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Opinion >  Letters

Myths of minimum wage

I appreciate the insights Sue Lani Madsen brings to us about the concerns of rural conservatives of our area, but I don’t think she is well-qualified to speak to the economic issues of large cities. Her recent attack on minimum wage increases in Seattle is cribbed largely from a study generated at the conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute.

That widely shared study purports to show a direct link between the increase in minimum wage and a small decrease in restaurant employment in Seattle. However, not only is the snapshot of employment in the study too brief to be useful, it ignores the fact, reported in the Seattle Business Journal, that 15 restaurant have closed there, affecting 900 employees, due to waterfront construction.

Moreover, there have been 19 increases in the minimum wage over the past 75 years. Economists have conducted many rigorous studies about the economic effects and outcomes of such increases because of the concerns of lawmakers, and they nearly all contradict the opinions Madsen espouses.

From these studies, the U.S. Department of Labor has compiled a website called Minimum Wage Mythbusters, a site I hope that readers will check out for themselves.

Greg Presley

Spokane


 

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