You want a living wage? Work for it

In Kevin Palmer's letter July 24 ("Richest people should pay most taxes"), he rants about a "non-living" wage, but he fails to define what a "living" wage would be.


Does he envision a wage that allows one to have a smart-phone, a 47-inch HD TV, premium cable service, most meals outside the home and a new car? Is the dwelling required to have a pool? Must the person own the home, or is renting allowed?

Mr. Palmer doesn't give his age, so I won't give mine. But I married very young and had children. I completed my high-school education with a GED.

However, there was education that continued (to this day), and there were low-paying jobs. I never considered any wage I earned "non-living." Less pay meant doing without things I couldn't pay for.

Wow! What a concept! If you can't pay for it, you can't have it! Even on $45 a week (my first adult job), I could pay for beans and cook them at home. Chicken was cheap, and I know several dozen ways to fix a pound of hamburger and stretch it to feed six people.

I used public transportation and always made sure that where I rented was close to the bus line.

Basic cable was available, but I had no television -- I was a regular visitor to the library, though. I knew all the best secondhand stores for clothing and furniture, and had bookcases made from cinder blocks and scrap boards.

Each new job I got was better than the last; so was the pay. What I learned from each job I took to the next one, so that I was worth the increased wage. And I continued my education through my own studies, and through classes attended at night and on weekends.

Many people along my way appreciated my efforts and my work ethic. I was promoted and given more responsibility. I believe I always made my employers glad to have me as an employee.

Today I am self-employed, and am proud to say that I offer excellent service to my clients. I got the education I needed to be able to do that, but it took time -- no one begins at the top. And only those willing to work and learn get there.



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