I am writing in response to Rick Taylor’s recent letter to the Olympian.
Taylor got it both right and wrong. He got it right when he said that raising the minimum wage would trigger a domino effect, where the people who earn higher wages would demand a similar raise, and the outcome would be more layoffs.
These higher wages would also be passed along to the consumer, and we would end right back at the beginning. The real problem is that a minimum wage is not a living wage.
To truly solve the problem, to ensure that the minimum wage can be a living wage, we need to identify the barriers that prevent this. Barriers such as the high cost of childcare; the high cost of energy, which is closely tied to the high cost of transportation and limited public transportation; the high rental or home mortgages costs; the lack of a robust, yet inexpensive public education at the college level that would result in higher-paid jobs.
To turn the minimum wage into the living wage, everyone needs to come together and collaboratively find solutions to remove these barriers.