Letters to the Editor

Letter: Local wages

June 3, 2014


To the editor:

It is time for Lawrence to investigate its authority in using the home rule to raise the minimum wage. Raising the wage in Lawrence to $10.10 per hour could be the most important and most effective economic development action ever taken by a Lawrence City Commission.

While Lawrence economic development activities have always been focused on creating new, good-paying jobs, the simplest way to improve wages — and local spending — is to raise the minimum wage and then peg it to inflation standards.

For good or bad, Lawrence’s economy is focused on low-paying service jobs. Thousands of Lawrencians work full-time for below-poverty level wages. Raising Lawrence’s minimum wage will help these earners by generating more disposable income. That income will almost instantaneously be pumped back into the local economy through additional expenditures. Those expenditures will drive sales tax revenue, create additional profits for local businesses and create a long-term economic stimulus for the city.

There are real benefits in raising the wage: more money for those on the low end of the wage spectrum, more local spending, more tax revenue and a reinvigoration of the local economy. Plus, no tax increase is needed to quickly help the city in helping its own.

The time is now. Raising the minimum-wage will boost the economy, improve the lives of Lawrencians, increase tax revenues and help the city reclaim its rightful place as the progressive capital of Kansas.


RJ Johnson 3 years, 5 months ago

How about we use a little common sense? If someone wants a pay raise they need to learn a skill or go to college. Pretty simple concept, huh?

Cille King 3 years, 5 months ago

There are a lot of college graduates earning minimum wage or slightly more because of the lack of good paying jobs. Why shouldn't companies like Walmart, who make billions, pay their employees a living wage, instead of instructing them on how to get government (taxpayers assistance) help?

Brock Masters 3 years, 5 months ago

What WalMart or any other business pays to its employees should be between the employer and the employee.

Why not subsidize low wage employees by taxing higher wage employees? I wonder how many who support raising the minimum wage would support it if it was funded directly by them and not the business?

Want to help low wage employees? Fight against illegal immigration and amnesty

Brock Masters 3 years, 5 months ago

Brett, I said directly, not indirectly. Big difference.

No, I don't think the working man deserves more. They deserve only what they can demand from the market.

Bob Forer 3 years, 5 months ago

Brock, we already subsidize minimum wage workers. You've heard of food stamps, haven't you?

Seth Peterson 3 years, 5 months ago

Simple only because you don't understand.

Scott Burkhart 3 years, 5 months ago

Here's what you don't understand. If you do this for the WalMart employee, you have to do this for all of the small businesses up and down Massachusetts St. Lots of small businesses cannot withstand having to increase their wage costs. Some will cut labor and some will cut jobs. Probably all will need to raise prices to compensate, so now the consumer gets to subsidize the increased wages. Simple.

Bob Forer 3 years, 5 months ago

Actually, Rick, if everyone followed your advice there would be nobody to fill those esssential, yet minimum wage jobs. Do you not believe in the dignity of either work or humanity? I say anyone willing to work forty hours a week with reasonable effort and dilligence should have a minimum standard of living above poverty level Just as labor as effort should be considered good, so should human dignity and worth.

We obviously don't see eye to eye Rick. That's okay, I don't hang with your ilk.

Clark Coan 3 years, 5 months ago

The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce won't let this happen. Even if it did pass, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce would get a bill passed in the legislature pre-empting the ordinance. What could happen the City Commission could require all city entities (such as LMH) and entities that receive tax benefits or grants pay a minimum wage $10.10.

Leslie Swearingen 3 years, 5 months ago

Seattle passed a law that will raise their minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 5 months ago

Increasing the wage will also create more new jobs as a result of the new spending power.

Bob Forer 3 years, 5 months ago

Just so you know , Scott, the comma between year and right is optional.

Scott Burkhart 3 years, 5 months ago

This will increase labor costs resulting in higher prices and higher unemployment.

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