Raising the minimum wage
In his opinion page article on increasing the minimum wage (July 14 Eagle), Jay Ambrose refers to the Congressional Budget Office and The Heritage Foundation opinion that millions will be unemployed and dumped on the street if the minimum wage is increased.
He does admit that these scary views are “just educated guesses” and only “maybe” will occur.
In sharp contrast to this, economist John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (a nonpartisan economic think tank), after reviewing the research since the early 1990s, concludes that “the minimum wage has little or no discernible effect on the employment prospects of low-wage workers.”
This is because employers have other means of adjusting to the increase in the minimum wage other than dumping their employees on the street.
Some of these alternatives are reducing hours and non-wage benefits, cutting the pay of more highly paid workers, augmenting worker training and productivity, increasing the price to consumers and accepting a smaller profit margin.
Workers may respond to an increase in the minimum wage by working harder and not quitting. Such reductions in labor turnover provides a significant cost saving to employers.
Don Anderson, Winfield
President should lead by example
On Sunday, President Donald Trump called on four Democratic Congresswomen “who originally came from [other] countries” to “go back.” All four women are U.S. citizens, three by birth, and the comments ignited a firestorm about what constitutes behavior appropriate to the Oval Office.
Where should we draw the line when it comes to the most powerful man in the world?
I’m a father. So for me the question is less about the president than it is about my children. What would I say if my son told a black family at the store to “go back where they came from”? Would I just bite my tongue?
Born and raised in Kansas, I know the meaning of silence and the power of leading by example. I would tell my son that his words were unkind, unjust and deeply un-American. I would remind him that our country is founded on the principal of individual liberty and that each of us, no matter the color of our skin, has the chance in this great nation to live the life we choose. And I would tell my son to apologize.
Why would I ask less of my president than I would of my son?
Austin Hart, Wichita
Questions about letter on bees
In the July 2 letter to the editor “Dying Bees,” the writer said that honey bees that were being tended by Coleman Middle School students were killed because of pesticides. He followed by discussing alleged dangers of pesticides without mentioning a single example of their myriad benefits. He then ended his letter by suddenly veering off on the subject of climate change, something that has absolutely no relevance to pesticides. He stated, “Those young Coleman students are the future. They understand the implications of climate change and loss of biodiversity.” To make such a disconnected and encompassing claim I trust that he must have interacted with each of the students beforehand to confirm their beliefs. I am, indeed, intrigued how all the Coleman students at such young ages adamantly arrived at such a uniform conclusion about such an important and controversial subject as climate change. It suggests that they may have been indoctrinated in their classroom?
David J. Gudeman, Wichita
Leonard Pitts Jr. is my favorite editorial writer even though he is often the antithesis of my views: he is liberal, I am moderate. Do I agree with him? Often not. However, when I read his column I always think — and that, not agreement, is the true gift of editorial writing. Oh July 12 I totally agreed. Written journalism is the lifeline of free, informed thinking. I’m frightened at the impending doom of losing it.
So thank you, Leonard Pitts Jr. Thanks Wichita Eagle, editorial staff and all who hang in there. Don’t give up. I lift my coffee cup in gratitude with each morning paper.
Judy Jones, Wichita
Missing the Wingnuts
A year ago this week, I enjoyed going to a Wichita Wingnuts game.
Steve West, Colwich