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September 26, 2013
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Letter to the Editor: Raise minimum wage and sink all boats?

It is quite amazing that we are faced with yet another call for “raising the minimum wage” in order to correct the great discrepancy between the low income and high income citizenry. This is deja-vu all over again.

Unfortunately, history has illustrated that raising the minimum wage does more harm than good for exactly the lower income wage earners who the concept is supposed to benefit. Raising the minimum wage simply raises the overall cost of living as it is translated to the bottom line for businesses that higher labor costs must be offset by higher pricing for goods and services. And these higher costs aren’t on items for the rich but on hamburgers and dish soap and clothes — the very items that the lower income group use to a higher percentage of their income than the rich do. So, bottom line, if indeed the goal is to equalize wealth, this mechanism simply doesn’t work.

Now, on the separate topic of the wealth discrepancy in America compared to the rest of the world, I encourage our great cerebral leaders to take a trip to, say, Ghana, where the infant mortality rate is more than 38 percent by the age of 5. Yes, they certainly have a narrower division between the rich and the poor… but gosh, wouldn’t you much rather be “poor” in America than there? Let’s always be reasonable in our comparisons … America, even in our lowest depressions and worst economic dispersion, is a pretty great place to live… by any measure today or judged by historic standards.

The wealth in America, with our Capitalistic-free economy, has raised the standard of living for all economic classes. And, given that I am not one of the rich, I would much rather be in the river that is floating all boats higher, than in the dry creek where the less affluent are literally drinking from muddy puddles.

Jeff Ridgel

Truckee


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Sep 26, 2013 04:33PM Published Sep 26, 2013 12:08PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.