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Increasing the Minimum Wage

May 04, 1988

Discussions regarding increasing the minimum wage never seem to address the problem fully and leave important questions unanswered. Your editorial is a good example. The negative impact of loss of jobs and higher prices is usually dismissed like "those arguments may prove true in some cases, but the bottom line must be based on fairness." Since you agree that there could be some negative impact it would seem that the extent of that effect should be explored.

Arguments favoring an increase in the minimum wage from $3.35 an hour to $5.05 an hour make it sound like only a Scrooge would oppose it. Yet nowhere have I seen a discussion of the ripple effects of an increase. The worker who now makes $5.05 an hour after earning increases over the past two or three years is naturally also going to want an increase since his experience is worth more than a new hire.

You state: "Americans who work for the nation's minimum wage deserve a reasonable raise every year not only when politics allows." It is incredible to me that anyone would believe that the minimum wage could be increased every year without negatively impacting the economy.

If as you say, the "bottom line must be based on fairness," then let's make sure that the ramifications are considered.

HOWARD R. BARNES

Corona

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