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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 26, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Raising the minimum wage for fast-food workers

How low can you go?

People chant and march next to E John St. and Broadway during a demonstration and walkout of fast food and coffee shop employees on Capitol Hill Aug. 29, 2013. The rally was part of a nationwide protest of low-wage laborers demanding a $15 per hour minimum wage. [Lindsey Wasson, The Seattle Times.]

People chant and march next to E John St. and Broadway during a demonstration and walkout of fast food and coffee shop employees on Capitol Hill Aug. 29, 2013. The rally was part of a nationwide protest of low-wage laborers demanding a $15 per hour minimum wage.
[Lindsey Wasson, The Seattle Times.]

I was struck by the presentation of the “no” position in the minimum-wage debate. [“Should fast-food chains pay a ‘living wage’?”, Opinion, Sept. 21.]

It makes sense that entry-level positions are just that: for people entering the job market, learning to be reliable and able to follow directions. But this sensible idea was then twisted to say that the wage for such positions was low in order to inspire these people to get out of such positions.

This is an argument for lowering the wage, thus making the incentive all the stronger. Companies with unpaid interns love this argument.

For a rational approach to this problem, it would help if those in favor of the “no” position would come up with a minimum-wage amount that they would be in favor of.

Were they in favor of the present $7.25 federal minimum wage when it was being installed years ago? Is there a fair wage for entry-level positions?

Dan Geels, Bothell

Comments | More in Economy, Labor, Politics | Topics: entry-level positions, fast food, job market

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