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home : insight & opinion : letters to the editor August 19, 2017

5/9/2017 10:23:00 AM
Minimum wage should be incentive


     I read yet another article talking about how the minimum wage needs to rise throughout Illinois.  Always makes me twitchy when I see these articles.  Here's a question - how much should a 17-year-old student make to ask the question, "do you want fries with that order?" Or how much should you pay anyone who has to have a cash register that tells them how much change to return because the can't figure out how to do it with their math skills so pitifully learned.   How much should we pay a grocery store bag boy to put too many food items in a bag and have it rip out on the way to the car.  Minimum pay for minimum skills.

    Minimum pay should be an incentive to improve oneself, promote and make a better life in the future.  Minimum-skill jobs are not careers.  They are not there to provide for family security.  They should be viewed as a place to spend a little time and make a little money on the way to a better job.  I got my first job a Gallo's Red and White grocery store starting at $.85 and hour and in two years worked my way up to $1.50.  Yes, I know I'm "old," but I wasn't stupid. I knew there was no future in a minimum-wage/minimum-skill job and had no plans to make that my career.  Instead I joined the Navy - and in the beginning made even less in starting pay - but there was a future there.  One of promotions and a better way of life.  This idea seems lost on some.

     Oh, and here's another question that never gets asked.  What is the cost of living in downtown Chicago compared to downtown Palestine?  Why would anyone think they should have the same minimum wage?  I'll answer that myself.  The unions.  They believe they can get more dues if minimum wages are higher.  Again - this makes me twitchy when I think about it.

Phil Montgomery


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