Letter: Raising the minimum wage

To the Editor:

The president has advocated raising the minimum wage to $10.10. He has asserted that the current minimum wage of seven and a quarter is woefully inadequate to live on. That amounts to $15,080 a year.

Republicans have argued that a raise would destroy jobs. Past experience indicates that it might have a very small effect on employment. Why couldn’t special provisions be made for small companies that couldn’t afford it? Obviously, the Republican party is not interested in the poor. Why else would Speaker of the House John Boehner not bring it up for a vote?

A number of major corporations are paying millions of Americans the minimum wage. This practice seems most prevalent in the food industry. Wal-Mart, the largest company in the country, and McDonald’s are examples of this. The CEO of McDonald’s has stated that he would support a raise in the minimum wage.

Where does Wal-Mart stand on this? Millions of minimum wage workers are getting by on federally funded food stamps. Thus, we as taxpayers, are in effect subsidizing these highly profitable companies.

Gov. Quinn has advocated raising the minimum wage in Illinois. His Republican opponent, who many say is a billionaire, has said the minimum wage should be cut in Illinois by $1. That’s easy to say for someone who thinks all we have to do in Illinois is cut taxes to solve the unemployment problem.

A raise in the minimum wage would actually reduce the federal deficit since millions of people would no longer be eligible for food stamps. Furthermore, a raise would help to stimulate growth in the economy since millions would be able to spend more on necessities.

Edward Lynd Kendall

Batavia