www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bs-ed-wage-letter-20140109,0,6983638.story

baltimoresun.com

Raise minimum wage or cap top salaries [Letter]

9:00 AM EST, January 9, 2014

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I find it hard to believe that we are still debating the need for an increase in the federal minimum wage ("Time to raise stagnant minimum wage," Jan. 6). How much more evidence do we need that minimum wage workers are barely able to support themselves, much less a family?

I've heard it all — like how small business owners will suffer. Small business owners are not necessarily poor business owners. I think we should be discussing the maximum wage. The Sun recently reported the salaries of the CEOs of Maryland hospitals, and they were truly outrageous. One of the rationales presented to support these over-the-top salaries was that these administrators' jobs were "complicated." Are their jobs more complicated than that of the president of the United States, any of the 50 governors, any big city mayor or any school superintendent or police chief? All of these executives make less than Maryland hospital administrators.

As these not-for-profit hospitals enjoy tax exempt status, I propose that a cap should be placed on the salaries of administrators of such facilities. Maybe then they will be able to afford to provide lower-level workers with full-time employment, including benefits and higher salaries. Obviously, dealing with the non-profits is only a start.

The minimum wage of all employees needs to raised. I believe the country is at a crossroads. We can choose to deal with the inequities in our society now or we can run the risk of receding into the background as a result of our loss of moral authority.

Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore

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