I have always been amazed at the fights over minimum wage, (“Advocates, Maryland lawmakers seek to raise minimum hourly wage to $15 by 2023,” Jan. 14)).
First of all, the purpose of minimum wage was to introduce new workers just starting out in lower paying jobs, like McDonalds or a restaurant worker, or apprenticeships to the work environment that encourage people to move up in the employment world. It was never intended to provide a family-raising salary.
Having said that, I often wonder how the magic number of $15 an hour was determined. Seems like we have been talking about $15 an hour for years. Does increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour take into consideration the cost of living increases over five years, income tax withholding, medical costs and insurance costs, etc.? If people are struggling now, they will be struggling at $15 an hour in 5 years.
I will be honest and say I don’t know the answer. Businesses will increase their product costs, or maybe even have to lay people off, and people will have to pay to make up the difference for their products. So what are we accomplishing?
I would like to see the math behind the logic if there is any. I believe the answer is to encourage people to move up into a better paying environment. I know for a fact that getting a raise, after taxes is not always what you think. My first fulltime job in 1966 in the U.S. Air Force paid me and my wife $100 a month plus a small housing subsidy.
I had three part time jobs and she had a government job. Believe me I have been there!
Stas Chrzanowski, Baltimore