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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 28, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Improving economic disparities: Give workers a basic living wage

Columnist David Brooks states in his column that “ … the majority of workers are not seeing income gains commensurate with their productivity levels.” [“Capitalism for the masses,” Opinion, Feb. 22]. He also states that “ … Republicans need to declare a truce on the social safety net.”

So far, so good. However, then Brooks goes on to state that the American Enterprise Institute has the answer to our growing income inequality problem. Its solution is, wait for it, more tax cuts.

Brooks’ plan is to “ … expand the earned-income tax credit or maybe use direct payments or loans to help people.” What? Who is going to pick up the tab for this plan? taxpayers? Why not require corporations to pay a basic living wage so their employees would not have to go on welfare in order to supplement their wages. The U.S. taxpayer is indirectly subsidizing some of the largest corporations in America.

By paying a basic living wage, workers would have money to spend. Henry Ford came to this same conclusion 100 years ago. The minimum wage should be increased to at least $10.10.

James J. Farrell, Bellevue

0 Comments | More in Economy, minimum wage | Topics: American Enterprise Institute, David Brooks, economic disparities

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