THE HOMELESS AND THE MINIMUM WAGE
In a recent radio interview Lincoln City Mayor Don Williams stated that he couldn’t justify paying a minimum wage of $15 for “putting cheese on a piece of bread.” I can imagine what that attitude does to the morale of the people who work at Williams’ sandwich franchises. I’ve eaten at one of them; the workers there have to scramble and deal with a lot more than just “putting cheese on a piece of bread.”
Williams holds this view at the same time that he proclaims to be an advocate for the homeless and has creative but totally unrealistic ideas for improving their lot. A large portion of the homeless are substance abusers, veterans with PTSD, and untreated mentally ill. (Thanks Ronald Reagan for closing instead of improving mental institutions and expecting the private sector to care for them with benevolent home care.) The people in these categories need not only housing but also professional services.
The other large category of homeless is the working poor who might work more than one job and still not be able to earn a living wage or receive benefits. The best way to help this group is to raise the minimum wage. If the cost of goods and services goes up, the buyer can adjust his or her spending habits but still have the funds to purchase essentials. Profits can be reduced also.
Gov. John Kasich bemoaned our culture of greed; until there’s a massive paradigm shift, government needs to regulate business.
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