Should raise wage to help working class

If the top 2 percent can control the big bucks, then the other 98 percent should be compensated for the work they do for them. I'm for increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for the working middle class.

John Soulis

Fremont

Minimum wage isn't a very effective tool

Minimum wage is not a livable wage as it takes two people working to support a family.

Minimum wage eliminates jobs, which is sad these days when real unemployment is still far too high. The official unemployment rate (6.7 percent) only counts those who were recently laid off and receiving unemployment benefits.

A federal minimum wage is unfair as cost of living varies by state.

Charles N. Wilkins

Fremont

GOP slogans are lies reflecting only greed

Republican slogans "taxes crush jobs," "higher wages will increase unemployment," and "Obamacare is a job killer" are all lies.

Wealthy, powerful interests are writing the script for Republicans, and any deviation means facing a well-funded opponent in their next primary.

The wealthy can afford to pay more in taxes, wages and health care; they just don't want to. Higher taxes, higher wages, and health care for all won't hurt the job creators or crush the imaginary jobs they aren't creating anyway, but they will help level the playing field in America.


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A level playing field will help make our economy stronger.

That's the irony -- the wealthiest Americans will ultimately benefit more from a healthy economy than from hoarding their cash. Unfortunately, greed has clouded their judgment, so let's help them see the light.

We need reasonable people in Washington working for the good of all people, not just the wealthy and powerful ones who fund their campaigns.

Christian D. Taddeo

Danville

Minimum wage hike win-win for economy

Congress should raise the minimum wage to $10.10. Numerous apolitical studies have shown that when workers in minimum-wage jobs earn a higher salary, they tend to respect their employer and his property and product more and offer better customer service.

There is usually less employee turnover, tardiness, absenteeism and petty vandalism. All of these things are win-win for the employers.

In addition, people making minimum wage spend the money they earn on essential goods and services like food, clothing, shelter and utilities. That is good for the local economy. Higher minimum wage means fewer people on entitlement programs. This is a win-win for taxpayers.

Finally, if workers earn enough money at one minimum-wage job they might not need two, thus freeing a position for someone else just entering the workforce.

In short, there are no logical, rational, legitimately economic reasons for not raising the minimum wage. In fact, a sliding minimum wage, with higher amounts for more expensive parts of the country (California, Hawaii, New York) would be even better.

Morris and Josephine Soublet

Hayward

Index minimum wage increases to inflation

The short answer to your question is yes.

Through college, I earned a minimum wage of $ 1-$1.25 and it was key to my being able to support myself while getting a college degree. The equivalent minimum wage today would be more than $10, so there would be no impact on inflation. Our government entities would no longer have to subsidize employees who earn less than they should at companies such as Walmart and McDonald's.

Also, since minimum-wage workers spend almost 100 percent of what they earn, they would be improving the economy because 70 percent of our economy is based on consumer spending.

There are also no objective studies to support the theory that an increase in the minimum wage would lessen employment opportunities. It would actually have the opposite effect, as an improving economy would lead to more job creation.

The minimum wage should also be increased periodically to account for inflation -- without congressional approval.

Robert V. Zimmerman

Lafayette

Higher minimum wage, fewer jobs

Don't raise the minimum wage, which is paid to people with little or no experience.

The business owner's taking a chance with unskilled people who must be trained and are minimally productive. It seems intuitive that raising the minimum wage will increase costs without increasing productivity. An increase in the federal minimum rate will spark a round of state increases and drive up unemployment.

Since labor's often a major cost, the company would seek to lower costs by cutting service or using fewer people. Every time we increase the minimum wage there's a new drive for automation and efficiency. That's why fast-food places have patrons fill their own soda cups and bus their own tables.

A national federal minimum wage will cost the company in Tennessee 50 percent more than one in New York due to cost-of-living differences. Singapore and Switzerland have no minimum wage and have unemployment rates around 3 percent.

Currently, teenagers in the United States have an unemployment rate of more than 20 percent. We need more jobs, not more government meddling.

Gregg Manning

Clayton

Increase would benefit economy

Congress should pass President Barack Obama's proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, although I seriously doubt Speaker John Boehner will permit such legislation to reach the House floor for a vote.

Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 and hour to $10.10 is an impressive increase. However, the additional income only brings the annual pay to a miserly $21,008. And that's predicated on working 40 hours a week and 52 weeks a year, which is extremely rare for minimum-wage workers.

Republicans will scream such an increase will debilitate our already struggling workforce and stifle the economy. But previous mimimum-wage increases haven't produced the dire consequences Republicans rail about.

In fact, the increase would have a beneficial impact on an economy that's admittedly in need of a boost. The recipients would immediately plow their newfound income back into the economy.

And there's a moral feature to increasing the minimum wage that Republicans should appreciate. It will provide those Americans on the lower rung of the economic ladder with income that minimally approaches a living wage.

Ronald Entwistle

San Pablo

Employees could be hurt by an increase

It would be democratic to increase the minimum wage, since 71 percent of Americans favor the increase. However, the increase might hurt some persons President Barack Obama wants to help most.

Let's say, for example, that one McDonald's franchise raises prices in order to meet the increase in wages and maintain a profit, which results in its selling fewer hamburgers.

The Burger King across the street keeps prices the same and puts on some promotions, hoping to sell more burgers to meet the raise.

So customers go to Burger King and McDonald's employees are laid off.

Hiram "Jack" Feldman

Martinez

Taxpayers subsidize low-pay companies

Many people on government assistance work, but they are not paid a living wage so they need food stamps and go to the emergency room for health care.

As a result, taxpayers end up paying part of the wages for people who work for hugely profitable corporations such as Walmart, McDonald's, and others.

Republicans, who won't vote for a minimum-wage increase, complain about the people who need help.

There's also the fact the population is continually growing, requiring more jobs. But more jobs are disappearing because of automation and outsourcing overseas. Since the demise of many unions, more employers are finding they can get one person to do the work of four, so the better jobs Republicans say they should get just aren't there.

Evidently, Republicans haven't noticed that when there are job openings, there are long lines of people applying and only a small percentage will get hired. Also, many competent people send out hundreds of applications and resumes and get no response.

Frank Grygus

San Ramon