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Minimum wage help

A recent letter claims that minimum wage is to blame for people not getting jobs especially the young. The solution for that is to end minimum wage and get government out of the way of businesses being able to hire and pay people what they are worth. The usual anti-government arguments were given and truthfully are not very effective arguments.

A minimum wage has proven to be necessary because it protects taxpayers for the rational desires of businesses to get something for nothing. It is about the value of work, it is about fairness and it is about the opportunities that work provides. There is an argument that a free market will set fair wages. What happens when one side has all of the bargaining chips as we so often see in low wage job market? It will not be fairness or a decent wage.

The minimum wage is a statement by the government that the nation values work. That it is a tangible measure of how Americans view employers obligation to their workers. It is an equalizer in the low wage labor market where workers have little to none bargaining power. It has been an effective policy that helps low and middle income families who depend on low wage income.

In my day there were paper routes, sweeping out offices or work sites, maybe you ran errands for a local business like the corner grocery store. Those kind of entry-level jobs held by kids in my day are now occupied by adults or no longer exist. When I was in high school we entered the work force holding jobs in low end retail or fast food businesses.

Again, you will find more adults and immigrants filling the slots then you will find teenagers. Our economy has shifted from a manufacturing to a service base. Most of the entry level jobs in a service type of business are more attractive to women than men.

Opportunities for teens to enter the work force are getting slimmer. Not even a college education gives them the necessary skills for employment. I look at my young nephews and their friends and know that they do not have the same opportunities I had in the 60’s and 70’s. They are way more tech savvy than I am but even that is not enough in today’s job market. If employers want future workers they are going to have to get in there and train them.

Charles M. Reeder

Montoursville

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom

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