There has been much talk recently about a living wage and potentially mandating it. While I believe the drive toward a living wage is good, I don’t believe mandating it is. Henry Ford decided on his own to double the wages of his workers, and I believe that was one of the most significant contributors to higher wages in the US.
How about tax incentives toward a living wage? If people are on a living wage, they should be off public assistance. Thus, it seems to make sense to pay for that with tax incentives to stimulate it.
It would go something like this…. Offer businesses a tax credit per employee on a living wage as long as ALL their employees are on a living wage. We would need to figure out the size of the incentive, but I believe it would need to be quite high, like $10K, to be effective. There would need to be some exceptions like people under 18. I would say that anyone over 18 or with a high school diploma should be on a living wage. Dealing with part-time would be difficult. We would want to allow it, because some people can only work part time, but want to avoid encouraging it. To qualify, the part time people would still need to receive a prorated living wage. We would cap it at something like 50 employees. Living wage be calculated by the federal government and based on the local economy.
I say give this to the economists to study and determine if such a scenario is viable.