Increase 'living wage'


Published: Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 25, 2003 at 11:32 p.m.

Whom were Ed Jennings, Jr., Rod Smith, Mary Chambers and other politicians trying to kid in October by their reported characterizations of $9 to $10 an hour as a living wage? For making such statements, each of those individuals should be required to work for one year at $9 to $10 an hour instead of their usual, many times larger incomes.

The issue with work at distribution centers of Wal-Mart and Dollar General and at many other, different companies is not the qualities of or need for such work. The issue is the rate of pay. Ten dollars per hour ($20,800 per year for 40 hour weeks, $25,000 per year for 48 hour weeks) is not a living wage for an individual or, especially, to support a family of four!

If a business function is necessary and important enough to employ a person, it should be necessary and important for it to pay that person a true living wage. My guess is at least $20 an hour for 40 hour weeks in today's economy is a living wage. The federally sanctioned minimum wage (under $6 an hour) many employers get away with is criminal and should be abolished.

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