I cannot let Walter Williams’ Jan. 9 column (“Politics and minimum wage”) stand without rebuttal.
Mr. Williams has outdated and incorrect information. Raising the wage will reduce poverty. A Center for American Progress analysis of states that have increased the minimum wage have reportedly “had job growth slightly higher above the national average.” Raising the minimum wage does not hurt small business; two-thirds of low-wage workers work for big corporations that incidentally earn huge profits and can afford to pay their workers a decent wage.
Increasing the minimum wage would significantly benefit 28 million low-income workers – especially women, who comprise 54.5 percent of the work force. Ninety percent of low-wage workers are 20 and older; 35.8 percent are married; and 28 percent are parents. Many are underemployed and some have college degrees.
Top executive pay at the top 50 low-wage employers averaged $9.4 million in 2011. The CEO’s salary of Wal-Mart per-hour was estimated in 2010 at $16,826; workers earned $8.75 an hour.
To belittle a person as only being worth $5 an hour because they do not have “skills” is a gross mistake. All jobs require skills.