65 Living Wage Quotes On Success In Life

These living wage quotes will inspire you. A living wage is defined as the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs or a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living.

Below you will find a collection of motivating, happy, and encouraging living wage quotes, living wage sayings, and living wage proverbs.

Best Living Wage Quotes

  1. “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country… By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level – I mean the wages of decent living.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
  2. “A job should lift workers out of poverty, not keep them in it.” ~ Bernie Sanders
  3. “Paying people a fair wage is a sign of respect and acknowledgement of the value of people’s contributions to the business. When people are treated fairly and with respect, they will provide unparalleled levels of support and commitment inside the business, and to clients and customers. Everyone is more successful when people are paid a living wage.” ~ Amy B. Lyman
  4. “An industry that cannot pay its workers a decent living wage has no right to exist.” ~ Fiorello H. La Guardia
  5. “Raising the minimum wage means raising the living wage – and that’s good news for Ohio.” ~ Sherrod Brown

  6. “In my Inaugural, I laid down the simple proposition that nobody is going to starve in this country. It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By “business” I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white-collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages, I mean more than a bare subsistence level – I mean the wages of decent living.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
  7. “We stand for a living wage. Wages are subnormal if they fail to provide a living for those who devote their time and energy to industrial occupations. The monetary equivalent of a living wage varies according to local conditions, but must include enough to secure the elements of a normal standard of living-a standard high enough to make morality possible, to provide for education and recreation, to care for immature members of the family, to maintain the family during periods of sickness, and to permit of reasonable saving for old age.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  8. “A man must always live by his work, and his wages must at least be sufficient to maintain him. They must even upon most occasions be somewhat more; otherwise, it would be impossible for him to bring up a family, and the race of such workmen could not last beyond the first generation.” ~ Adam Smith
  9. “I want to applaud those workers rallying to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. I believe strongly that a great nation will not survive when so few have so much and so many have so little. Every worker in America should be given respect, dignity, and the wages and benefits they need to take care of their family.” ~ Bernie Sanders , Raising living wage quotes
  10. “If a man or a woman puts in an honest day’s work, they should to be able to earn a living wage.” ~ Richard Codey

  11. “In short, what the living wage is really about is not living standards, or even economics, but morality. Its advocates are basically opposed to the idea that wages are a market price determined by supply and demand, the same as the price of apples or coal. And it is for that reason, rather than the practical details, that the broader political movement of which the demand for a living wage is the leading edge is ultimately doomed to failure: For the amorality of the market economy is part of its essence, and cannot be legislated away.” ~ Paul Krugman
  12. “It’s a generational project just to get America to live up fully to its ideals and to have the kind of society where everybody has a shot, and every kid is getting a good education, and people are getting living wages, and they have decent retirement.” ~ Barack Obama
  13. “I first came into the labor force in 1941 when the minimum wage was 40 cents an hour, and that was my first job. And each time that we’ve tried to boost the lower level of salary for the most underpaid workers, there have been predictions of catastrophe. But each time, in [m]y opinion, the change has helped our Nation and its economic strength.” ~ Jimmy Carter
  14. “Capitalism, though it may not always give the scientific worker a living wage, will always protect him, as being one of the geese which produce golden eggs for its table.” ~ John B. S. Haldane
  15. “I believe increasing minimum wage it`s not just the minimum wage, it`s a living wage.” ~ Alison Lundergan Grimes

  16. “I cannot always sympathize with that demand which we hear so frequently for cheap things. Things may be too cheap. They are too cheap when the man or woman who produces them up on the farm or the man or woman who produces them in the factory does not get out of them living wages with a margin for old age and for a dowry for the incidents that are to follow. I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth or shapes it into a garment will starve in the process.” ~ Benjamin Harrison
  17. “The ultimate object of education should be, Gandhi said, to help create not only a balanced and harmonious individual but also a balanced and harmonious society where true justice prevails, where there is no unnatural division between the haves and the have-nots, and where everybody is assured of a living wage and the right to live and the right to freedom.” ~ Arun Manilal Gandhi
  18. “It is for the State to take care that the economic conditions are such that the normal man who is not defective in mind or body or will can be useful labor feed, house, and clothe himself and his family. The “right to work” and the “right to a living wage” are just as valid as the rights of person or property.” ~ Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse
  19. “For the workers and their families, being able to bring home a living wage helps their families and, by extension, helps our economy. Seventy percent of our economy is consumer-based. We know that when lower- and middle-class families have money and disposable income, they spend it. That puts money back into the economy. It’s a win-win for everybody: Not just for the individual, not just production at a specific company (like Nissan), but for the greater good.” ~ Nina Turner
  20. “This mad rush for wealth must cease and the laborer must be assured not only of a living wage but, also a daily task that is not mere drudgery.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

  21. “I don’t know if I ever mentioned back in 2002 we fought our way into a governor’s debate in Massachusetts where, you know, this was televised and I articulated our usual agenda: cut the military, put the dollars into true security here at home, provide healthcare as a human right, raise wages which needed to be living wages, green our energy system, equal marriage? – we were the only ones talking about it back in 2002.” ~ Jill Stein
  22. “I live in southern Appalachia, so I’m surrounded by people who work very hard for barely a living wage. It’s particularly painful that people are working the farms their parents and grandparents worked but aren’t living nearly as well.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver
  23. “Positive rights are the right to shelter, the right to education, the right to health care, the right to a living wage. These things are – these are, I would call them, more properly, political rights rather than positive rights. And they are extremely tricky because now we are dealing with things that are zero-sum.” ~ P. J. O’Rourke
  24. “Leadership has to be focused on some very radical ideas that only we as 21st Century people can talk about: making sure people have a livelihood, making sure people receive a living wage, making sure the environment, the Mother Earth, is embraced and cherished and not destroyed. Making sure people are healthy in what they eat, making sure we hold people and corporations accountable for the damage they do not only to our environment but to our institutions.” ~ Danny Glover
  25. “Very few restaurant workers could even dream of eating in the restaurants they work in. Many do not make a living wage.” ~ Anthony Bourdain

  26. “[Martin Luther King, Jr.] would want us to celebrate him, his birth, and his legacy by acting upon his agenda, by realizing the dream, by making the minimum wage a living wage, by having not just family and medical leave, but paid sick leave for our workers, [and] by having quality, affordable child care so that our families, the power of women can be unleashed in our economy and in our society.” ~ Nancy Pelosi
  27. “The Occupy Wall Street collective is confused about what it wants but it wants it now! Some of the loonier demands from its independent thinkers: Striking all existing public and private debt from the books across the “entire planet”; elimination of all international borders; free college education; a guaranteed “living wage” for all regardless of employment; an end to free trade; trillions in additional spending for infrastructure and ecological restoration; and ending the fossil fuel economy.” ~ Mike Rosen
  28. “Practically, the desirable situation ought to be one in which any reasonably responsible person willing to accept available employment can find a job paying a living wage within 48 hours.” ~ William Vickrey
  29. “People are so cheap. Everyone wants quality, no one wants to pay for it. Here’s the suburban dream– to hire great workers who are such meek morons that they don’t have the guts to ask for a living wage.” ~ Joan Bauer
  30. “Factory workers are not working for capitalism, they are working for a living wage.” ~ Bernard Crick

  31. “Prostitution requires for its diminution not only laws, well-enforced, to abolish the traffic in womanhood; not only better social protection against harpies who seduce young girls seeking an honest livelihood; not only better chaperonage of young girls in exposed occupations; not only better opportunities for natural enjoyment of youthful pleasure under morally safe conditions; not only these – but most of all, greater power on the part of the average young girl to earn her own support under right conditions and for a living wage.” ~ Anna Garlin Spencer
  32. “To the second end, we hold that minimum wage commissions should be established in the Nation and in each State to inquire into wages paid in various industries and to determine the standard which the public ought to sanction as a minimum; and we believe that, as a present installment of what we hope for in the future, there should be at once established in the Nation and its several States minimum standards for the wages of women, taking the present Massachusetts law as a basis from which to start and on which to improve.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt , Minimum living wage quotes
  33. “Any way you slice it, increasing the minimum wage in Michigan… is likely to make it more difficult for the working poor to find jobs. …those who most need the work will have a harder time finding it.” ~ Paul Kersey
  34. “There’s enormous progressive activism and, more often than not, success at the grassroots level – everything from living wage campaigns to efforts to finance our elections are having terrific success.” ~ Jim Hightower
  35. “You can’t receive a living wage unless you work.” ~ Mark Winne

