To the Editor:
It’s time to raise the “minimum wage” to living wage, from $7.80 per hour to $12 per hour. It would cost the state nothing. In fact, it would encourage those not wanting to work for less than $8 per hour to come back into the workforce. I urge everyone who is making less than $12 per hour or less than $24,000 salary per year to join my army: Elmer H. Gardiner, 23 Bokar Street, Warwick, RI 02886.
The Civil War freed the slaves. The slaves were at least provided with food and shelter. Seven dollars and 80 cents per hour does not provide food and shelter.
Let’s start a petition and storm the State House. There is not one legislator who would work for this wage and “no benefits.” The federal government states that $24,000 is the poverty level. A 40-hour week at $7.80 per hour comes to $16,229. Why would anyone work for that? How does that figure add to the economy?
When you hire someone to work for less than $24,000 per year, you create another form of slavery. It’s called economic slavery.
When businessmen who pay these low wages, do you ever cost yourselves? Where does my employee live? Does he have enough to provide for himself? Am I using them to promote a wonderful life for myself? Why should I worry; I’ve got a nice car. I got a nice home. I’ve got medical and retirement benefits. I’ve got sick leave.
Some of you make Ebenezer Scrooge look like a philanthropist.
Elmer H. Gardiner