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September 24, 2013 at 7:26 AM
Share the wealth
The recently published “no” argument in minimum-wage debate is baffling. [“Should fast-food chains pay a ‘living wage’?”, Opinion, Sept. 21.]
The writer references medieval doctors bleeding people and wages of Mexican workers, considers a tiny island in the Pacific equivalent to the U.S. economy, and suggests that the economic role of minimum-wage jobs is entry-level employment for higher-paying jobs because all minimum-wage jobholders are inexperienced workers with little value to the American economy.
Not only that, but we also overlook that fast-food workers can be replaced with less expensive machines. Whew, this is a truly remarkable senior policy analysis of American-labor economics.
The true impact of paying a “living” minimum wage would be the ability of American (not Mexican or Samoan) citizens to earn enough money to pay for a place to live, buy food to eat and clothe children.
This would thereby reduce the burden of our punitive government to supplement poverty-level wages by handing out food-stamp programs, free lunches for schoolchildren, and hot meals for homebound senior citizens.
Your view of bleeding by leeches is another’s view of sharing the wealth earned by the hard work and labor suffered by minimum-wage workers.
Joy Findley, North Bend
Make independent choice
The debate over the minimum wage shows a stunning lack of understanding of elementary economics.
To wit, if you raise the price of labor, employers will use less of it, and output prices in those industries will rise.
If you feel strongly that wages are too low, stop shopping at Walmart, McDonald’s and other businesses that offer incredible values. Just simply direct your shopping dollars to higher-priced mom-and-pop stores and independent merchants.
You’ve had that choice for a while; why aren’t you exercising it?
Stu Haas, Seattle
September 19, 2013 at 7:01 AM
Use cloth diapers
Nuts! For little more than the cost of a box of the disposable ones, a family could buy a dozen cloth diapers that would last through the child’s entire toilet training period. [“Lack of diapers creates problems for families,” News, Sept. 16.]
We raised seven happy, healthy kids in Seattle without ever using a disposable diaper. The diaper pail was like one of the family; it went everywhere with us — to friends’ houses for dinner, out to the ocean on vacation, wherever.
Now, 40 years after our youngest stopped needing them, we’re still using the last diapers as window-washing cloths.
Moreover, is there any other household item that has the horrendous impact on our solid waste landfills that millions of those disposable things do?
David Harris, Wenatchee
September 17, 2013 at 6:59 AM
My heart is aching for those people who don’t have diapers for their little ones. [“Lack of diapers creates problems for families,” News, Sept. 16.]
I know it is problematic to not be able to change babies’ diapers. But tell me this. Has anyone ever heard of cloth diapers that you use, wash and reuse continually?
Some cloth diapers could be distributed to these people with instructions on how to fold and wash the diapers, if anyone can still remember the procedure.
My husband and I raised three boys, and never used disposable diapers.
Isn’t it so much better for the environment to use the old-fashioned, regular cloth diapers?
Mary Hickey, Oak Harbor
July 23, 2013 at 7:04 PM
Hard times require tough decisions
I read the letter to the editor about the food-stamps debate, claiming these cuts were like welfare for the rich. [“Northwest Voices: Food stamps at risk,” Opinion, July 22.]
I was a Democrat all my life, until the party became a charity and we became a welfare state. Sure, there should be help for the poor. However, this government is so large that fraud is everywhere, from the drug dealers taking food stamps to the students that sell theirs.
My mother was a single parent who never thought of asking for help. She taught us that if we didn’t have money, we did without. My mother grew up in the Great Depression, when people learned how to do without. We had a good work ethic and we didn’t expect anyone to take care of us. Maybe our children would appreciate their lives more if everything wasn’t given so easily.
We are now living in a “me” society, where food-stamps recipients get not only food but free cellphones and phone service as well. Food programs were made to help families, not to indulge them.
When a family’s income is cut, the family has to cut their budget, not keep spending. The parents have to make decisions that are not popular with the family. Somebody has to be in charge so their family can survive. We are at that point in our country.
Don’t blame the GOP because they want our country to survive these hard times. Someone has to take action if we are to be the great country we always were.
Kathleen Bukoskey, Everett
June 24, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Couples need options for working less hours
Our society has changed from most women being homemakers, to most women being wage-earners outside the home.
Children and marriages have suffered through this transition. It’s time we make the next transition, with parents sharing the homemaking and wage-earning to best benefit the children and marriage.
The only way we can do that is by making it economically feasible to work fewer hours, especially for couples with young children.
Let’s give couples a better choice with a greater tax deduction or earned income credit for child care, regardless of whether it’s given at home or in a child-care center.
More parents at home will free up hours for the unemployed. With job sharing and flexibility incentives by the government, we as a society will all be better off.
Ruth Knagenhjelm, Normandy Park
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