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My thoughts – On raising the minimum wage in Seattle to $15.00

 

Should there be a $15.00 minimum wage in Washington? Sure, absolutely, and immediately or as quickly as possible. But the minimum wage should not be increased to $15.00 across the board. There are certain industries, such as fast food and convenience stores that are designed around entry-level employees. These are jobs for high-school students who are entering the job market; that’s what they were intended for, and I think a rate of $7-$10 dollars an hour is appropriate. But other jobs that currently pay minimum wage require professional skill, and should be required to pay a minimum of $15.00 an hour as a full-time employee with insurance and benefits. A waitress or a cook for example, both positions have a required skill set that is not immediately obtainable by someone new to the job market. You have to dedicate yourself to obtaining the required skills and experience.

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On the idea that increasing the minimum wage in Washington should be done over a number or years, I think this is ridiculous. Businesses that made their fortunes by paying employees minimum wage when they knew deep down they should have been paying them more, and they were just screwing their employees to make an extra buck, businesses like that should feel some pain and suffering as far as I am concerned. I know, it’s never going to happen. I just hate seeing hard-working people get screwed over. That’s alright though, because how I really get even with businesses that screw over their employees or treat their customers poorly, Walmart and Denny’s Restaurants for example, is that I don‘t do any business with them, ever.

That said, there are a lot of businesses that honestly want to pay their employees’ wages they can actually support themselves with, but doing so could or would cause employees to be let go or businesses closed. I don’t know what to do about these situations. I would hope that the local governments, affected small business owners, and their employees all have equal opportunity and input on any discussions or plans to implement any wage increases.

And finally, to the employees currently making minimum wage. Nobody knows your circumstance better than you do. Until recently, nobody gave it much thought. That’s because you have been kind of quiet about the whole issue. I am happy to see you are making your case now and getting the support of the public. I totally support your right to make a decent living, and if you are willing to fight for it, so am I. But let’s be realistic, some jobs aren’t worth $15 an hour. And if you include these jobs, there are going to be a lot of unemployed workers, or very unhappy customers

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