Pay the working poor a living wage

The Gazette editorial on the minimum wage has the wrong solution (A more predictable minimum, Dec. 18).

A University of California, Berkeley, study found that 26 percent of minimum-wage jobs were held by people supporting children and 68 percent were the major income for their family.

Other studies have found that higher wages do not cause job loss and, in fact, increase economic activity. Workers also are consumers. These people are not teenagers working for date money.

The question before us is whether laborers have equal citizen rights and shared justice with business people.

The idea that workers should work for less wages than it takes to support them and wait 14 months or so before getting their complete pay from the Earned Income Tax Credit is obscene and abusive. Indentured servitude along with slavery has been outlawed.

Here is an idea. Pay the working poor a living wage in full and on time and have the business people wait 14 months for their government wage subsidy.

In my 80 years, I have heard business people claim they will be destroyed if they have to pay for minimum wage, health insurance, health and safety regulations and taxes, but they survived and are going strong enough that their family owners and managers income have gone up several hundreds of times in the past three decades so they are the wealthiest people in the country.

Do the decent and moral thing and pay the working poor the living wage in full to bring them above the poverty line.

Dean E. Owens



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