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Second Opinion / COMMENT FROM OTHER MEDIA : MI CASA : Prices Rise, but Minimum Wage Doesn't

September 20, 1993| Mi Casa is a weekly Spanish-language newspaper published in Hollywood. Translated by Kevin Baxter.

Recently, a group of workers from Los Angeles took to the streets to protest the high cost of living and, above all, to demand an increase in the minimum wage which, as it exists now (at $4.25 an hour) is not satisfactory amid the uncontrollable rise in prices, especially in California.

There are examples why an increase in the minimum national salary is necessary. In 1987, a monthly pass for the RTD cost $18; now the same pass costs $42, an increase of approximately 140%. Instant soup, those that are so popular for lunch, in 1987 cost 30 cents. Now it costs 50 cents.

A bottle of baby formula cost $2.25 five years ago and now the price fluctuates between $3.40 and $3.90. Who doesn't suffer because of the constant rise in prices?

It's a vicious circle: the less buying power, the less is consumed, and when consumption decreases, the situation for the businessman gets worse.

The government has suggested that to ease the poverty level, the minimum wage should be $5.40 an hour, an increase of $1.15 over the present minimum wage. It would be a tough decision for the government and for sure it will meet with strong opposition on the part of the private sector because when you raise the minimum salary, almost all the factories must readjust their salaries.

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