You say “living wage,” I say “inability to understand basic economics.”

Let me in on a little secret. There is no such thing as a “living wage.”

Wages are the agreed upon price between employer and employee for the employee’s labor. That’s it. No more, no less.

Whether or not an employee agrees to the price can include whether or not the wages would cover his/her current costs of living, but that’s a condition of acceptance, not of wages.

Similarly, the employer can choose to accept the price of the return on investment is strong enough to warrant paying the price.

The employer is not obligated to meet a price that would cover the costs of living for the employee, nor is the employee obligated to set a price that would meet the value threshold for the employer. They choose based on their own situation, and they can choose to accept less or more based on their understanding of the market.

Forcing employers at gunpoint (yes, anytime the government mandates something, it is backed up ultimately by men with guns) to pay more than they want for labor never benefits the employees in the long run.