This is in response to the Jan. 24 letters “Families working 40 hours a week still not making enough to have the basics” and “Raise the minimum wage to $15 to relieve poverty.”

Many corporations, and especially small businesses, are already struggling with the current minimum wage. They cannot continue to exist if they pay out more than they bring in.

One writer says that providing jobs is a major role of corporations. Perhaps in Cuba, but not here.

Companies here must make a profit for shareholders or proprietors. They can pay $7.50 an hour plus Social Security plus Medicare plus other benefits only if the value of the work is more than that. Would it be better to hire 20 people at $7.50 or 10 people at $15? That’s the choice some companies have.

The other writer complained that she was paid only $8 an hour plus room and board, but didn’t say who covered the food and housing costs. If it was her employer, this was worth about another $7 an hour for her, based on a 40-hour work week. Plus she was probably getting a break on tuition at the university where she worked.

It would be helpful to our society if our high schools required a basic course in economics.

Allan Neff, MBA

South Portland