Minimum-wage hike helps business revenue
The Jan. 11 article about the economic outlook for 2020 (“Economist predicts strong 2020, but wary of wage amendment”) overlooked the basic fact that seems to escape all commenters. When a wage increase — say, to $15 – is implemented, the cost for each item of production or sale, a hamburger or cleaning a room, is very slight. That’s because the hourly cost of salaries is spread over many units. However, the full amount of the workers’ take-home pay is contributed to the economy in the form of increased spending power of the wage-earners.
The cries of economic disaster coming from business groups are shallow logic. Every dollar paid to our workers, particularly the lowest-paid, will be returned to the economy in the form of increased revenue across the board for all businesses. Yes, some sectors will see more effect in increased prices; for example, in our severely limited rental housing market, a greedy landlord will see the chance to increase rents. But that’s a problem that exists regardless of current or projected minimum-wage rates, and it calls for its own solution.
At the bottom line, we need a minimum wage that provides a decent life for all our citizens, and we need to have compression to reduce the disparity between the top and the bottom of the wage scale. The increase at the bottom need not automatically generate a corresponding increase at the top. Gradation of increases across to organization would be fair to all and beneficial where it’s needed to most.
Bill Thompson Apopka