NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:
Opponents of minimum wage increases are now waging a strong battle against it despite the surveys that show two-thirds of Americans support minimum wage increases and even a majority of Republicans also support this change.
Ron Unz, a Silicon Valley multimillionaire and conservative Republican, took a cue from Henry Ford when he insists that raising minimum wages could again create a “prosperous middle class” and reduce government subsidies. Mr. Unz has expressed his beliefs in talks, interviews and articles he has published. Even Phyllis Schlafly, the ultra-conservative columnist, agrees and cites some of the same reasons Mr. Unz gives.
Wal-Mart, the biggest consumer of taxpayer support, was recently reported to be considering the advantages of wage increases but more recent reports state their management is still neutral. They contend they are paying their 40-hour-per-week workers more and simply ignore that they have massive numbers of workers forced to work less than 40 hours who can survive only by using government subsidies. It is reported that one large Wal-Mart store in Wisconsin could cost taxpayers over $900,000 a year for government subsidies.
Some Republicans think it would be a good move politically, as well as economically, to raise the minimum wage; yet, some very vocal advocates remain opposed to an increase and are not likely to change. After reading a published letter than I had written supporting wage increases, one person found my address and wrote me an unsolicited, three-page typewritten letter explaining the reasons that I was wrong in my support.
Raising the minimum wage is not only the moral thing to do; it also makes sense from an economics viewpoint.
EDWARD V. HARRIS
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