Re: “No magic bullet for entry-level workers” (letter, 7-22).
The letter writer’s argument that $15 is bad economics because it robs low-wage workers of an incentive to better themselves overlooks several factors.
▪ Employers are apt to applaud that kind of thinking. They can point to it as a way to justify poverty-level wages. In effect, they’d be telling an employee that granting a raise would be doing him a disservice. One can only imagine that capitalism was built on the inculcation of such nonsense.
▪ It ignores the fact that a contented worker generally is one who doesn’t feel exploited. Regardless of the job and its demands, fair compensation can make for a happier - and more loyal - employee.
▪ Once the multiplier effect kicks in, everyone benefits. More taxes are paid, crime drops and economic activity surges. Even the small business owner who initially complains eventually sees his business grow (if not, he probably needs to rethink his business strategy rather than begrudge his employee a living wage).
A wage of $15 an hour is not a panacea for all of society’s ills. But wages have been stagnant for decades, and the gap between the rich and poor continues to deepen. Maybe a little bad economics wouldn’t be so bad after all.