Can the ‘working poor’ afford to maintain a family? Does being a member of the working poor make a person more likely to divorce? Does it make them less likely to marry in the first place? The answers are ‘no’, yes’ and ‘yes’ respectively. What is to be done? There is no easy answer, but we should look again at the concept of a ‘living wage’.
This, at least, is the argument of this blog from the Institute for Family Studies. The ‘living wage’ isn’t too far away from the ‘just wage’ advocated by the Catholic Church.
As the blog explains, there is no simple and easy way to implement a ‘living wage’ policy. However, it does point out something interesting, namely that several big American corporations including Costco and Hobby Lobby already pay their employees more than other equivalent companies. (Interestingly Hobby Lobby is currently fighting against a requirement by the American Government that all employer insurance schemes cover contraceptives, abortifacients and sterilisation.)
In any case, if you want to read further, here is the blog. (The 'conservative case' the title refers to is that a living wage reduces dependence on the State).