Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 24, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Raising the minimum wage for fast-food workers

Share the wealth

Angeles Solis (middle left) and Yecenia Morales-Garcia, members of United Students Against Sweatshops, chant in solidarity outside the Broadway Subway during a demonstration and walkout of fast food and coffee shop employees on Broadway Ave. on Capitol Hill Aug. 29, 2013. The rally was part of a nationwide protest, spanning to New York and Detroit, of low-wage laborers demanding a $15 per hour minimum wage. [Lindsey Wasson, The Seattle Times.]

Angeles Solis (middle left) and Yecenia Morales-Garcia, members of United Students Against Sweatshops, chant in solidarity outside the Broadway Subway during a demonstration and walkout of fast food and coffee shop employees on Broadway Ave. on Capitol Hill Aug. 29, 2013. The rally was part of a nationwide protest, spanning to New York and Detroit, of low-wage laborers demanding a $15 per hour minimum wage. [Lindsey Wasson, The Seattle Times.]

The recently published “no” argument in minimum-wage debate is baffling. [“Should fast-food chains pay a ‘living wage’?”, Opinion, Sept. 21.]

The writer references medieval doctors bleeding people and wages of Mexican workers, considers a tiny island in the Pacific equivalent to the U.S. economy, and suggests that the economic role of minimum-wage jobs is entry-level employment for higher-paying jobs because all minimum-wage jobholders are inexperienced workers with little value to the American economy.

Not only that, but we also overlook that fast-food workers can be replaced with less expensive machines. Whew, this is a truly remarkable senior policy analysis of American-labor economics.

The true impact of paying a “living” minimum wage would be the ability of American (not Mexican or Samoan) citizens to earn enough money to pay for a place to live, buy food to eat and clothe children.

This would thereby reduce the burden of our punitive government to supplement poverty-level wages by handing out food-stamp programs, free lunches for schoolchildren, and hot meals for homebound senior citizens.

Your view of bleeding by leeches is another’s view of sharing the wealth earned by the hard work and labor suffered by minimum-wage workers.

Joy Findley, North Bend

Make independent choice

The debate over the minimum wage shows a stunning lack of understanding of elementary economics.

To wit, if you raise the price of labor, employers will use less of it, and output prices in those industries will rise.

If you feel strongly that wages are too low, stop shopping at Walmart, McDonald’s and other businesses that offer incredible values. Just simply direct your shopping dollars to higher-priced mom-and-pop stores and independent merchants.

You’ve had that choice for a while; why aren’t you exercising it?

Stu Haas, Seattle

Comments | More in Economy, Politics | Topics: economy, families, fast food


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►