Last week, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan to move the city toward a $15 minimum wage, which would be phased in over three to seven years depending on the size of business and whether workers receive tips or benefits in addition to salary.
The Seattle Times wrote in an editorial, “If Seattle must go to $15 — and that appears a political reality — there are elements to like in this deal. It includes significant phase-in time, allowing employers to adjust to higher costs, and it incentivizes businesses to contribute to health care, at least for some time.” And added, “But this should not be considered merely tinkering, but a re-engineering of the Seattle economy.”
Readers have sent in quite a few letters in response to this coverage with their own perspectives of the wage hike. If you’d like to add your voice, send your letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s not being considered by supporters
When columnist Jerry Large asserts that Seattle is a step closer to equality because of reaching an agreement that must be approved by the City Council, he must have ignored several things [“Seattle off to promising start on plan to raise minimum wage,” Local News, May 4].
The increase in hourly wages could be whisked away in a heartbeat by higher rents, higher prices for Big Macs or higher prices at stores in low-income neighborhoods.
Equality in Seattle does not mean a thing for equality for 10,000 or so other places in the United States with slightly less liberal city council members.
There are very few highly desirable or even moderately desirable neighborhoods in King County, and a few thousand dollars more in take-home pay every year will make people not one inch closer to being able to afford a house in one of those neighborhoods.
If the cost of employing a person is higher than the revenue that person brings in, that person won’t be on the payroll for very long. People will lose jobs, and therefore be more unequal to others than before. Some people will get raise, other people will get substantial cuts in income.
Get set for higher inequality, Seattle. You deserve it.
Eric Tronsen, Seattle
Teenagers would need to move out of Seattle to find jobs
It would appear Seattle parents have between four and seven years to move to the suburbs so that they can teach their children the responsibility and value in obtaining a starter job.
From there, teenagers can learn