Johnson City Press Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Opinion

Living wage

February 7th, 2014 8:57 am by STEVE STANISLOWSKY

Living wage

The answer to the question of a wage increase is provided by a few available facts of life. Businesses have long abused the minimum wage and have exploited low-wage earners, be it burger, chicken, taco or pizza shops where employees make little for their major contribution to the store’s bottom line.  
They have no expectation of a raise, as many companies don’t even entertain the concept. Benefits are almost nonexistent and each employee’s hours are at the whim of the manager. The larger issue for all of us and the economy is wage inequality.
The fact is if a minimum wage increase were to be enacted, it would be beneficial to millions of low-wage earners. That, in turn, would allow those millions to purchase more burgers, tacos and pizza. It would allow people to pay for transportation to work and maybe a roof over their heads.
What is wrong when so few seem to have found the American Dream and so many don’t have anything but dreams and tired feet?
The arguments I hear are that those who work hard and are smart will get ahead and would not be concerned with minimum-wage jobs. This is true, but not everyone has the abilities or capabilities, and even low-wage earners deserve to make enough to live. It will help fix the economy, and based on the stock market it really won’t hurt the companies that have those fat bottom lines.  
Corporations prosper with a healthy middle class, and the United States needs a healthier middle class.   
STEVE STANISLOWSKY
Jonesborough

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