September 6, 2013

In its mind-numbingly myopic editorial [“The high price of bombast,” Sept. 4] calling for Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) to veto the “living wage” bill passed by the D.C. Council, The Post took to task Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) for invoking the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. by stating, “The cry for freedom and justice recognized that economic equality is essential, too.”

Christine Owens, executive director at the National Employment Law Project, noted recently in relation to 50th-anniversary events commemorating King’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that the minimum wage in 1963 was $1.25, which in 2013 dollars equates to roughly $10.50; the current federal minimum wage is only $7.25, set in 2009.

The Post then went on to state: “We wouldn’t presume to guess what King’s stance would be on this bill.” The 1963 march made specific demands, among them a new federal $2 minimum wage which, as Ms. Owens pointed out, would equate to $15 today. Why even make such a non-serious, nonsensical postulation?

Tom Whiting, Washington

I read with frustration and disappointment the Sept. 4 Metro article “Budget cuts slow city’s economy, Gray says.” The District has made so much progress in business development and local neighborhood revitalization. This conversation about a “living wage” is ridiculous and will only further slow our economy. Are all workers in the city to be paid a “living wage”?

I own several small businesses in Washington. The Large Retailer Accountability Act reveals a lack of understanding among city leaders about fundamental economics. Jobs create jobs. Development creates better neighborhoods. This bill should be called “Clear and Targeted Business Discrimination.”

Kris Hart, Washington