John Balentine (“All that, without the bag of chips,” Aug. 7) secures his favorite snack items (i.e., sandwich, bag of chips and drink) at the ” … Subway sandwich shop, which I love because it’s both healthy and tasty.” However, and rather sadly, he now has to “give up” some of his items (“ … just order the sandwich. Forget the chips and drinks.”), because of the rising minimum wage paid to workers in the food industry. Mr. Balentine once again displays his selective forgetfulness – the Subway cashier is an essential employee – working when exposed to COVID-19 by customers during every work shift, while attempting to earn a decent wage to offset the expenses of everyday living.

Lost in Mr. Balentine’s struggle to lessen his own snack budget, he has forgotten the impact of the Republican tax cuts, which benefited the wealthy and large corporations and did not address the enormous wage disparity in this country. In an effort to mitigate against this wage differential, various local and state governments have crafted legislation to offer some relief to those individuals who receive a minimum salary by increasing the value of said wage.

Is Mr. Balentine so short-sighted as to forget the plight of those less fortunate than himself? I guess so. In his darkness does come much-needed light – Mr. Balentine indirectly offers some sound counsel on eating healthy – eat the tasty sandwich and do away with all the fat, sugar and salt associated with the bag of chips and the drink. Who would have thought Mr. Balentine could save us money while advocating a newer, more heart-healthy lifestyle – I sure did not!

John M. Mishler
Harpswell