I’m responding to the Nov. 9 letter “Minimum wage increases backfire” (Our Readers’ Views).
The argument “companies only have so much money to hand out” doesn’t make sense when you look at large corporations who pay their CEOs millions of dollars, generous dividends to shareholders, then pay an unlivable wage to their employees. Nor does it make sense when you look at the average small business. Economic viability for any business should include a living wage for all employees, otherwise a peasant class is created, similar to a Third World country with great income disparities.
Of course, regional differences must be taken into account. A minimum livable wage in a large metropolitan area would be different than a minimum wage in a small rural town.
A minimum wage below survival levels creates a false economy, increasing our taxes due to the help the working poor need. Sadly, minimum-wage jobs are no longer the province of the young and uneducated. Have you gone into a fast-food establishment and noticed how many people at or near retirement age are working there?
For further reading see the book “Runaway Inequality” by Les Leopold, available at our local libraries.