Letter: Minimum wage should be increased

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Reading the March 7 Columbian story, “Costco backs bill in Congress to raise the minimum wage,” it’s fantastic seeing a nationally recognized Northwest company continuing to stand up for what’s right by supporting a bill in Congress to raise the minimum wage, and I applaud them for rejecting suggestions from analysts to cut back those costs. Having a big name support a minimum-wage increase is beneficial, as minimum wage has not kept up with inflation, nor do most businesses want it to in order to keep costs low.

We are blessed to live in a progressive state with a minimum wage of $9.19 per hour, but we are the minority, one of 10 states basing minimum wage off the Consumer Price Index, adjusting annually for inflation. The majority of states don’t require businesses to pay more than the federal minimum requirement. If you are a tipped employee, in many states, your minimum wage is $2.13 per hour. Washington is one of seven states that guarantee tipped employees full minimum wage, which is fairly close to a living wage. I can only hope that the attitude toward cutting wages will begin to change with Costco backing this bill, and that more businesses will follow Costco’s lead.

Natasha Sharer

Vancouver