types of labour, and different peoples requirements for income (eg a 18 year old and a 57 year old), aren’t terribly different and so people shouldn’t get paid very differently – and as a result the potential worker who “offers the least” may well still get hired – or this will lead to higher unemployment and cut backs in hours for these people. Who won’t get hired in this sort of situation – people that are risky to hire or haven’t developed skills yet. So the young, the vulnerable, those that have been out of work.
I just think it is daft to claim an 18 year old with no experience living at home needs to be paid the same as a 45 year old with 20 years experience who is supporting a family and mortgage.
I mean I swear to god unions, and their determination to get what they want without thinking about the consequences for other people, makes me sick. There are people who struggle, and as a society I think we should try to help them – part of this is ignoring faux research by unions, and making sure that we actually push government to sufficiently redistribute to the poorest