The debate on a higher minimum wage for Tacoma needs a bit of perspective and civility.
When the current statewide minimum wage was initiated, it was the highest in the country and still is for the moment. It was indexed to the Consumer Price Index so it would not lose ground to inflation, and indeed it has not.
The debate is now over whether that is enough. Past comments from letter writers and columns discuss business models based on substandard wages and say that businesses that can't afford the increased costs shouldn't exist anyway.
Really? Making villains out of either side is not a productive way of reaching a solution that is workable and doesn't hurt the businesses and the very people this debate is trying to help.
This will impact almost every retail business, including groceries, restaurants, franchises, small manufacturers, etc. Nearly none of these businesses have the margin to simply absorb the increased cost and will need to raise prices over time.
Ultimately will a higher wage just chase higher prices with no real increase in purchasing power? If some businesses fail, will that help anyone?
Only a third of the task force are business owners. Let's come up with a workable solution that makes sense for all involved.
Entry-level employers allow people to get started on the first rung of the job ladder. Many grow and move up from there. Let's be sure to keep those opportunities available.