Unemployment and the minimum wage [Letter]

January 09, 2014

Monday, readers were entertained by two socialists on the op-page who honestly and sincerely believe government and politicians know best ("Time to raise stagnant wages for lowest-paid workers," Jan. 6).

If only there were a law, markets would stop behaving and just do what the law commands. But life doesn't roll that way.

If minimum wages were raised to $40 an hour, what would happen? Most people would argue that wage is too much. Lots of jobs would disappear because of it.

Such people are absolutely correct. However, raising the minimum wage just a little does the exact same thing, only less so because minimum wage is not market-driven. If you want wages to rise without inflation and to affect low-income workers, eliminate the time-and-a-half law.

I've gotten unemployment. I know how to work the system. When to cry and when to smile. Whom to tell "I need to be paid in cash" and when to be quiet about that.

Are there people out there who really need 63 weeks of unemployment? Probably. Should everybody get that much? Absolutely not. Go to your church and you will get the help you need over 40 or 50 weeks of unemployment.

Bill Krehnbrink

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