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Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 18, 2013 at 7:01 PM

$15 minimum wage won’t help local businesses

Businesses would rather buy labor-saving equipment

A $15 minimum wage would prove to be a cruel hoax on those currently making minimum wage [“$15 wage efforts gaining steam in Seattle,” page one, Dec. 18].

At this point low-level workers cannot compete with someone qualified to earn $15 an hour. If they could they would have a job making $15 right now. For that matter, there would be displacements among all wage earners between minimum and $15 an hour.

Does anyone think employers would sit still for an increase in labor costs? No way. They will buy labor-saving equipment or cut hours. A store that is open 24 hours a day may close at midnight; fast-food restaurant that stays open till midnight may close at 10 p.m.; a small retail business that opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m. may choose to open at 11 a.m. and close at 6 p.m., or find a way to stay open with less labor.

Seattle would be better off to watch the SeaTac experiment and make its decision based on facts.

— Jerry Forell, Kirkland

 

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