Raise minimum wage


To the Editor:
If you work 40 hours a week, you should be able to take care of yourself, a spouse and a kid or two. It worked when mom and dad were young. It worked when we were young. Today, young or old, it doesn’t work anymore.
Oh, you can find a job, or even two or three. You can work 40, 50 or even 60 hours every week. But if those jobs pay minimum wage, you’ll have a rough time feeding and sheltering a small family.
The gap between what low-wage workers earn and what they need to survive means charitable donations and taxpayer dollars to subsidize profitable businesses that refuse to pay a living wage. Public assistance has become a middle man between employers and minimum wage-earners. Wages must increase enough for full-time workers to eliminate that middle man.
When workers aren’t paid enough to survive without government assistance, we rob them of self respect. We rob labor of its inherent dignity. This degrades our society.
We need to raise the minimum wage nationally. It’s long overdue, but won’t happen overnight. Until then, we need to raise the Iowa minimum wage. This also won’t happen overnight. Until then, we need to raise the minimum wage in our counties and our cities. Good people have been in serious need far too long. Please start doing what you can locally — now.
Dan Daly
Iowa City, Iowa

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