Living wage: The salvation of the retail economy

Updated

While the forthcoming increase in the minimum wage has workers rejoicing and retailers grimacing, the living wage debate continues to fester. Widely demonized as a euphemism for Socialism, the idea of offering entry-level employees salaries that encourage long-term job loyalty may well provide the solution for many of the problems currently plaguing the retail world.

The current epicenter of the living-wage debate is the Kingsbridge Armory, a former military installation located in the Bronx section of New York City. Largely empty since 1994, the building's owner -- the city of New York -- is in the process of negotiating its transformation into a major shopping center. As Reliant, the proposed developer, works out the details with city government officials, local activists are pushing for a living wage requirement for retailers hoping to use the facility.

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