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Pandering for votes

| Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

The editorial “Raise the minimum wage? It's a rank political ploy” says “the White House, Big Labor and their liberal backers are coordinating support for President Obama's proposed federal wage-floor hike from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour ... .” It correctly suggests that the support is grounded in “broad economic ignorance” of the relationships between wages and unemployment rates.

There is more to it than that; the politicians who support the minimum-wage increase are clearly avoiding economic reality and unfortunately pandering to the most vulnerable citizens to get votes. Surely those who argue that the minimum wage should be increased are not so stupid as to not understand that every time the cost of labor increases, machines become relatively less costly.

This has happened since the invention of the wheel and is clearly happening today, as machines are replacing humans at grocery store checkouts, turnpike toll booths and in countless other labor-intensive applications. Nevertheless, there is a solution for those struggling with jobs that pay minimum wage; the key is to acquire an education and/or skills that are scarce and in demand — it's really basic economics.

Otherwise, these folks should realize they could be replaced by a machine and unfortunately relegated to the lower rungs of the economic ladder, regardless of the extant minimum wage. Moreover, they should not be misled by the cruel hoax perpetrated by Mr. Obama and his minions as they lobby for the increase.

Wayne Baughman

Salem

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