Min­i­mum wage and the laws of sup­ply and demand

The Denver Post - - OPINION -

Re: “Gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, hous­ing and the chang­ing face of Den­ver,” July 2 let­ters to the edi­tor.

I find irony in An­drew Sweet’s let­ter — which called rais­ing the min­i­mum wage to $15 an hour “a most valu­able piece of the puz­zle” on af­ford­able hous­ing — be­ing pub­lished on the same day as an ar­ti­cle on the study show­ing that Seat­tle’s rais­ing its min­i­mum wage to $15 ac­tu­ally re­sults in less money in work­ers’ pock­ets. Do peo­ple like Sweet not un­der­stand the con­cept of sup­ply and demand? Many busi­nesses that em­ploy min­i­mum-wage work­ers op­er­ate on the slimmest of mar­gins (for ex­am­ple, restau­rants). If they have to pay $15 per hour for dish­wash­ers, their costs rise and in order to keep their prices com­pet­i­tive, they hire fewer dish­wash­ers and work the ones they have harder. We have to get away from the con­cept that all min­i­mum-wage jobs are meant to pro­vide life-long em­ploy­ment; for most able-bod­ied work­ers, they pro­vide short-term, en­try-level po­si­tions to bet­ter qual­ify them for higher-pay­ing jobs.

Mike Con­key, Aurora

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