Letters 1-28-14


Index minimum wage to inflation

I think that stopping at $9.50 or $10.10 per hour is shortsighted, especially if not indexed to inflation. Rather, let’s go for $15 and tie minimum wage increases to inflation.

People objecting to raising the minimum wage claim that it would mostly benefit teenagers, who do not even need to rely on the minimum wage to make a living. I believe that many working teenagers are saving for college and therefore should get all the help possible. Even if raising the minimum wage should only help our next generation get a better education — and we can all agree that America needs to catch up — that would be money well spent. I found it enlightening to Google for “pros” and “cons” about raising the minimum wage, and would encourage everyone to check.

Some people believe that “The Market” or “free enterprise” will find the right minimum wage. They seem to never have worked for companies who continue to “tighten their belt” at the cost of low-income employees, which statistically resulted in the present-day sad state of affairs in terms of U.S. income inequality. They have never heard of small businesses (like restaurants) who cut service personnel to less than the minimum hours per week, so that they would “save” health care costs, on top of lobbying for reducing their “in-house” minimum wage, to “compensate” for earned tips. “Trickle-down” has not worked, so let’s give “trickle-up” a chance.

What would happen if our leaders could convince the United Nations to “legislate” a quasi-worldwide minimum wage? How many more manufacturing jobs would return to the “developed” countries, and save “developing” countries from overly hasty and destructive industrialization, which blatantly ignores health and environmental considerations?

Ulrich Bonne

Kailua-Kona

Celebration mahalo

On Jan. 19 we had a celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Makaeo Events Pavilion at Old Kona Airport Park. This is the 33rd anniversary of the event.

I would just like to say mahalo to the ladies that helped in the kitchen, serving and washing and the children who were wonderful on set-up and breakdown. The music also was great. Mahalo to all the volunteers.

Julie Campbell

Kailua-Kona