Letter: Government money supplements minimum wage incomes

April 24, 2013 

The short tenure of Betsey Stevenson as chief economist of the U.S. Labor Department was a blessing for the country. As an economist, she showed her foolishness in her economic analysis of minimum wage and its effects on the poor.

I manage more than 30 minimum-wage earners at a potato packing shed in Oregon. Let's tally the benefits of one minimum wage earner who has a family of three children. He receives more than $700 per month in food stamps. He received $10,900 for a Making Work Pay tax rebate from the IRS while not really paying taxes. He gets free medical care for his wife and children from Washington state and receives more than $400 a month for himself from the company in a high deductible insurance policy as an additional compensation from the company other than minimum wage.

If you tally it all up, he would need to make more than $72,000 per year after paying 15 percent tax to the government to receive all those benefits.

That's a pretty good deal compared with the average $50,000 per year for a "middle class" wage earner. The day is near when middle class managers will go on strike against the radical entitlement programs that are bankrupting this country.

Stevenson needs a solid education in economics -- right here on the packing line.

MIKE MASSEY, Kennewick

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