The some of the fundamental fallacies of the "living wage" laws are compiled here
. The smoking gun is in this report
from the government. Only 2-3% of the population would be the full beneficiaries of this "living wage" and the net result will most likely be a reduction in overall income for these people without significant other detrimental structural changes.
The solution, as always, is the free market one. Abolish all wage floors, no minimum wage at all. True market prices for every job. Sound cruel? It's not. For the first time since the earliest history of our continent, there would be true, full employment. Everyone would have a shot at a job at a price that the employer would like to pay. This is the classic foot in the door for people who may not have had other good fortune in life and it can lead to unlimited opportunities as experience is gained. It will also reduce consumer prices on some of the common goods and services we routinely purchase.
So how then would a benevolent and moral society take care of the genuine poor? Through a combination of an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and an incentive program to employers to hire, train and sustain employment of people on the lowest end of the scale. This eliminates the teenagers, hobbyists and other non-poor folks who would also get the higher minimum wage at the expense of total job openings for those who really need them. It also puts the decisions about how best to deploy the human resource in the hands of the businesses where it belongs.
Even a blind nut finds a squirrel once in a while. – Me! Feb 9, 2001