NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

February 25, 2013

Could you live on minimum wage?

To the editor:

If you were a high school or college student living at home and had a part-time job at $7.25 per hour, it would not be a problem. If you were married and not the main wage earner, that could work. If you were single, you could rent a room or share an apartment with two or three other people to pay for rent and utilities, but transportation and health insurance would not be feasible. A person might have to work two jobs for that expense.

A person raising a family by themselves cannot get by on $7.25 an hour and would need some assistance. There is no doubt that some of these programs have fraud and are taken advantage of, but most people are honest, hard-working people just struggling to get by and sometimes working two jobs. They deserve our compassion and help.

Not everyone has the education or high-tech skills that enable them to decently support themselves and family. A small business owner cannot pay more than the minimum wage, but they need workers. A company that pays the CEO 420 times more than his workers on the floor in plants and factories is just flat-out wrong. To have 95 percent of this country’s wealth concentrated in the hands of 1 or 2 percent of our population is wrong.

It is estimated that 50 million people in this country have hunger problems every day and children come to school hungry. That is a disgrace and must stop.

Beverly Brown

Newburyport

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