Fast Focus: 'What should determine the minimum wage?' The cost of conscience

June 15, 2014 

One of my basic philosophies is that everybody deserves a living wage. The work of ordinary people has value, and it should be recognized. What should determine the minimum wage? It should be established by our collective consciences. I want to live in a civilized society. I'm not rich, but I could certainly cut back on a few of my vices in order to pay a little bit more for a hamburger or a motel room, so that the workers who provide these services to me can be compensated more humanely. Adults who are working a full-time job should not be living in poverty. And I am tired of hearing that a jillion small businesses will shut down if the minimum wage is raised. If your business depends upon the exploitation of workers for survival, close it and get a job. Way more folks will be helped than harmed if we, as a community, come together and demand that everyone be paid a living wage. To paraphrase Steve Martin in the movie My Blue Heaven, "it's not tipping I believe in; it's over-tipping."

-- ERIC NORDLOF, Kennewick

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