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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 24, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Henry Ford and the minimum wage debate: What’s the right wage?

Lane Filler’s explanation that Henry Ford paid his workers twice the going wage because he needed to reduce turnover corrects a misconception. But it misses the point in relation to today’s minimum-wage debate [“Minimum wage: Henry Ford didn’t pay $5 a day to be nice,” Opinion, Dec. 21].

To me it shows that the economy operated quite well after wages were raised. No matter what the reason, the middle class eventually grew and was able to buy his cars as a result of increased wages.

All too often, the objections to raising the minimum wage are based on opinions rather than sound economics. The usual argument is that increasing the national minimum from $7.25 to $10.10 would increase unemployment. This sounds logical, and may be true in the short term, but the same arguments could be made against raising it to $6 from $5 per hour, or to $3 from $2. If there were no minimum wage, objections would be made on the same grounds against establishing any minimum.

The real question, therefore, is what’s too low and what’s too high?

— Evan Stoll, Kingston

Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: Henry Ford, Lane Filler

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