SOUND OFF DELAWARE: Minimum wage debate

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A recent letter to the editor proposed that the minimum wage be raised to $15. Here’s how readers reacted:

• Way to crush small business. — Mike Bohan

• If they can’t pay a liveable wage to employees maybe they shouldn’t be in business. — Mike Johnson

• Or maybe they don’t understand economics. If you want $15/hour find a skill that earns you the wage you feel you should be getting. If I give you a job it’s a voluntary exchange between us. I’m not forcing you to work for $10/hour. I can definitely say though if this $15/hour happens, a few of my guys won’t be coming on next year.

• Yeah way to make being a skilled tradesman completely worthless! — Dean Grabowski

• If you’re a skilled tradesman only making $15, that too is a problem in the state. — Jeff Grzeszczak

• No I make more than $15 but to pay $15 for minimum wage will put an end to skilled labor! Any apprenticeship program pays less than that and who is going to want to do that kind of work and make less than you can make at McDonald’s? — Dean Grabowski

• Delaware families need lower costs of goods so that everyone can afford to live —not just those capable of increasing earnings. — Lisa Bell

• Meanwhile those of us that have been working for years and barely make above $15 won’t see a raise if the minimum wage goes to $15. — Bobby Farrell

• It’s been proven time and time again that when you artificially increase the wage through big government it’s the poor who suffer the most. $15 dollar wage increases in places such as California and more recently Seattle have only caused people to be laid off from jobs, more part-time and less full-time employment, and companies to focus more on using automation to reduce overall headcount. Not only this but the cost of food and services increase with the wage increase. Scientific study by some of the leading economists have already settled this debate. — Shawn Knox

• Minimum skills equal minimum wage, and minimum wage isn’t supposed to be enough to raise a family. If you have a family get a job that’s not minimum wage. — Raughley Lloyd

• Hard to do when most employers only want to pay minimum wage or even less when it comes to seasonal or food service. — Rick Reed

• Go ahead and raise it, then the price of living will go up, the cost of food and goods will raise. Oh what about all those people that would get kicked off of low cost or free heath insurance because they would make too much money with $15 an hour to qualify? — Amber Payne

• Your wages should be no greater than your skill set. Minimum wage was put into place for entry-level positions which obviously is not and should not be expected to be enough to raise a family upon. Go to school and learn a trade that will. Start at the bottom and work your way up in knowledge and skills. Teach your kids to learn responsibility and budgeting skills in a minimum wage job. This will teach them to reach for the stars instead of what I see a lot of today. They want something for doing little to nothing. Further, small businesses would suffer greatly in this. People make money when they prove themselves. — Cindy Ennis

• The Communist Party USA would agree with this author. That’s all you need to know. — Thomas Cook

• People also don’t understand that it will raise them into another tax bracket. More will be taken out, and they will lose their state benefits (food stamps, housing, etc). Therefore they will probably be worse off than before. Join a union and be a skilled tradesman or woman. They will fight for your living and family — Earl White

• Unions are important (and making sure they don’t become criminal enterprises is as well) but with more states working to enact “right to work” laws, which are basically intended to destroy unions and their abilities to advocate for employees, it is a difficult battle. — Brian P. Slattery

• So we will pay minimum wage to a Mcdonald’s worker at $15/hour. But we have some state counselors and social workers making just a couple dollars more. So how does the state justify those salaries if they raise minimum wage? It will never pass in Delaware. State government would have to adjust salaries for state workers and drive up rates on citizens. Then they lose elections. Nope won’t happen. Democrats enjoy their power more than the message they preach. — Kyle Justin

• That is a stupid idea. Once you raise the minimum wage all prices will rise drastically. This will not only hurt the recipient but will also hurt people that worked hard and earned their current wage. This has proven to be a failure in Seattle but for some reason Delaware can make it work? — Mark Schmalhofer

