A living wage.  The minimum wage.  Businesses threatening to move to less demanding states.  Cities fearing loss of competitiveness if the wage is raised.  Ay, ay, ay.

Earlier this month Trip Gabriel reported in the NY Times of three Maryland counties which agreed together to raise the minimum wage “essentially forming a regional pact to make it far less tempting for businesses to flee next door”.

Why do local governments seem to be increasingly interested in this issue?

At the previous minimum of $7.25, or about $15,000 a year, many workers in Montgomery County, which includes affluent suburbs like Bethesda and Chevy Chase, were too poor to afford an apartment and received county support, which Mr. Elrich said amounted to a public subsidy for private companies.

Perhaps elected officials are beginning to associate an unacceptable cost with government-provided support for those employed by businesses who do not pay their workers a living wage.  And seeing it as a business subsidy.Walmart

Chicagoans listened to radio ads last April from Governor Perry of Texas wooing Illinois businesses to move to Arlen.  maybe Austin.  Someplace in the Lone Star State.  Governor Quinn didn’t like it.  Said something about Texas being water-challenged.

USA Today re Texas aquifers

USA Today re Texas’ mighty dry aquifers

As our governors battle it out will they conduct themselves in a civil manner?  Is this a war between the states?  Who wins this time?