The Decline and Revival of a Living Wage
This chapter considers the decline in the elements of the political economy of a living wage, collective bargaining, social insurance and the minimum wage, along with the decline in Keynesian economics that took place after the 1960s and ended the hybrid system of redistributive economics. These declines carried with them a reduction in the living wage, not just as a term but as a level of income. This reduction of income brought back the use of the term a living wage as part of the lexicon of our day, with union leaders, politicians, academic economists and community organizers using the term widely and reviving its popularity. The new advocates for a living wage recognized the decline of the hybrid system of redistributive economics as part of the federal government’s responsibility under the Employment Act and began a grassroots movement to promote a living wage at the local level, starting in Baltimore in the early 1990s.
KeywordsUnion decline Distribution of income Keynesian economics Living wage Social insurance Minimum wage
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