Deseret News
Letter to the editor

For several years, Rep. Hemingway has been unsuccessfully sponsoring a state bill to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.25 an hour (and eventually $12 an hour). $7.25 an hour is disgraceful — how can we be OK with that as a minimum wage?

Last year in his opposition to raising the minimum wage, Rep. LaVar Christensen argued that people with lower-paying jobs should find a higher-paying job, and then businesses will realize they are not paying workers enough and self-correct. Sure, because that is how things have happened in the past. On their own, businesses were moral entities who recognized safety standards were lax and raised them. Nope, the federal government stepped in and passed safety laws and has OSHA to enforce those laws. Also, businesses recognized that children should not be working long hours. Nope, the federal government stepped in and passed child labor laws that were really about protecting adult jobs from child workers, but, still, the state has a responsibility to step in.

42 comments on this story

We need a higher minimum wage that is a livable wage. We need to help people meet their own needs and not have to rely on public/private assistance. A living wage means people would be able to earn enough to meet their financial needs with dignity (food, shelter, some comforts, etc.). People deserve dignity.

Some say mom and pop businesses would fold if required to pay a living wage. However, it isn't right for small businesses to pass off the cost of doing business to the backs of their workers.

Aubree Stock

Huntington, Emery County