Perspective over time
I would like to provide some perspective in the discussion regarding the minimum-wage issue. [“SeaTac’s $15 wage initiative draws big money, attention,” NW Friday, Aug. 23.]
In 1966, I was released from military service and started my career as an architect in training, in Norfolk, Va. I was paid $3 per hour. I had a wife, two kids, two cars, life insurance, money in the bank and vacation time. At that time, the federal minimum wage was $1.25 per hour.
As we all know, the cost of living has increased nearly tenfold in the intervening 47 years. However, if we take ten times as a mean increase, that would put the $3 salary at $30 per hour, and the corresponding minimum wage at $12.50.
The current professional salary is close to this increase; the minimum wage is not. The $15 hourly wage being requested is reasonable.
Employers say this will ruin their business. That is highly unlikely, since employees would then have the money to purchase their employers’ products.
John Wade, Bainbridge Island