I think we are all very sympathetic with the arguments made by Richard Davis regarding raising the minimum wage — we all want people of all walks of life to make a good living ("minimum wage increase is a question of fairness," Sept. 4). However, my own experience leads me to question the idea that prosperity can be mandated.

From 1991 through 2003 I ran a company which sold porcelain dolls in more than 400 shopping malls throughout the country.

Our business was successful, however costs were high, with employee wages being one of our biggest costs. At the time the minimum wage was $5.15 per hour; however, during this time Congress was continually debating raising this an additional $2 to $3 per hour. These increases did not take place; however, if they had, it would have devastated our business.

Had the increase in minimum wage passed at that time, we would have definitely had to close more than half of our stores — and more than 1,500 perfectly happy and loyal employees would have not had Christmastime employment.

Kirk Willey