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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | FEBRUARY 18, 2014 5:00 AM

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Raise the minimum wage

The students of Iowa deserve a raise.

The current hourly minimum wage in Iowa matches the federal minimum wage of $7.25, the lowest it can legally be.

Many students and young people work low-wage jobs in order to pay for food, rent, books, tuition, and much, much more. People often assume that while it may be difficult for “adults” to live on minimum wage, students can live on $7.25/hour, because it is “supplemental income” — but that is simply not true. With the skyrocketing cost of college and rent, students need an hourly wage as well. The University Democrats recently held an event to gather signatures asking Gov. Terry Branstad to raise the minimum wage to the Senate Democrats’ proposal of $10.10. Members of the University Democrats asked many students if they’d worked a minimum wage job before, and almost every student said yes or that they were working one now. Students of all political ideologies, organizational involvement, and academic interests stopped by to sign the petitions. Many people consider raising the minimum wage to be a political issue, but the vast student support shows that it doesn’t have to be.

And remember, when the minimum wage stays low, everyone pays for it — in the form of taxes toward foot stamps, affordable housing, and health-care costs.

The people of Iowa, including students, need a raise, and they need it now.

Carter Bell
University Democrats president

Rights of life

With all the debate recently for amending the United States Constitution in favor of certain issues and/or those constituencies, perhaps a more appropriate amendment should guarantee each citizen of the United States the right to food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.

Poverty is defined as the condition of being poor or lacking the necessary means of support to live or meet needs. Today we read of enormous corporate tax breaks, outsourcing of jobs overseas, and outrageous salaries “earned” by athletes and entertainers.

In the meantime, the number of those in poverty continues to increase. The Old Testament of the Bible often makes references to the promised land flowing with milk and honey. All one has to do in this country is take a trip to the grocery story or department store and bear witness to the fact that if anywhere was

close to exhibiting the characteristics of “the promised land,” this country is it. Yet somehow we are still unable to meet the four basic needs every citizen has. Some would argue that this proposal is an extension of socialism/communism. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Joe Bialek


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