|Mean “Average” Monthly Costs for a Family in a Given Area||Earner||Spouse||Child||TOTAL|
|Food (dine in/dine out)||200||100||100||400|
|Housing (mortgage/rent, maintenance)||900||900|
|Utilities (Electric, Water, Sewer, Garbage)||150||30||30||210|
|Transportation (vehicle payment, maintenance, insurance, gas)||300||15||15||330|
|Health (cost of care/insurance, out of pocket)||300||100||100||500|
|Vacation (Paid days off/15 work days per year)||150||150|
|Retirement (savings for beyond age 60)||340||340|
|Tax (Federal and State)||3358|
While the numbers above are representative of the current (2011) costs of living in many urban areas, a Living Wage is a framework and not a set dollar amount.
A Living Wage is just that. A wage which allows the individual to live, lawfully, within a given area while caring for their self, their spouse, their family. Irrespective of the status of an individual (single, married, children) a living wage remains the same for all. This allows the young to save for their future, the middle aged to care for their elders, and those with families to care those in their household.
Irrespective of the task at hand, a Living Wage is the base wage. Merit based pay and profits come after this wage has been met.
This Living Wage must be coupled with an underemployment tax and employment vouchers. The revenues from this tax will be put in employment efforts such as rebates, incentives, infrastructure, maintenance, roads, schools, etc, as deemed necessary and/or voted on.
Implementing a Living Wage without implementing the underemployment tax will in fact raise wages to the current costs of living and ensure the costs of living increase.