November 23, 2014
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LETTERS
Living wage

To the Editor:

I recently read an article written by Al Lewis. He is a columnist in Denver, Colo. Recent demonstrations in Denver by workers are demanding McDonalds to pay the “living wage” of $15 an hour. McDonalds made a $5.5 billion profit last year.

They can easily pay that wage.

Businesses that cry “poor mouth” magically produce higher incomes for CEOs and large dividends for their investors. They should have the same enthusiasm for their workers’ income but “greed” prevents it. Why do you think unions came about? It’s time to free the economic slaves who toil at a minimum wage.

Revolution is in the wind all around the country. The minimum wage of $8 an hour does not even meet the basic needs. These hardworking people deserve at least part of the American Dream.

To quote Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Free at Last” speech, let’s add to that, “paid fairly at last, God almighty paid fairly at last.”

The living wage of $15 an hour will reduce welfare, reduce food stamp recipients, and it will reduce heating and utility users needing assistance. In case you haven’t got it, the changes will reduce taxes.

Let’s restore dignity in those willing to work. The increased income will stimulate the economy. Competition will keep prices from getting out of hand.

Elmer H. Gardner

Warwick


Comments
3 comments on this item

Elmer....to state that McDonalds could easily afford it is interesting. You are putting a limit on how much a company can make in profit. Is that the American way? If I looked at your earnings/savings/net wealth and found that it was double mine, could I demand you give me some? Whether a company can afford to do something doesn't mean they should or must. If two years from now MacDonalds was losing money, could they cut those same wages?

Stop treating companies, particularly successful companies, as bandits. And I won't demand you give me some of your largess.

I agree with the article some what. Ceo's make millions. Companies making millions and billions in profit. Some how this must trickle down to the employees for the U.S. economy to thrive. It's not just Mcdonalds, it is a lot of jobs. How can people survive? How can people spend money and boost the economy with working poor wages?

Greed is causing the U.S. economy to crumble. So many people would be off gov't assistance if jobs paid a fair wage ! Our taxes would go down because less would be gov't supported.

All this can be achieved by companies paying their employees and offering decent benefits.

The only people making out in the current U.S. big business scheme are the ceo's and the stock owners. The 1%

You may say for them to get more educated. How can people afford college ? College prices continue to rise every year.

The job market and salaries need to be better than what the gov't has to offer not to work!

Elmer: Where to start. First, these "slaves" of whom you speak are free, completely free, to work at any company they choose. The use of the word "slaves" reflects a complete, though not surprising ignorance of the word. Second, the "large dividends" of which you speak have been shrinking steadily since 1980. The S&P 500 (of which MacDonald's is a member) average is now below 2%. I wouldn't expect you to know this; much easier to deride America's producers. The beauty of Capitalism is that virtually all workers are paid precisely what they are worth in the broad marketplace, be they burger-flippers (of which I was once one) or CEO's.

Michael: About two-thirds of Americans own stock (i.e. "stock owners"), either outright or through their defined contribution retirement plans. Perhaps it's time to actually participate in the national economy, like most others, instead of bemoaning it.

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