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Raise the minimum wage

Dear Editor,

The first act I want our new President Biden to do is sign an executive order mandating (violation a misdemeanor) the wearing of a mask near people outside of the home. Wearing of a mask is the proven best thing people can do to fight the killer virus COVID-19.

Immediately after the first act, I would want Biden to take necessary steps to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour tied to inflation.

Barbara Ehrenreich in her book “Nickel and Dimed, On (Not) Getting By in America,” working herself at prevailing minimum wage (about $7 an hour) in three different parts of the country, proved one cannot make it at bottom-of-the-barrel-jobs, including home health aid, waitress or Walmart clerk, etc.

She proved it would take someone at least two full-time jobs to meet basic living expenses like food, especially if you wanted to live indoors.

A significant minimum wage increase would have these very positive impacts on our country:

Increases the standard of living for the poorest and most vulnerable class in society.

Stimulates consumption, by putting more money in the hands of low-income people who spend their entire paychecks.

Decreases the cost of government social welfare programs by increasing incomes for the lowest-paid.

Does not have budget consequence on government. Neither taxes nor public sector borrowing requirements rise.

Increases the work ethic of those who earn very little.

Who will pay?

Businesses offering less than $15 an hour will now have to give employees a pay rise.

Businesses frequently argue, though, “it’s not the wage that we pay people. It’s a starting wage, it’s a training wage, it’s a baseline. And as you build up your talents and as you do more things your wages go up.”

But that isn’t true.

The truth is what is happening in America is the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. It is also true that low income people don’t want a hand out, they simply want a fair shake, an even chance. A minimum wage of $15 will give them a chance.

Bll Bryant

St. Clairsville

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