• Minimum wage jobs are not intended to support a family. They are not intended to be long-term careers. They are meant to gain experience in the work force and then springboard into your next, better paying job. — Rich Kane

• When our gas went up to $4/gallon during the Bush administration, the prices of most goods went up dramatically. During the Obama administration and then the Trump administration,, the gas prices went down, but the prices of other items didn’t go down. They already assumed you had grown accustomed to paying those prices, and were willing to continue to do so. So now, with arguments on both sides trying to deny a pay raise of any type, we continue dealing with poverty stricken people due to inflated costs of items that should have been lowered years ago. — Christian Orendorf

• You raise minimum wage, you will be paying more for what you need or want because my boss isn’t going to eat that increase, you are. — Faye Wing

• Actually, Delaware needs better jobs and business climate that pay more, not an arbitrary minimum wage increase. — Jason Dean

• Delaware is stagnant and has been for years in manufacturing. — Shane Casper

• They tried that in other states and places like McDonald’s replaced them with computers. Now there are less jobs. Good thinking. — Josh Menard

• I do agree that people need to make a better wage — this is not the answer. This is clearly written by someone who receives a paycheck from someone else and who has never stayed awake at night wondering how they are going to cover payroll. When I owned a small landscaping business I had 15 employees. My monthly payroll tax was over $5,000. That was many years ago as well. As wages go up so does payroll tax and unemployment tax, and workman’s compensation. A small business could find itself with $10K or more nut at the end of the month. That’s no joke. Especially when no one wants to pay more than a few bucks to get their grass cut or hedges trimmed.

Wanna pay $20 for a burger at a local restaurant? No? You will if $15 minimum wage goes into effect! Cause the guy who cooks the burger, the dishwasher, and the guy who sold the meat to you all make $15 an hour. What about the foreman who is making $15-plus now? He is gonna want more than the greenhorn who just started at $15, so now I gotta pay him $24. What about the guy who fixes the lawnmowers and other equipment? Now my maintenance goes up. So when I come to your house and give you an estimate on no frills grass cutting for $120 and you flip out because it “should only cost $40, I suppose you will need to invest in a really good lawnmower, because them prices aren’t gonna go down.

As for being a small business owner, I gave up and got a job where someone else writes the checks. Because everyone but me made a paycheck when business was slow. — Max Gallow

• Once again a Democrat jumps in and tells one side of a story, then calls it all encompassing fact. Pleases tell me, Mr. Mazur, what happens when the increase in wages transfer to increases in costs? Please tell me what happens when increases in wages transfer to decreases in over all employment? Like it or not, any economy is based upon the domino effect of any change. Any change, anywhere, requires an equal change elsewhere. One last thought: Who told you one should expect to be able to live on a beginning salary? Whoever it was, they lied to you. — Dennis Mehrenberg

• As a small business owner this would be devastating. The increased payroll taxes, payroll and workman’s comp insurance alone would either put us out of business or we would have to increase our products and services fees to adjust to the increase. — John Rowley

• This will encourage employers to replace their people with customer-operated scanners. No more clerks at the fast- ood counter to resolve issues. You’ll need to get the attention of someone in the back. — Charles Miller

• Those things (increased automation) will happen regardless of wages. That’s just how businesses work. The manufacturing industry moved to automation (and they’ve been doing it for decades) because it was better for their bottom line in the long run. — Brian P Slattery

• Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour is almost a 50 percent increase. This would have a huge ripple effect. The person that has been working their way up for three or four years and currently making $15/hour would now be making the same as the new guy starting out. So, we need to give him a nice raise also. Even the ones making $18 to $20/hourr will feel cheated by this wage compression unless they get a corresponding increase. The result is inflation.

Those mortgages that people are struggling with. Do you think housing prices will remain constant when so many people are getting fatter paychecks? The average rent is $1,150 per month because they can get it. If they weren’t filling their rental properties they would charge less. I don’t know the solution for people starting out, but I don’t believe $15/hour will actually help. — Jim Price

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