In response to Bill York’s April 5 letter (“Wage Domino Effect”): It is obvious that Mr. York is a conservative opposed to raising the minimum wage. His conclusion about the effects of raising the minimum wage — “employers will have to raise prices or go out of business” — is exactly the type of misinformation that the right wing likes to pretend is the way it is.
I would like to suggest that his conclusions are not complete. In addition to raising prices or going out of business, perhaps a business owner might consider taking less profits or improving efficiencies; how about increased advertising along with a better location that would increase business?
The “living wage” in southwestern Pennsylvania is currently close to $16 per hour. Mr. York, why should any individual who has to support themselves, not to mention a family, work for less? Would you? Where does the difference between the $7.25 per hour and $16 per hour come from that is needed to live a minimal life? Answer: The taxpayers provide the difference via food stamps, medical care and all sorts of other subsidies by federal, state and local governments, which the right wing also opposes.
Mr. York is correct concerning one thing, though: “High tide raises all boats,” meaning that when low-wage earners get a raise, everyone’s wealth increases, including the rich. Translated into economic speak, this means that if the wealthy really want to get wealthy, the way to do it is to make sure that all Americans enjoy a better life through better pay and distribution of wealth. Ask yourself: Why should the top 1 percent of the American population control more than 40 percent of American wealth and keep trying to get more by paying workers less?