Minimum wage increase the right thing

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: January 13 2014 | 1:31 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:02 am in

Robert Zeck’s Jan. 9 letter “Minimum wage talk only for political gain” railed against the raising of the minimum wage. His arguments are the same talking points the GOP has been using for years. It’s the same old mantra, raise minimum wage and prices go up the same amount. This is not true.

Elizabeth Warren, a scholar and proponent of the increase, went up against some of the industry giants in a congressional hearing that are against an increase in the minimum wage. She pointed out that an increase from $7.25 to $10.10 for McDonald’s employees would create a 4-cent increase in prices.

That’s a long way away from the $3 increase the GOP claims. Keep in mind that three major companies that employ a large percentage of minimum-wage workers are Walmart, McDonald’s and Yum Brands fast food restaurants, and those companies have enjoyed very large profits increasing each quarter.

These profits are more than enough to offset the cost of minimum wage increases.

There also are additional benefits to raising the minimum wage that our GOP talking points don’t bring up, such as more spending to help the economy, fewer people on food stamps and fewer people on Medicaid. We have been subsidizing those company employees with social programs and letting those profitable companies out of doing it.

That’s corporate welfare and it needs to stop. Support a minimum wage increase; it’s the right thing to do and the facts support it.

Robert Tierney

Cedar Rapids

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