The economic disparity in the U.S leads to discussions on the pros and cons of the minimum wage as well as on a “living wage.”
The Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT) developed a living wage calculator that estimated that the living wage in Brown County ranges from $11.00 to $27.00 per hour depending on the size of the family. The minimum wage in Indiana is $7.25.
In 2016, the government’s official poverty line was $24,339 for a family of four, including two children.
In my Guest Column article in the Democrat – A study of tourism and economic sustainability, I included data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that identified that the hospitality and tourism industry has the lowest average wage in our region at $24, 477.
On the Maple Leaf Performing Arts Center, the local innkeepers reinforced that it would be financed with taxes collected from tourists via the innkeeper’s tax. The business owners (hotels, restaurants, novelties, et al.) that cater to tourists are expected to be generating more revenue as a result of the increases in the number of tourists expected to attend the events. Will employees also be benefitting from Maple Leaf by receiving higher wages? Can the cost of wage increases also be passed on to the tourists?
Decisions made by those we elect to represent us should produce results where everyone gains, or at least, are not any worse off in the long-term.