There is a rising tide of opinion that it is about time the minimum wage is raised. Because when hard-working Americans qualify for food stamps because their wages are not enough to live on, something must be done.
It is not a question of economics but of the moral fiber of the nation. To work long hours and then to have to beg does not promote the work ethic, it demeans it. Also, those businesses who pay the low wages are freeloading on the rest of the population, whose taxes pay for food stamps.
What would we think of a company that had a fleet of trucks, and then asked taxpayers to pay for their maintenance?
So it is with the insufficient minimum wage, for it is paying for maintenance when the taxpayers make sure that the workers are reasonably fed so they don't faint from hunger at their place of work, and by cutting their food bills, allow them to use their money for - among other things - paying for the transportation so they can show up for work on time.
This also undermines the basic principles of trade.
A business is supposed to meet its costs from what the customers pay, while non-customers do not pay it anything. But when taxpayers subsidize their labor, it does not matter whether they are customers or not. They end up paying anyway. What happens then to the business owner incentive to attract customers?
It is time for our state legislature to pass an increase of the minimum wage for the sake of the moral fiber of this nation, as well as for the workers, many of them women who are the struggling to support their children.
Please let the word get out about building strong support for the minimum wage increase (70 percent of Pennsylvania voters at the latest poll), as well as the reasons for supporting it.
Adriana I. Pena