The trickle down theory of economics suggests that the best way to ensure all people prosper is to cut regulations, eliminate minimum wages, and cut taxes for the wealthiest people. This theory has been proven not only untrue, but disastrous for the middle class and people in poverty.
The reality is when people employed at every level are given a living wage the overall economy improves, and that rising economic tide lifts all of our boats, not just those belonging to the wealthiest residents.
A living wage is not simply one that allows a person to survive. People who live paycheck to paycheck, unable to save, unable to engage in the commerce of their community, contribute only their labor to their community, not their income. Their income is consumed entirely by their bills, and so none is used to contribute to the community in which they live and work. In other words, if people can’t afford to shop at local businesses, restaurants and bookstores and coffee shops, those businesses suffer. It is necessary for the economic and social health of a community that all of its residents are able to shop and play in the place where they live. As such a minimum wage must be introduced that allows this to take place.
I believe that in Lynnwood this wage must be $15 per hour immediately, and that wage must increase as the cost of living does, an inevitability in this age of regional prosperity.
The argument against a living wage is generally to be that doing so hurts small businesses, or will drive larger businesses away. There is an inundation of data that proves otherwise. Since Seattle implemented their gradual rise to $15 per hour the number of small businesses have increased, unemployment has decreased, and non-profits and other charitable organizations have reported that their ability to offer services has not been effected. The same has proven true in every city where employees at all levels have been given a wage they cannot only survive on, but thrive on. It is the right thing to do for the residents of Lynnwood, and we must boldly take that step.
Further reading and listening on this subject: