Missing Portraits

by Russ Roberts on January 16, 2006

in Seen and Unseen, Work

[This post has been edited since it was first posted]

A picture is worth a thousand words.  So the New York Times Sunday Magazine article (discussed earlier here and here by Don and me) that found so many reasons to love living wage ordinances and so few reasons to be skeptical of their virtues, included powerful photographs of workers who expect to benefit from the Santa Fe living wage ordinance with poignant descriptions of what these workers plan to do with their raises:


Alessandra Petlin for The New York Times

Name: Manuela Soto. Marital status: Single mom. Occupation: Assistant
hotel housekeeper. Home: Santa Fe, N.M. Hourly wage before local
"Living Wage" ordinance: $7.50. Hourly wage now: $9.50. What she’ll do
with raise: Pay bills faster, offset higher gas prices, buy more
supplies for sons. More Photos >

Strangely enough, there were no pictures of the workers who expect to lose their jobs because the legislation will price them out of the job market, though some of the pictured workers may tragically fall into this group.  Nor were there any descriptions of how anyone who loses their job plans to cope with being unemployed.

I am proud not to be a progressive.


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