I think we can solve the minimum wage dispute quite handily. I suggest the fast-food people allow one franchise to pay their employees $15 per hour and adjust the costs of their products accordingly. Try to keep the same number of employees, hours per shift, etc., unchanged. Give the consumer a chance to weigh in and support the higher-cost product. All the people who support the new minimum wage level would be encouraged to patronize this fast-food place.

After a few weeks, if it turns out to be a good idea, other establishments would begin to follow suit (as they would begin to lose market share to happier and higher-paid employees and more expensive fast food). Let the chips fall where they may (pun intended). If it turns out to be a great idea, the proponents might want to consider pooling their resources, opening a new franchise to compete with the ones who maintain the status quo. The free market is being touted as being one of the major tenets of U.S. foreign policy. Why not try it at home?

Neal Anderson

Salt Lake City