I totally disagree with Jaret Romano’s take on the minimum wage, which he expressed in a letter in the Dec. 8 edition of the Observer-Reporter.
Romano asks if raising the minimum wage will boost our standard of living. I believe the answer is yes, and it will greatly help those who need it the most, minimum-wage earners. He is also certain that by raising the minimum wage – which, history tells us, will go up only a dollar or two – will result in decreased production of automobiles.
I ask: How many minimum-wage earners can afford a new car?
Romano also fears less gas would be sold. I welcome that scenario, because history and the law of supply and demand dictate that when there is an overabundance of a product, lower prices occur. Besides that, I shed no tears for Exxon’s loss. He also suggests that low-wage earners should be happy and embrace their poverty because prices would rise if they got a raise. I counter that a boost in the minimum wage, more disposable income would become available, and our economy would benefit, as well as the worker’s lifestyle. It’s a win-win situation for all.
Furthermore, Romano thinks if there is an increase in the minimum wage, McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants would shutter their doors. Where would they go? Ethiopia? He also believes fast food industries were meant to give young workers a chance to build their skills for the future. But the fast food industry is built on the premise of maximum profit while paying a minimum wage.
Romano lives in McDonald, which has a median income of $44,500 per year. That is almost three times what someone working 40 hours per week and earning the minimum wage would bring home. He should think about that while sipping tea and listening to Rush Limbaugh.