November 13, 2013

I was struck by the reference in the Nov. 11 editorial “Better pay” to the usual, tired arguments against raising the minimum wage, such as that doing so would discourage businesses from hiring or locating in a region that requires a living wage or that the increased wages might disqualify the working poor from public assistance.

If we can assume a consensus among thinking people in a country as wealthy as ours that people who work should be able to feed their families, provide them with shelter and attend to their health needs, then paying a minimum of what is required for frugal workers to manage these basic human necessities should be a given.

With all the talk about reducing public spending and the virtues of the private sector, why shouldn’t large corporations pay their workers enough to enable them to survive without taxpayer-subsidized programs? Why must taxpayers protect massive corporate profits by acceding to a minimum wage that does not provide “the minimum”?

Beverly Fairchild, Knoxville, Md.

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