Letter: Minimum wage editorial insulting to workers

January 21, 2014 

A recent editorial in the Tri-City Herald was titled "Minimum wage law hurts the state's economic growth." The editorial contained a premise: "Minimum wage work was intended to be an entry point to the job market." This premise is inane, insulting and smacks of bigotry. Does it mean that the workers at McDonald's restaurants are expected to become physics professors? Perhaps the Herald editorial board doesn't understand that there are career waitresses, career store clerks and other career minimum-wage workers, all of whom deserve a living wage for the work they do all their lives.

Furthermore, business thrives if workers have extra money to spend, which translates to high wages. If a business cannot stay viable because it must pay its employees a sufficient wage but can't competitively raise prices, that business should fold.

Granted, a better law than a minimum wage law would be a law that required businesses to negotiate a fair share of the profits with its workers, with due consideration for the needs of business, such as increased overhead, expansion, etc. That sounds logical and fair, but of course such a law will never be enacted because of anti-labor and anti-union sentiments of conservatives (and some newspaper editorial boards).


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