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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 16, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Raising the minimum wage is not all bad

Could reduce welfare, stimulate the economy and reduce the amount of people receiving welfare

There are many benefits to raising the minimum wage that can support individuals, the local economy and the government. [“Seattle on front line of push for raising minimum wage,” Online, Dec. 7].

By putting more money into people’s hands, they would spend more, which in turn would help to raise the local economy. For workers getting hours cut, even if their hours were to be cut by 25 percent, they would still be making more money than they do currently.

This wage increase would also help those stuck in poverty and would help those with families. Individuals working two or even three jobs to support their families may be able to work fewer hours or even drop a job to have more time to spend with their families, leaving more job opportunities for others.

Raising the minimum wage could also reduce the number of people receiving welfare and save the government money. With constant inflation and a stagnant economy, raising the minimum wage could be just what the state needs.

— Jefferson Lee, Seattle

Raising the minimum wage would deter new business establishment in Seattle

The recent debate over a $15 minimum wage in Seattle has justifiably divided the city’s population [“Judge to rule on SeaTac minimum-wage law,” NWSaturday, Dec. 14].

While the bulk of the attention has been on minimum-wage workers, who have long argued that the cost of living in and close to Seattle is prohibitively high, there has been little coverage of the effects on the integrity of the local business community.

Most King County residents sympathize with minimum-wage workers’ struggle to survive in one of the country’s most expensive cities. But without thorough analysis of the effects on the business sector, praise for a proposed raise is premature at best.

Such a significant increase in the minimum wage may result in job losses or a significant loss of full-time positions as businesses attempt to absorb the increased costs by offering more part-time work — with loss of worker benefits an important result.

Moreover, the high minimum wage may deter new business establishment in Seattle, further destabilizing the lower-wage-earner segment of our job market.

— Matteo Schiro, Medina

Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: Minimum Wage

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