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A living wage refers to the amount of money a full-time employee needs to either afford the basic necessities in life or exceed the poverty threshold given the cost of living standards in his or her location. It is based on the principle that people working full time should make enough money to financially support their families. The exact standard for a living wage varies widely from region to region and around the world. Most living wage initiatives are local municipal ordinances lobbied by unions and social justice activists. More than 140 municipalities in the United States have legislated living wage ordinances, including San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City.

Living wage proponents maintain that the minimum wage should lift people above the poverty threshold. ...

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