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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 19, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Raising the minimum wage is not enough

The raging debates in Seattle and SeaTac on raising the minimum wage highlight the downsides of current policy — workers coming in to take low-skilled jobs while pushing out those who need them the most; the failure to include the airport in the SeaTac wage hike — but also raise the question of where we go from here, not as cities but as a state [“Stop insulting minimum-wage workers,” Opinion, Feb. 19].

We must move away from addressing these policies in cities and raise the minimum wage statewide, while implementing a progressive taxation policy to replace the regressive sales tax.

Even on a state level, raising the minimum wage is not enough to help the most vulnerable. The reliance on a high sales tax benefits the wealthiest among us while harming the poorest, who must pay a disproportionately high percent of their income to purchase even basic goods.

Raising the minimum wage, combined with a progressive income tax (with higher tax rates for the wealthy and very low or no taxes for the very poor), would significantly decrease the inequality in our state far more than a simple minimum wage hike ever could. Though it would anger many, it is time for more equality.

Stephanie Lennon, Seattle

Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: Minimum Wage, progressive tax, seatac

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