"The poor need not always be with us. That goal can be achieved if we ensure that workers are paid enough to feed their families," says The L.A. Times, whose city has pioneered legislation on the living wage. "Opponents of living-wage ordinances and benefit packages have real concerns. In our highly competitive world economy, individual companies or nations are only going to get pounded if they let their labor costs get out of whack with their competitors'. But paying a living wage can benefit businesses too. A study of L.A.'s 1997 living-wage law, for instance, discovered that the ordinance had increased pay for an estimated 10,000 jobs. Employment reductions amounted to 1%, or an estimated loss of 112 jobs. Most firms gained from reduced employee turnover, which can be costly and disruptive."