However, what the cost for a person to do that is different with everyone. A person's habits, bills, debt, location, age, all play into it. However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to help people and like it or not, the only way to do so effectively with our population is to set a min amount. Unless of course you want to pay for an army of people to do evaluations on each person on a case by case basis all paid for by the taxpayers. I don't think you want that either.
i think the "living wage" efforts can be unintentionally counterproductive. let's say that everybody is guaranteed $30k a year. it won't take long before that 30k is just like 12k is now, and with the inflation that it causes, everyone's savings will be worth less than half as much.
so, now that we've established that some entry level jobs are always going to pay **** wages, what should we do? i support guaranteeing access to college regardless of financial means and increasing the opportunity for promotion out of the **** jobs. how to do the latter is complicated, but it can work. perhaps give corporations extra tax breaks for low turnover and rate of promotion within the company. what we need to happen is what happened in the mid 20th century : you start work for a company, you're loyal and hard working, and you can make it from the mail room to management. that doesn't happen nearly as often, and one can be loyal to a company for years and still get canned for no reason other than a bean counter wanted a better bonus.
if i were organizing a union, i would ask for more opportunities for promotion, better job security, and better worker control over schedule. those are reasonable demands, and would benefit both the company and the worker.
By many standards the poor in the US live better than the middle class in many parts of the
Simple things like hot water, electricity,and a refrigerator ect...
In the late 70's, I knew some guys who were illegal immigrants.
They worked hard, and all were trying to send money home.
They shared a 2 bedroom apartment with 6 people, one married couple and 4 single guys.
They said the apartment was nicer and bigger than where they lived in Mexico.
Most Americans would have thought the situation was intolerable, but
these guys thought they were living a life of luxury.
People in the US have issues separating wants from needs.