To earn enough money to make a living means earning more than enough to pay your bills and enjoy life. Most families in Louisiana don't qualify under that definition of making a living. Many Louisiana families exist pay check to pay check and even then those checks sustain an existence and not much of a life.

A new study commissioned through Loyola University's Social Research Institute shows that 52% of families in Louisiana are not earning enough money to live what the project described as a modest dignified life.

Ali Bustamante, who led the study told the Louisiana Radio Network,

"We see that it's businesses and the entire community, particularly policy makers, who have a strong role in making sure that families arrive at the incomes necessary to live modest and dignified lives,"

These comments were in response to questions about the kinds of wages Louisiana families have the ability to earn.

The study showed that 55-thousand dollars is about what the average family with children needs to bring home in order to maintain that modest dignified lifestyle. Factors included in the 55-thousand dollar figure include shelter, transportation, child care, and other basics of human life.

Most families in Louisiana earn well below that 55-thousand dollar threshold. What is the solution to closing the gap between earning power and spending needs?

"It's been proposed to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour or more. That would help hundreds of thousands of Louisiana workers and their families as well as increase our earned income tax credit."

Ali Bustamante again speaking to the Louisiana Radio Network. The problem with upping the minimum wage would be the loss of a great many jobs. Since many small business could no longer afford to pay workers for the jobs they were hired to do.

The study certainly does raise a lot of issues. Perhaps money management education in school might be a good tool to consider. Lowering health care costs for those who are working but unable to afford medical care might be another. It unfortunately will fall into the hands of our political leaders.