Minimum wage boost helps few [Letter]

December 05, 2013

Regarding Adam Schneider's recent commentary ("Supplement charity with advocacy," Dec. 1), raising the minimum wage should not be used as a solution to assist the less fortunate. There are misleading statistical errors in Mr. Schneider's claim that no minimum wage worker can afford an efficiency apartment unit. His claim directly conflicts with data provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development showing that at least eight counties in Maryland contain fair market rent efficiency units affordable to minimum wage earners working 25 hours a week or less. These FMR efficiency units are affordable yet do not solve the widespread economic suffering.

Mr. Schneider's desire to prevent minimum wage workers from sinking lower is virtuous, but his plan will not assist all who suffer economically. By directing legislation toward this specific group (only 8.4 percent of Maryland's population), we are excluding those who fall outside — the unemployed, underemployed and anyone in poverty who does not work for minimum wage. Thus, we are missing the big picture. In our attempts to prevent citizens from falling into the lowest situations, we are ignoring the 111,806 who have already fallen.

The problem will not end unless we consider all who suffer as a whole in our plans, instead of singling out a particular group.

Jennifer Willard, North Potomac

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