Raising wages for fast-food workers would feed inflation

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Regarding the May 22 editorial "Super-Sizing Wages: Labor Protests Across Country Are Food for Thought": Perhaps the liberal arts majors at the PG could use a lesson in economics, which I'll try to do with a letter.

From the editorial, "[fast-food] workers demanded wages of $15 an hour and the freedom to join unions without intimidation."

The current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is also the approximate price of a fast-food meal that will satisfy the appetite of the average customer (protein, fries, drink combo).

Raise wages to $15 and the price of said meal will rise accordingly. The wage increase will further ripple through the economy and adjust upward all prices.

Don't misunderstand my position; I am in favor of a "living wage" for all workers. But mankind has been passing around some form of money for 3,000 years and no one has been able to solve this bugaboo of inflation. Is the worker any better off at a wage of $15 than $7.25 if all prices adjust to the increase? The net effect is no increase in purchasing power; the worker merely must learn to count higher.

And please don't reply that the companies don't "need" profits, because then all the stock in all the union pension funds will have zero value and retirement funding is extinct, canceling a benefit of unionization.

To read more, see the hyperinflation of the Italian lira post-World War II, the Turkish lira in the 1990s and the Zimbabwean dollar (particularly the 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note).




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