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Increasing the Minimum Wage

May 04, 1988

In response to your editorial on the minimum wage ("A Decent Wage," April 27):

Raising the minimum wage will do little, if anything, to help the average working man support his family with dignity.

The majority of people earning the minimum wage are not heads of households. Most are secondary workers and one-third are teen-agers, according to Census Bureau figures. Many others are in the restaurant business where a substantial portion of their income is gained from tips, not hourly wages.

A minimum wage increase will be harmful to two groups, marginal employers and marginal employees. When the minimum wage is raised, many employers find it is cheaper to replace workers with machines. Others must lay off workers to compensate for rising costs.

The best way to help low-income workers is to create a strong economy where jobs are abundant and upward mobility is a real possibility.

MARTYN HOPPER

State Director, National

Federation of Independent

Business/California

Los Angeles

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