Publication Date

September 2007


[Excerpt] There is no single or simple solution to the poverty and income inequality quagmire. Effecting policy change at the national level would require the type of macroeconomic strategies that are likely to engender fierce opposition and stonewalling tactics. And yet, criticism of the economic status quo, in which capital begets more capital and wage earners struggle to become, or remain, middle class, is growing louder. Some politicians are beginning to take notice and socio-economic policies may yet be devised to mitigate the worst of the excesses. In the meantime, progressive activists see more opportunity to make a difference at the local level, where the living wage movement is indeed making strides. Linking the cause with other hot-button issues that play out locally, including the renewal of American cities large and small, economic development and new jobs, privatization of government services, and grassroots empowerment, enables proponents to rally support for the living wage agenda. Whether the living wage movement eventually becomes a national force that seriously dents our poverty statistics remains an open question.


Suggested Citation
Edid, M. (2007) Wages to live by... or not (IWS Issue Briefs). Ithaca, NY: School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University.