  36. “Those externalized costs have always included labor. It is only the decline over time of the minimum wage in real dollars that’s made the fast-food industry possible, along with feedlot agriculture, pharmaceuticals on the farm, pesticides and regulatory forbearance. All these things are part of the answer to the question: Why is that crap so cheap? Our food is dishonestly priced. One of the ways in which it’s dishonestly priced is the fact that people are not paid a living wage to process it, to serve it, to grow it, to slaughter it.” ~ Michael Pollan
  37. “You know, this is a business where only 15% make a living wage and only 9% of those are women. But I figured somebody has to be that 15%, somebody’s got to be one of those women.” ~ Marcia Wallace
  38. “These teenagers [that drop out of school to take the higher wage jobs] take jobs that would go to unskilled adults, making it harder for those adults to make the transition from welfare to work.” ~ Greg Mankiw
  39. “It probably wouldn’t be good for our economy for a bunch of these jobs to come back because there’s no way that people could be getting paid a living wage on some of these jobs – at least in order to be competitive in an international setting.” ~ Barack Obama
  40. “It’s tough to figure out how do we compete in Europe and North America when obviously a living wage for us is very different than a living wage in Indonesia.” ~ John Malkovich

  41. “New Orleans is a city whose basic industry is the service industry. That’s why it makes its money. That’s – it brings people to the city. People come to the city and experience the wonders of this extraordinary city and everything else. The question is that, how do we create jobs which are the jobs that have pay, that – living wages?” ~ Danny Glover
  42. “Yet it ought to be clear that a minimum wage law is, at best, a limited weapon for combatting the evil of low wages, and that the possible good to be achieved by such a law can exceed the possible harm only in proportion as its aims are mode.” ~ Henry Hazlitt , Low living wage quotes
  43. “This [minimum wage] legislation, passed by the 81st Congress at its first session, is an important addition to the laws we live by. It is a measure dictated by social justice. It adds to our economic strength. It is founded on the belief that full human dignity requires at least a minimum level of economic sufficiency and security.” ~ Harry S. Truman
  44. “Sharp increases in the minimum wage rate are also inflationary. Frequently workers paid more than the minimum gauge their wages relative to it. This is especially true of those workers who are paid by the hour. An increase in the minimum, therefore, increases their demands for higher wages in order to maintain their place in the structure of wages. And when the increase is as sharp as it is in H.R. 7935, the result is sure to be a fresh surge of inflation.” ~ Richard M. Nixon
  45. “I think we need equal wages which are living wages.” ~ Jill Stein

  46. “A general flat minimum-wage law for all industry is permissible, but I do not think that it is a particularly wise method of achieving the end. I know much better methods of providing a minimum for everybody. But once you turn from laying down a general minimum for all industry to decreeing particular and different minimum for different industries, then, of course, you make the price mechanism inoperative, because it is no longer the price mechanism which will guide people between industries and trades.” ~ Friedrich August von Hayek
  47. “Now a writer can make himself a nice career while he is alive by espousing a political cause, working for it, making a profession of believing in it, and if it wins he will be very well placed. All politics is a matter of working hard without reward, or with a living wage for a time, in the hope of booty later. A man can be a Fascist or a Communist and if his outfit gets in he can get to be an ambassador or have a million copies of his books printed by the Government or any of the other rewards the boys dream about.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
  48. “I think it depends on what agenda that female president brings. It’s not good if that female president brings an agenda which is actually hostile to the cause of living wages. Women need equal wages to men, but not equal wages at poverty.” ~ Jill Stein
  49. “In my view, this is not extremism on the left. This is what the American people support in poll after poll. Support the right to a job. Support living wages. Support real climate action. Support small community-based banks that make loans available to everyday people and small businesses, not these too-big-to-fail banks that rip us off, that crash the economy at taxpayer expense. Support a public-option healthcare system, not Obamacare, which has been a boondoggle for insurance and pharmaceutical companies.” ~ Jill Stein
  50. “The quickest way to kill jobs is to have this ordinance pass. It is dumb and dangerous.” ~ Norm Coleman

