August 21, 2013

In response to Matt Miller’s Aug. 16 Washington Forum column, “Time for ‘Big Mac’ statesmanship,” Steve Caldeira, chief executive of the International Franchise Association, wrote that franchise owners can’t raise wages for workers because it would drive up costs and force franchise owners to raise prices or lower employment [“Fast-food franchises can’t afford to pay higher wages,” Aug. 19]. Well, of course it would raise costs. Mr. Caldeira does not say that franchise owners should be helping their communities by paying a living wage so their workers can afford to make ends meet and by paring back the difference between what they make and what their workers make.

Franchises can make owners quite well-to-do, but the employees at those franchises often earn minimum wage. Mr. Caldeira’s thinking is right in line with the 1-percenters who bleed the system to get theirs and refuse to help anyone along the way. Perhaps governments will realize eventually that a higher minimum wage is what it will take to help low-wage workers, since employers mostly refuse to let go of their cash.

Christopher Grieder, Herndon