This is response to Martin Jones’ column on the minimum wage (“Maine Voices: King, Collins must understand that higher minimum wage won’t help low-income people,” May 14).

Mr. Jones must be out of touch with the poor. Nowadays, minimum-wage workers are a cross-section of America. Minimum-wage workers now include unemployed professionals, teenagers, college graduates, workers affected by the outsourcing of jobs, housewives and anyone who lost their jobs during the Bush recession.

Raising the minimum wage to a living wage does not cause unemployment, but it does cause people to have more money so they can spend more and stimulate the economy.

Anyone who has been grocery shopping lately knows how expensive milk, meat and vegetables are. Poor people must eat more carbohydrates to feel full. That causes obesity and more health problems, which lead everyone’s medical bills to skyrocket.

The warehouse club Costco, which pays a living wage, seems to be doing just fine, and their employee retention is much higher than Walmart’s Sam’s Club.

Mr. Jones needs to get out there and work for minimum wage and forgo his salary for a month. Then he will see that he cannot pay rent, utility bills, car payment, health insurance premiums and all the other things that people need to have some measure of comfort.

People don’t necessarily want a lot of money – they just want to get by. Nobody who works 40 hours or more should ever live in poverty. That’s it. That is the bottom line. When does the greed stop?

Jocelyn Canning



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