Letter | Time to raise minimum wage

May 20, 2014 

There’s a rising tide of opinion it is time to raise the minimum wage. When Americans qualify for food stamps because wages aren’t enough to live on, something must be done.

It’s not a question of economics but of the nation’s moral fiber. To work long hours then beg doesn’t promote work ethic; it demeans it. Businesses that pay low wages are freeloading on the rest of the population who get taxed to pay for the food stamps

What would we think of a company that had a fleet of trucks then asked taxpayers to pay maintenance? So it is with the insufficient minimum wage: It is paying for maintenance when taxpayers ensure workers are reasonably fed so they don’t faint from hunger at work, and — by cutting on their food bills — allow them to use their money for transportation.

This situation also undermines the basic principles of trade. A business is supposed to meet its costs from what customers pay, while non-customers do not contribute. But when taxpayers subsidize their labor, it doesn’t matter if they are customers. They end up paying anyway. What happens to the business owner incentive to attract customers?

The legislature must pass a minimum wage increase for the nation’s moral fiber, as well as for the workers, many of them women who are the struggling to support their children.

Please let the word get out about the building strong support for the minimum wage increase, as well as the reasons for supporting it.

Adriana I. Pena

State College, PA 16801

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