Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

JOBS: Minimum wage hurts state’s workers

Letter by Chris Talbert, Tacoma on Oct. 13, 2011 at 11:21 am | 100 Comments »
October 13, 2011 1:54 pm

The desire for annual, automatic increases to the state minimum wage reveals a failure to understand basic economic principles: Any increase to the minimum wage means an immediate increase to the goods and services that utilize minimum wage employees.

Increased labor costs are then passed on to consumers; minimum wage earners are certainly consumers, meaning that any gains earned through minimum wage increases are automatically erased when that employee makes a trip to the market, where product prices are sure to have risen along with that wage increase.

The real damage isn’t in a failure to raise the minimum wage, it’s to those workers earning anything above minimum wage; those workers do not always get an annual pay bump equal to the rise in minimum wage, and for them it is merely a quickening of an already crippling pace of inflation.

The annual practice of increasing the minimum wage is ultimately a false economy and should be ended before it further erodes the earnings of every non-minimum wage employee in this state.

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