Regarding Lynn Schmidt’s column “Beware the unintended consequences of trying to help low-wage workers” (March 3): As an African American, I felt compelled to respond to this column arguing against the $15 minimum wage.
Schmidt argues that the unintended consequences of paying a living wage would mean workers would lose jobs, costs would increase for consumers, and living standards would decrease for workers. It’s right out of the conservative GOP playbook to claim that raising the wage of poor workers holding down two jobs and living in poverty would actually harm them. That claim is so ridiculous that it is laughable.
It’s also disgusting and insulting for her to imply that people working in low-skilled jobs do not work hard enough, and they don’t believe in the dignity of work. So it’s the fault of poor people that they are low-wage workers?
And then, to add further insult, Schmidt says, ”Opportunities for better paying jobs through training programs should be encouraged. So should creative solutions to fight poverty.” But actually training programs in most municipalities in this country, including St. Louis, have been severely cut or don’t exist. And think how finding “creative solutions to fight poverty” sounds to poor people. These are just words.