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Opinion >  Letters

Minimum wage no answer

Washington state now has the highest minimum wage in the nation. If this will “end the cycle of poverty here,” I am all for it. But, why stop at $8.55 per hour? Why not $80 per hour?

What ended the cycle of poverty for Western civilization was rising productivity from specialization in the division of labor. Anything that inhibits the division of labor, such as forcing marginally productive people into unemployment, will make us all poorer.

Richard Roesler’s article (“Minimum wage will increase,” Dec. 31) implies that only employers object to minimum wage laws. He ignores people shut out of the job market because they have not the skill or ability to produce at least $8.55 per hour for an employer. For them, the minimum wage is not a floor support but a barrier to entry.

Have some compassion for these people and for those unable to work who must pay higher prices to support the new minimum wages. With 30 percent of students dropping out of high school in Washington state, we desperately need entry-level jobs that will allow young people to grow their skills while working. It’s those workers who most need a chance to contribute that will be shut out by minimum wage edicts.

Bodhi Densmore

Spokane

 

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