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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 16, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Minimum-wage debate in Seattle

Employers, not taxpayers, should pay workers

Tom Douglas is raising the minimum wage for cooks and bakers in the kitchens of his 16 local restaurants to $15 an hour. Douglas is not a fan of the government mandating such a wage. [John Lok, The Seattle Times.]

Tom Douglas is raising the minimum wage for cooks and bakers in the kitchens of his 16 local restaurants to $15 an hour. Douglas is not a fan of the government mandating such a wage. [John Lok, The Seattle Times.]

A minimum-wage employee is likely receiving a number of government subsidies including food stamps, housing assistance, earned-income tax credit and soon medical insurance assistance. [“A crazy generosity experiment,” NW Sunday, Aug. 11.]If the minimum wage were raised (say, to $15 an hour) the minimum-wage employee would receive fewer, if any, government benefits.

Since these benefits are paid by the government, we the taxpayers are, in essence, supporting part of the overall payment of today’s minimum-wage workers. Why should the taxpayer subsidize wages paid by fast-food companies, Wal-Mart Stores, and other minimum-wage employers?

I would much rather pay a few cents more for a hamburger so the workers earn livable wages, than pay additional taxes to support employees earning the current minimum wage.

Paul Jones, Mercer Island

0 Comments | More in Economy, Politics, Seattle | Topics: food stamps, government subsidies, housing assistance

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