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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 27, 2014 at 7:04 AM

$15 Minimum wage could supplement seniors’ incomes before retirement

The proposed $15 minimum wage might make Seattle the retirement capital of the country [“$15 minimum wage would support a student; encourage the economy instead,” Northwest Voices, May 21].

Though most of the minimum-wage debate is focused on the effect the wage increase could have on the demand for minimum-wage workers, one must also consider the potential effect on the supply of minimum-wage job seekers. One such effect might come from retiring baby boomers.

The baby boomer generation, as a whole, is believed to be underfunded for retirement. As a result, many will work longer than anticipated. However, if the proposed wage increase becomes law, some working couples could opt to leave the stressful, 40-hour corporate life for more flexible, low stress, part-time jobs. A semiretired couple, working three days per week at $15 per hour, could supplement their retirement income. This would likely fill the retirement gaps that many are facing.

Unfortunately, this would make the competition for such jobs more crowded and difficult, potentially hurting the very group of low-skilled, low-income workers the minimum wage is intended to help.

Timothy J. Edwards, Paducah, Ky.

Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: $15 minimum wage, part-time jobs, Retirement

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