Time to raise minimum wage

To the Editor:

There are a hundred good reasons why the minimum wage should be raised to $10/hour, but I will only address one here:

When someone who is wealthy or well-off receives a raise, that money is often hoarded, invested in businesses that give the money to other well-to-do people, or put in stocks which generally do not help the lowest-paid workers or local businesses. When you give a raise to someone who is at the lowest income level, that money is spent in the community, at local businesses. The lower-income people cannot hoard, and can rarely save, so it goes back into the economy.

A rise in the minimum wage everywhere, but especially so in the Keweenaw – would bring a substantial increase in sales to local businesses. It would not kill jobs; it would create them. It would not hurt business; it would improve it. Any rise in prices would be minor and short-lived, because the increase in business would counteract any increase in costs.

This applies only to the current situation, and only to a reasonable increase (to $10/hr). An increase to $15/hour would be too much, and too much is as bad as too little. The evidence from places where the minimum wage is already higher, supports the conclusion that it is good for business. Wages have not kept pace with inflation, and are kept artificially low by some of the most profitable companies, stifling the economy at its lowest level.

Any business that depends on lower-income people for a large part or most of its revenue, should be in support of a rise in the minimum wage to $10/hour; this would apply to most businesses in the Keweenaw. Supporting a minimum wage raise to $10/hour is good for business.

Richard Buchko