  51. “If Apple is enslaving Chinese to make its iPhones, you don’t need to eat the i-Phone, you need to make sure that Apple is paying a living wage to someone, and then it adds a dollar to the cost of iphones, and everybody’s cool.” ~ Bill McKibben
  52. “With living wage jobs, basically 20 million of them to help jump-start a sustainable and healthy economy, with an insured, just transition, for example, for workers in both the fossil fuel and in the weapons industry, because they all need to transition to sustainable forms of production. This is also our answer to the departure of manufacturing jobs and good jobs by creating the manufacturing base here for clean renewable energy and the efficiency systems and public transportation to put these workers to work in jobs that are actually good for them.” ~ Jill Stein
  53. “If you want to be backed by corporations so that you’re elected mayor, then it’s going to be very problematic for you to support a living wage campaign that would shift the minimum wage to something else.” ~ Amber Hollibaugh
  54. “The size of the U.S. middle class has been shrinking. Wages have been stagnant. We don’t have those factory jobs that paid a living wage and enabled a family to have a home where the wife did not have to work. But we sent our factories abroad and there is no likelihood of getting them back. Equally worrisome is that some managerial jobs and professional jobs (such as lawyers) which support middle-class life are threatened by automation.” ~ Philip Kotler
  55. “If a mother or a caregiver does not have a job that pays a living wage and they cannot afford child care, that is unacceptable.” ~ Nina Turner

  56. “Most employers I speak to, they want to create jobs and give decent salaries. Some small and medium companies say to me they cannot afford to pay the living wage. I say “what about if I gave you a business rate cut?” and they say, yes, ok. We want companies which are skilled up, generating more profit, more corporation tax – we should not be embarrassed at success, as long as they pay their taxes.” ~ Sadiq Khan
  57. “I would use the power of procurement, I would say if you want to do business with the mayor of London, you must pay your staff a London Living Wage.” ~ Sadiq Khan
  58. “Few places in American culture have made as effective a case for entrepreneurship than hip-hop. Hip-hop tells young people that our society is offering very limited options for youth. And that while society points to a radical decline in living wage jobs for youth and meaningful and affordable education, hip-hop is offering an alternative legitimate economy that is giving youth hope.” ~ Bakari Kitwana
  59. “I am always an optimist. The pessimists are the liars who refuse to admit what is happening. And I’ll give you three things we could do this instant to help Mexico: legalize drugs, renegotiate NAFTA so that it pays a living wage, protects unions and protects the environment and stop Plan Merida which gives $500 million a year to the Mexican army, the largest single criminal organization in Mexico.” ~ Charles Bowden
  60. “Be prepared for the creation of an intrusive bureaucracy to police the ordinance by examining the books and payroll ledgers of businesses.” ~ Randy Hamilton

  61. “When I talk about the city, I talk about a city that elevates people, which is the strength of New York. We always had the ability to do that. We had the services to do that: good schools, living-wage jobs. We’re moving away from that toward a two-tiered system: a small group of very wealthy people and the rest of the city, poor and working poor.” ~ Sal Albanese
  62. “If the proposed ordinance is adopted it will hurt small women- and minority-owned businesses the most, the majority of which are already struggling mightily to do business in this city of higher-than-average costs of doing business.” ~ Randy Hamilton
  63. “In my view, we need a massive federal jobs program which puts millions of our people back to work. We must end our disastrous trade policies. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. And we have to fight for pay equity for women.” ~ Bernie Sanders
  64. “By mandating an even higher minimum, the living wage prices even more people out of work. The people who push these cockamamie ideas never seem to ask why any employer would hire someone at $8.23 if that person’s services are only valued in the marketplace at, say, $5.00.” ~ Lawrence Reed
  65. “It is not the actual greatness of national wealth, but its continual increase, which occasions a rise in the wages of labour. It is not, accordingly, in the richest countries, but in the most thriving, or in those which are growing rich the fastest, that the wages of labor are highest. England is certainly, in the present times, a much richer country than any part of North America. The wages of labor, however, are much higher in North America than in any part of England.” ~ Adam Smith

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