It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
"Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911
PS no, that doesn't mean I have no issues with walmart or their business models. it means I see no inherent benefit from something simply being a small retail business
I find it funny how some people are worried about "ethics" in a **** hole city like Washington DC. That city is about the most unethical, ghetto ridden hole-in-the-wall place that this country has to offer.
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers
Demanding that any one individual be provided "a living wage" is subjectivity trying to be objectivity. Circumstances vary wildly. What might be presumed a living wage in NV probably would not be a living wage in NY.
Equally elusive is the definition of "living".
Does this wage need to be adequate to pay for food, transportation and shelter?
Does this wage need to cover a furnished room, 1 bedroom apartment? A villa on the Mediterranean?
Does this wage need to provide for a bus pass, a bicycle, a car?
Does this wage need to provide 3 meals a day at home, at MacDonalds, at a restaurant?
Is this person single. married, have children? Do they live with family and if so, what circumstances are the family in? An18 year old can live in a 6 story walk-up, a 70 year old, not so much.
Are we dealing with city or rural?
Does the person need "nice clothes" for their job or can they make do with raggedy clothes?
Does a "living wage" include movie theater tickets? Tobacco? Beer? Condoms?
So, really, every "living wage" would have to be factored by zip code, age, area, family and a lot of etceteras.and this means that unless you put this "living wage" at a very high mark, say about $25 an hour, you'd have a million versions of the "living wage" or you'd price the "living wage" beyond reasonable economics.
I'm presuming we are discussing the Federal Minimum Wage. This is currently $7.25 per hour. Many cities and maybe some states, have higher minimum wages. When IU was last in San Francisco, it was around $9.50. The particular case we're discussing from the OP is Washington DCs minimum wage. Not their "living wage", just their minimum wage.
To summarize, we can have a minimum wage but that minimum wage can not be a "living wage". Some can live for less than the minimum wage and some can not. It is not plausible to establish a "living wage".
I hope I have answered your question.
Let me reminisce. In 1960 I worked 40 hours a week clerking at Street & Smith (later bought by Conde Nast), publishers of Analog, Mademoiselle and other well known magazines. I was paid $1.00 per hour and I lived in Greenwich village. I rented a furnished room for $8 a week, the bathroom was shared with the other 5 rooms but I had a sink and a 2 burner stove. My subway fare was 30¢ a day. My meal budget was 15¢ which got me baked beans and coffee. Basically, I took home $36.00 and I lived on $16 and put $20 in the bank. So, certainly, the minimum wage was enough for me although I quickly improved my income without upgrading my lifestyle. So, theoretically, my "living wage" was only 40¢ an hour.