The idea's been floated before. What's everyone's idea on paying a living wage? (Currently $18.80 per hour) instead of a minimum wage.
I'm not sure I agree with setting the minimum wage to a "living wage". You're not supposed to live on minimum wage. A teenager working so s/he has some spending money doesn't need a living wage, and having two minimum wages for different age groups wouldn't work because then all low-skilled jobs would go to teenagers. I think raising the minimum wage would just raise the price of every else, meaning it would no longer be a living wage. That, or people would lose their jobs. Probably both. I'd like to explore ways of making sure that people can live on the wage that they already have. GST-free fruit and vegetables, free broadband, home economics in schools, and decent insulation in homes are just a few ways of achieving this. In other words: I think lower living costs, rather than higher wages, are a better solution.
I agree with Reid, lowering living costs for the essentials (food, shelter, water, healthcare and education) would work far better than simply paying higher wages.
We have the technology to achieve the above over the next few years, if you research the idea of the "Zero Marginal Cost Society" you will come across a number of examples where work is being done to achieve the above vision.
I would suggest watching Jeremy Rifkin's presentation on the subject, you can find it here: http://youtu.be/5-iDUcETjvo
Yeah, agreed. If we were to bring in a living wage we may have to reintroduce youth rates for under 20s. Under 20s would need to prove that they live away from home to get the living wage(utility bill or something).
@reidalexanderwicks a youth rate may not be such a bad idea, having no previous work experience and having trouble getting a job is a catch 22. Additionally when we have to prop up wages with working for families we are collecting less tax, spending more collected tax.
@jameshunt The problem with a youth rate is that is discourages employers from hiring older people who are more likely to actually NEED the money. Why hire an adult for $14 an hour when you could pay a kid $11 an hour to do the same job?
@reidalexanderwicks , that is the flip side to the coin I guess, perhaps capping the minimum youth rate to ensure it is an incentive to employ some young ppl but not so cheap that it becomes worth while to completely run your business with a complete young inexperienced work force.
its about a mechanism to provide equity and increase wages, in essence industrial relations policy of the day precludes collectives from ensuring a liveable wage and population growth has exceeded growth in GDP
population increase should be indexed against GDP increase
minimum wage should compound after 8 hours in a day and 40 in a week
collectives should be empowered by an unqualified preference