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Minimum wage crucial

August 1, 2012
The Mining Journal

To the Journal editor:

In Thursday's edition of The Mining Journal, a column by John Stossel ran, claiming that minimum wage laws were a bad thing for America. Which America is he talking about? The reality show America, one where well educated Millionaire's run the show and pinch pennies to get richer, or the actual America that 99 percent of America's labor force attempts to earn a living every day? Not the word I use here is "attempt."

A minimum wage is just that; the least you can realistically pay a human being for their efforts. Our workers are people, people with families, bills, and lives to run. The current minimum wage doesn't really cover that. Even Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients get an annual adjustment for inflation and the cost of living. Workers do not. I personally know a man who only made minimum wage lifting and loading one hundred pound feed bags every day for a local farm supply store. He had to work a second job while he worked there to cover his bills and car insurance. Think about that for a moment, lifting hundred pound weights all day to not quite make ends meet? And Mr. Stossel wants to eliminate minimum wage, not increase it? In his own words, "give me a break!"

Stossel's piece made it sound like corporations would gladly pay decent rates to their employees without a law to require it. I'm sorry, but that's not the case. After Enron, Lehman Brothers, and the Bernie Maydoff scandal, corporate America has shown little reason to trust in its goodwill towards the working class. Minimum wage laws aren't Big Government, they're common decency. If we, as Americans, want to bring jobs back to this country, let's raise the minimum wage and make them pay something worthwhile.

John Taylor




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