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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 6, 2015 at 11:39 AM

Raising the minimum wage: A path to educational opportunities

Columnist Richard S. Davis argues that improved education and training opportunities, not minimum-wage increases, would result in greater economic mobility [“We have a fixation on income inequality,” Opinion, Feb. 4]. In actuality, if we are to educate and train more Washingtonians, we must increase the minimum wage.

The person being educated or trained needs two things: time and money. For young people starting out in life, an increased minimum wage would open the door to greater educational opportunity, enabling them to acquire the resources necessary to make an entry-level job the first rung on the ladder of economic mobility rather than a dead-end street. For those struggling to support families, many of whom hold more than one job to do so, how can we reasonably expect them to have the money to pay for an education and sacrifice income for time spent in a classroom or training program?

Raising the minimum wage, a market-based approach that rewards work, would provide more of the resources, if not the time, required for educational pursuits. Or we could publicly subsidize education and training through free tuition and income-replacement policies. I presume Davis, the former president of the Washington Research Council, a free-market think tank, would prefer the former.

Jennifer Moon, Bellingham

Comments | More in Education, minimum wage | Topics: education, Jennifer Moon, Minimum Wage

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