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Explanation of Arlington County's Socialistic 'Living Wage'

Thanks to the generous and compassionate Arlington County Board, in Fiscal Year 2005, which ended on June 30, county taxpayers forked out at least $650,000 to cover contractors' extra cost attributable to the 'living wage' ordinance passed by the Arlington County Board. A column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Friday pretty much summed up the economic justification of the so-called 'living wage' schemes: "Mix voodoo economics and fuzzy math to justify a government-mandated 'living wage' and you get a study that's insightful in spite of itself." Advocates of the 'living wage' rules seemingly always claim these schemes help the poor, however, the 'labor-friendly nonprofit organization' cited in the column contains the following: "Living wage laws have proliferated around the nation, partly as a response to the stagnation of state and federal minimum wages, as well as to the increasing privatization of city services as a means to cut costs. These laws are designed to remove the incentive for government to contract out jobs to low-wage employers, thus leveling the playing field for city contractors." Any wonder that unions are the biggest supporters of the 'living wage?' [Hat tip to Real Clear Politics, July 9]