Pay scale

Letter | Minimum wage hike will help, not hurt economy

June 11, 2014 

Re: May 30 letter from M. Bruce Yabin, “Minimum wage hike will hurt those on fixed incomes”

I really do not agree with the reasons why Mr. Yabin feels that, as a retiree, prices will rise if the minimum wages rises. Where does he get these statistics and figures? Their bears little relationship to an increase in minimum wage resulting in a substantial increase in gas to $ 5 a gallon, $ 6 per gallon milk.

Yes, back in the day, in the 1970’, minimum wage earners did have take-home pay that was reasonable in terms of the economy. In 1970, if you earned minimum wage, your wages were 79 percent higher than the poverty line. Today, the minimum wage worker take home pay is only 29 percent above the poverty line.

And these statistics are for a single person only. If you take a single mother into the equation, with one or more children, they start to fall well below the poverty line in 2010 and 2014.

The point is, the minimum wage worked well in the 1960s and 1970s. It is much too low now. If you compared apples to apples, the minimum wage rate in 1970, compared to the 1970 poverty level, versus the 2014 poverty level, the minimum wage today should be $ 10.10.

This segment of our population really needs our help. We should increase the minimum wage and give these workers the ability to pay their own way in our society. Did you ever consider that raising the minimum wage might lower the amount of individuals applying for welfare?

The writer lives in Pawleys Island.

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