Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JULY 23, 2015 5:00 AM

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Raise the minimum wage

The current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is insufficient to make ends meet for many working families in this community. Low-wage and minimum-wage workers simply don’t earn enough to meet their basic needs. This means that they are forced to rely on outside assistance in order to survive. If profitable corporate employers pay wages so low that their employees need food or housing assistance, then the community is subsidizing the employer. Our local food banks are under strong and increasing pressure. As for housing, in a market with less than a 1 percent vacancy rate, try to find affordable housing for a small family that won’t require a 60- to 70-hour workweek. 

A low-wage economy reduces the tax revenue that provides for a social safety net. This increases the problems with funding schools, city and county governments, and all the necessary work they do for the community.

Raising the wage will strengthen the local economy because low-income consumers will spend more here. Studies have shown that raising the minimum wage does not increase unemployment, and a locally stimulated economy may actually increase employment. Better-paid workers will stay with their jobs, and that reduces turnover. When low-wage workers do better, we all do better.

The minimum wage was implemented to keep working people out of poverty and to stimulate the economy. Those goals are still worth fighting for. The fight for $15 is just what Johnson County needs.

Joe Marron

UI communicates what?

Congratulations to Ben Marks and the DI editors for Monday’s story exposing the appalling waste of scarce financial resources represented in the salary paid to Terri Goren as a three-day-a-week communications consultant.

What Marks might also have pointed out is that the office of the vice president for Strategic Communications is a glaring example of recent and costly redundancies in university administration implemented by President Sally Mason. Let’s hope the new UI president has enough confidence in being the public voice of the university to eliminate the position and use the savings to hire more teachers and staff. To do so would be a powerful statement on UI funding priorities.

Stephen Vlastos

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