DALE LEE: This is no time to raise minimum wage
February 27, 2013 3:00 PM

This is in rebuttal of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (“It’s time to raise the minimum wage”), which ran Feb. 20.

I have worked hard all my life and think we are entitled to a decent wage. I am not against paying someone for the work they do and think it should be compatible on the market.

I am against the government setting a standard of the lowest wage for us, though.

I saw firsthand what Mr. Krugman mentioned, the wage increase of the late ’70s by President Carter. It was $3.25 an hour 40 years ago; that is worth $7.25 now. I understand inflation and it has hit everyone, but understand it also has hit the employers and they have to pay these low-end, unskilled, normally first-job workers. They are entry-level positions not designed to retire in. My first good-paying job was $7 an hour at a skilled position.

When this went into effect, in my teens, I was cutting lawns. making $5 a lawn. When I told them I had to raise prices because of minimum wage law, I lost all of them. People went back to cutting their own grass.

I got a job at the low end of the scale, and, though I tried hard, it wasn’t enough money. so I learned a skilled position on break, during my time. I then moved ahead soon into a skilled position and made better wages.

The low end of the scale is never a way to raise a family as anyone knows, but it’s where we all started.

If you raise the low end of the scale, you raise the price of everything and that is reducing the amount your income provides for.

Your income does not increase, only the low end, but they have done nothing to receive a raise.

They need to improve themselves for an increase if they want to move ahead in life, because they can’t retire from flipping burgers or you pay $20 for a burger just so they can.

Mr. Krugman gives no idea here that makes any sense, as he evidently does not live in the real world. Bottom line: Increasing the minimum wage hurts only the employers, raises the price of everything and does nothing to help those at the low end of the scale except allow them to stay there longer.

Dale Lee

Seward

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