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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 7, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Minimum wage: Too many variables for a $15 wage to work

Jasmine Donovan’s guest column on Dick’s Drive-In and the $15 minimum wage was right on target [“The problem with a $15 minimum wage for Dick’s Drive-In,” Opinion, April 2]. Seattle needs a “smart minimum wage.”

Backers of The 15 Now campaign believe that every job, regardless of required skills or performance, should be able to support a family.

The truth is, not all jobs are intended to do that, but rather to be entry-level, part-time or supplemental-income jobs. A “one size fits all” approach would destroy job opportunities for teenagers and the unskilled, and would limit many available part-time jobs.

Many employers create jobs just to give teenagers a summertime job. They would no longer do that at $15 an hour. Dick’s Drive-In’s story is a perfect example of letting the marketplace determine what is a fair wage for a particular job.

There are too many variables, such as tips and benefits, to make an across-the-board $15-an-hour wage workable.

“Be careful what you wish for” is a good caveat for the 15 Now supporters.

Wayne Jensen, Kirkland

Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: $15 an hour, 15 Now, Dick’s Drive-In

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