You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘War on Poverty’ still just a war on business

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

The same percentage of people live in poverty now as lived in it 50 years ago, when President Lyndon Johnson declared his "War on Poverty."

At that time, adjusted to 2013 dollars, the minimum wage was $9.39 and peaked at $10.71 (in 2013 dollars) four years later. From 1964 until today, we have experienced 14 minimum-wage increases — and none has moved the needle on America's poverty rate ("Sen. Chuck Schumer: $10.10 is non-negotiable," Web, May 5).

While pushing for wage-rate increases might score fleeting points for a political party, it makes no sense to the private sector, which bankrolls the state and federal governments pushing for such increases. Most people know minimum wage is not meant to pull people up from poverty or support families of four.

Businesses understand increasing the minimum wage puts upward pressure on the entire wage scale, which in itself is not the greatest problem. They know the real consequences of those elevated costs limit employment opportunities, customers' purchasing power and overall economic expansion.

Unlike the government, businesses do not have the ability to demand higher fees or prices, force customers to buy their goods or confiscate property to cover their expenses. That is why the Congressional Budget Office predicted and reaffirmed that 500,000 jobs would likely be lost with this proposed wage hike.

I don't blame Mr. Schumer for pushing the wage increase, regardless of the predictably negative impact it will have on everyone, particularly those below or near the poverty line. Mr. Schumer entered politics in 1975 right after graduating law school and has only ever been a politician since.

Like many others, he knows and cares far more about getting re-elected than he does about macro- or microeconomics. I blame the people who reflexively vote party over country and for a politician's survival over their own.


Falls Church

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts