Updated: March 23, 2013 6:42AM
In his Feb. 14 Forum letter, Michael Saltsman, research director for the Employment Policies Institute, claims that “minimum-wage increases harm the people they’re intended to help,” and that 85 percent of credible economic studies during the past 20 years “point to job loss following such wage hikes.”
Unfortunately, Saltsman does not name any of these “credible” studies. In reality, most credible and impartial studies show just the opposite. The U.S. Department of Labor says increasing the minimum wage does not cause a loss of jobs and may help keep many families out of poverty.
Less poverty means less government spending on safety net programs as well as an increase in government revenue from taxes. The Labor Department says 63 percent of minimum-wage workers are adults over 20 years old, and many have families to feed and care for.
Other studies have shown that a moderate increase in the minimum wage leads to payrolls of small businesses (fewer than 50 workers) growing faster, that job growth is faster in states with higher minimum wages and that small businesses benefit from a combination of higher productivity through worker retention and savings on recruitment and training.
If the minimum wage were brought up to levels from the 1960s, it would be more than $10 an hour, accounting for inflation.
One has to wonder where Saltsman gets his economic studies from, but there is no wonder about the purpose of the Employment Policies Institute. It’s headed by Richard Berman, a longtime supporter of business interests over consumer, safety and environmental concerns.
Gas pricing disgusting
We have all seen gasoline prices rise sharply of late, seemingly at random with little sensible explanation. Can anyone approach the gas station owners and ask how they justify such pricing?
How can gas at the same station be $3.89 per gallon at 8 a.m., $3.99 at 11 a.m. and $4.15 24 hours later?
Everyone seems so concerned about too much government intrusion into our daily business. My most fervent wish is that the government would intervene in this gas thievery and stop this larceny perpetrated on the consumer.
Finally, isn’t it interesting that in a free market, with open competition, that somehow all of the neighboring gas stations are selling gas for the exact same price? Can you say price fixing?
Day in and day out, I read about gang violence and the nation’s large deficit. Why can’t lawmakers see that legalizing marijuana would cut down on gang violence?
The gangs no longer would be selling the drug. At the same time, the federal government could tax it.
I am not a smoker myself, but I don’t view marijuana as any worse than drinking alcohol.