Letters to the Editor

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PAY: We all suffer when wages are too low

Letter by John Laakso, Fircrest on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:46 am with No Comments »
August 27, 2013 11:14 am

Re: “Who really pays for higher wages?” (letter, 8-27).

The writer argued that raising wages makes it “difficult for people strapped for money.” This view is wrong.

First, companies do pay for some of the increase. Wall Street has increased its bonuses even as workers march for higher wages. In 2012, those bonuses increased by 8 percent to an average $121,000 (Bloomberg.com).

Second, in real terms, minimum wages have been declining since the 1960s. This decline is one reason income has shifted from all classes to the rich. People become “strapped” when jobs do not pay enough to allow a decent living.

When wages fall, consumption goes down and affects the economy for all of us. Raising wages provides the income for “strapped” workers to increase their consumption and boost the economy.

Finally, it is wrong to subsidize companies like Wal-Mart by allowing them to pay wages so low that full-time workers must be supported with tax dollars in the form of food stamps. A higher minimum wage means less tax dollars for food stamps and more for education.

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