Low wages driving up social costs

Low wages driving up social costs                                           By paying low wages employers enjoy the benefits of labor while shifting the costs of living onto the public. To feed their families, fend off sickness, and keep from crime, low wage earners are forced turn to the resources of the state at taxpayer expense. Taxpayers who laud business success never seem to understand they are schlepping the burden of employer profits. While taxpayers decry welfare, they never seem to stop and think that without a living wage, their fellow citizens do not earn enough to improve their lives, cannot afford to give their children a better education, and never become productive members of a progressive society. The false argument that raising the minimum wage destroys jobs is social myth sponsored by profit-motivated business. The facts are that throughout the history of the United States, raising wages has never cost jobs. Just the opposite is true. Raising wages has always given a boost to the economy. According to Silicon Valley Mogul, Ron Unz, raising the state minimum wage to $12/hour would immediately pump $15 billion dollars into the California economy and do so each and every year. If paychecks had kept pace with productivity after Reaganomics, the minimum wage today would be $17/hour. Instead, productivity has soared and profits have skyrocketed, while wages have stagnated. If CEO pension-busting 401(k)s are causing the Social Security crisis and low minimum wages are holding back the economy, how is private enterprise helping to improve the lives of citizens? If the federal government shut down is costing the government billions and slowing the economy, state and local governments must step in and do what business will not do. If the purpose of government is to do what individuals cannot do on their own, then it is up to government to turn the minimum wage into a living wage.

Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.

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