Letters to the editor, June 25

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Living wage

Questions are continually raised as whether a minimum wage is good economic policy.

Currently, the minimum wage is $7.25 and the Obama administration is recommending an increase to $9.

Infrequently examined are the moral and ethical obligations of the employer. Should not the employer be ethically and morally responsible for paying compensation sufficient to meet the basic needs of the employee? This may be defined as a “living wage.”

If the compensation is less than a living wage, the employee is subsidizing the profits of the entity. The employer has the leverage in almost all hiring situations. Without some legal minimum or organized support, the employee is at the mercy of the employer.

A minimum wage requirement is essential and should be sufficient to qualify as a living wage. A minimum wage that is below a living wage forces the employee to subsidize the entity.

Or more realistically, society is supplying the subsidy by providing health care and other necessary benefits. If an employer cannot pay a living wage, perhaps he should not be employing people. Hidden theft should not be condoned.

Nine dollars an hour is hardly a living wage.

Bill Giese,


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