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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 19, 2014 at 7:15 AM

Seattle City Council debates minimum wage

Give the 15 Now campaign some credit

I was disappointed by the editorial “Don’t use brute force to handle minimum wage” [Opinion, March, 17], which calls on the 15 Now citizen organizers of Seattle to back off and let the City Council’s advisory committee take control.

While I agree with the editorial’s claims that the minimum-wage issue needs to be treated like the complicated and nuanced issue that it is, it’s important to acknowledge that the aggressive tactics of the 15 Now campaign are what made the minimum-wage debate a City Council priority. They are why we’re having this conversation at all.

By labeling the tactics of the 15 Now campaign as, “brute force,” and claiming that they are hijacking the issue with their “catchy slogan,” The Seattle Times editors are doing exactly what they criticize the 15 Now organizers of doing: oversimplifying a complex issue. This serves no one.

I call on The Seattle Times to treat this issue with the importance and nuance that is necessary to inform its readership about all sides of the issue. That way, if a $15 minimum wage really does wind up on the November ballot, we can withstand being swayed by a catchy slogan.

Sarah Downey, Bellevue

Back where we started

Let’s look at the possibility of the increase to the minimum wage from $9.32 to $15 per hour. What raise will their lead person get, and the next bracket and the next and the next? Will it be a simple across-the-board of $5.68 or a percentage raise? Each bracket must have a reasonable salary difference. Remember a rising tide lifts all boats.

It doesn’t matter if the minimum wage passes or not, it will still be an entry-level job, and the lowest paid. The prices of goods will adjust to compensate and we will be right back where we were.

It is a sad fact most of the people in these jobs are qualified to move on to better positions but most of our manufacturing jobs have been shipped out of our country. The minimum-wage job market for teenagers is very limited because the entry jobs are mostly filled with qualified people without the opportunity for advancement.

The fact is we have lost our economic ladder of orderly advancement. If our country doesn’t make an honest effort to get the jobs back from overseas we will be in much more trouble than we are now.

Pierre Bruneau, Bothell

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