December 19, 2014
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It’s time to change minimum wage to living wage

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
Warwick


Comments
4 comments on this item

Elmer...why not raise it to $20.00 per hour? It won't cost the state anything but it will cost businesses lots of money and they will pass along the increases in higher prices for goods and services. You may be well intentioned but not well informed. There is no such thing as a living wage. People currently getting 12.00 per hour will then want a raise because they will be getting the minimum wage instead of 4.00 above minimum wage. People were not meant to live on minimum wage.

I have worked 3 jobs, one full-time and two part-time, for over 20 years. Others can do the same. Only a socialist demands a certain wage. If you work hard, you can get by. I hope no one joins your army Elmer.

Elmer, you are paid exactly what you are worth to the broader economic market place. The government has no business in influencing this in anyway, and it is outside the role of government to dictate a "minimum wage" of any kind in the first place. If you wish to be compensated at a higher rate, perform your job at a higher level in a field that is more highly valued. And please, please keep the government out of it.

Elmer it doesn't matter how high you raise the minimum wage you won't get it to the living wage. This will actually lower the value of the dollar, causing inflation.

When you hire someone for less than $24,000 per year it's called entry level.

Businesses are not in business to provide jobs. They are there to make money by providing goods and/or services. There is no slavery involved you can leave the job anytime you want.

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