As the cost of living continues to go up so should the salaries of the workers. One hand definitely shakes the other and in order to maintain the pleasant work environment employees should be paid a fair wage based not only on their level of skill but also in accordance to the rise in cost of living. Happy workers create a more productive work environment.
Wages for many positions seemed to have stagnated. Fifteen years ago a receptionist position in a mid-size Midwest metropolitan area would pay $9 an hour full-time with the only experience necessary being a year's experience and a high school diploma. It was tough to live on, but could be done. Looking through the classified today most employers want a bachelor's degree, five years experience, and will pay $10. It is impossible for someone to survive on $10 even if the area's cost of living is below average. Good luck finding an apartment or house even to share for $400 a month (or the standard one-third of your gross income affordability guideline) let alone paying for food, transportation, student loans, insurance, etc. You're really in bad shape if you have dependents.
It's ridiculous for a company to have such little regard for their employees that they cannot pay them enough to meet their basic needs, like shelter. When these basic needs cannot be met it in turn effects the employees stress levels, productivity and quality of life which impact the company directly and indirectly.
More companies should raise salaries to a living wage but in order for them to do that, those currently on the living wage threshold would need their pay increased to compensate for the extra work that they do. This would be very costly for businesses as everyone should be entitled to the same pay rise
Let's face it, prices are going up and they probably aren't going to go down anytime soon if at all. Part time jobs especially need to have their wages raised to at least $8.00, if the wage was at least that, then more people would probably try to find jobs, however the minimum wage shouldn't be $15, because that's practically full time wage.
Companies need to consider their position in the world and especially in their communities. If you're like McDonald's and think it's okay to send your employees to the welfare office to eat then you've got it all wrong. I hate companies that act like the minimum wage is the only wage. Pay a fair wage and you'll receive good workers.
All people in this country are given a chance to education and those who think skipping class is fun will be the ones voting yes in this argument because they want more than what they gave their teachers. Unless you are mentally incapable of obtaining the knowledge you have been given voting yes on this argument is the low income and low class thing to do.
Companies do not exist in order to employ people, or pay people a "living wage"; but rather, companies exist in order to meet consumer demand. Laborers are but one component in meeting this demand, as is infrastructure, machinery, tools, etc.. The value of any component to a business is how well that component can help the business produce its products or services. A business should pay no more for any component than the supply and demand of that component warrants. For example, a business should not pay the same for a ubiquitous hammer as they pay for a uniquely designed robot. By the same token, employees are valued based upon their utility to the company, and a low skilled employee that is easily replaced is not worth as much as a highly skilled employee.
A "livable wage" is an arbitrary standard that, if universally enforced, will do nothing more than distort the market and, at the margin, destroy jobs if this wage is set significantly above current market prices for labor. A raise to minimum wage that is set significantly higher than market standards will result in some companies readily absorbing these costs while others who operate within much tighter margins folding. But the job of economics is not to only evaluate the seen, but the unseen as well. Some new businesses that are currently just being considered - or the expansion of existing businesses - may be currently viable at the present market rates for labor, but many of these businesses or expansions may never come to exist with substantially inflated labor costs. These enterprises will never be seen or accounted for, but their absence will nonetheless be felt economically. Indeed, many misplace the blame for the current lackluster labor market on individual businesses, rather than where the blame should be placed – on a spendthrift government and a Federal Reserve hell-bent on creating unsustainable bubbles destined to crash. Absent these burdens and distortions, the business climate would prosper and the demand for labor would increase, putting upward pressure on employee salaries.
Most often in the past, Federal minimum wage standards have largely lagged behind market pricing, thus having little to no economic impact. But for the same reason no sane proponent of "living wages" proposes raising the minimum wage to $50/hr for unskilled labor, they should be equally wary when advocating any federally mandated manipulation of market forces. If an individual company sets its wages too low, it will suffer high turnover which can result in a poor consumer experience, thus placing that company at risk of being overtaken by more dependable competition. A company which sets its wages too high will invariably raise their customers' prices to compensate, potentially inflating themselves out of the market. Each business lives or dies by how well they read market signals – including the cost of labor. A federally mandated "living wage" will do nothing but distort these signals and - if set high enough - will have profoundly adverse consequences.