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Letter to the editor

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The minimum wage issue and the ongoing debate about extended unemployment benefits have one common thread.  

As Joe Biden once said, “It is all about a three letter word – jobs.”

For sure, our economy is harmed by the lack of acceptable jobs.  But unemployment benefits have an unintended consequence.  The extension of the benefits discourage job-seeking … period.   

If I’m not badly mistaken, these benefits were originally intended to last only 13 weeks.  

Since then, the unemployment benefits were increased to 26 weeks; Congress is considering a further extension.

It would be very tempting to me or to anyone else to stay at home and receive a government check rather than go out and find a job.  Especially tempting if the only jobs are minimum wage jobs and beneath my level of self-ascertained competence.  

From the employer’s point of view there will be less hiring if the minimum wage is increased and becomes counter-productive.  

The employer is not in business to provide jobs.  He is in business to make a profit to better enable him to provide for his family.

The minimum wage jobs he has available are entry level and are not intended to support a family on a career basis.  They are starting positions for anyone entering the work force.  Accepting these jobs will enhance a resume much better than sitting on the porch. 

In both cases – minimum wage and unemployment –an environment needs to exist that encourages job creation and job acceptance.  

It is all about attitude: Sit on the porch waiting for a government check or accepting a job paying only minimum wage and moving on from there.  Common threads can be good.


Bill Wallace


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