Minimum wage and the laws of supply and demand
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