LETTER: Say to Initiative 1433 on the minimum-wage hike

The measure would, according to some, produce a greater benefit and offset any costs rather than living the minimum wage $7.25 an hour.

I am writing in support of ballot Initiative 1433 — “Raise Up Washington.”

I-1433 would over four years raise the Washington minimum wage for all workers to $13.50 an hour.

The federal minimum is $7.25, and over time, its purchasing power has actually decreased.

“One reason a third of Americans today live in or near poverty is that many jobs in the U.S. don’t pay enough to live on,” according to a Feb. 17 New York Times editorial.

“This is due in part to the steady erosion in the minimum wage even as labor productivity, corporate profits and executive compensation have gone up.”

In addition, I-1433 would, beginning one year after passage, give all workers, full or part time, paid sick leave for themselves or family.

This benefit would be accrued at one hour for every 40 hours worked and can be carried over to the next year.

Economist Paul Krugman has stated that “there is just no evidence that raising the minimum wage costs jobs, at least when the starting point is as low as it is in modern America.”

In an op-ed in the New York Times on July 17, 2015, Krugman cites a path-breaking study which looked at the effect of New Jersey’s raising the minimum wage in the fast-food sector and “found if anything a positive effect” on employment.

Krugman adds that many subsequent studies of other episodes confirm the finding: Benefits to the employer from better morale, lower turnover and increased productivity offset any effect of higher labor costs.

Paula Obrebski,

Port Angeles