It was instructive to read the comments of restaurant managers and owners in response to voters having rejected Proposition 418 which would have rolled back the minimum wage approved in 2016. [“Businesses ponder the future after 418 fails,” 11/27/18]
The Flagstaff minimum wage will increase to $12.00 an hour on 1/01/19. This is hardly enough to provide for one’s basic needs, yet the reactions of some business owners makes one wonder what they would pay their employees if left up to them.
Owners and managers are quoted as planning to lay off employees and reduce customer service. Smart restaurant owners will take advantage of these decisions to hire workers others lay off and increase customer service. Such employers will willingly shave their profits and share a little more with their employees realizing the long-term benefit of a satisfied work force with less turnover.
Income inequality in the United States is without precedent in our history and unequaled in most other developed nations. It is undermining our democracy and the major cause of many of social problems. Neither the Democratic or Republican parties have addressed the concentration of wealth which has continued unabated for the last 40 years. Much more than an increased minimum wage will be required to halt and reverse this trend, but laws raising the minimum wage are to be welcomed by all who value democracy – and because improving the living standards of the majority of our citizens is just plain right.