Letter: Wage disparity decelerates growth

Published:

 

If we would increase our minimum wage our economy would become healthier. Middle-income consumers spend more of their income than the wealthy. Everyone would benefit.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, 34 percent of Clark County residents live in rental housing. Renters should be earning at least $17.73 per hour to pay for their rent and living expenses. Washington’s minimum wage is currently $9.32 per hour.

The International Monetary Fund warns us that a wide income disparity can slow economic growth. San Francisco has increased its minimum wage to $10.74 an hour, and has required businesses to pay sick leave and health insurance. Businesses absorbed the cost through small price increases and had lower turnover and an increase in productivity.

Life circumstances and strong ethics force some people into these low-paying jobs. The low-income workers are the backbone of our society. Let’s tip fast-food workers and other service providers, increase their wages and benefits. We should follow the Starbucks and Costco examples; both CEOs are supporters of a minimum-wage increase. The few cents in cost to the consumer would be money well spent.

Myron Wurzer

Vancouver