Do we reap what we sow?
I read with interest and dismay your lead editorial "Water: Basic necessity." Water, clean, drinkable water delivered to your faucets, is a large problem in this state and country. Leaky, old pipes deliver less and less water each day.
The delivery of clean, drinkable water is just one problem of our infrastructure in this country. Bridges need repaired and replaced. Roadways need repaved and widened. Our electrical grid is in need of a total overhaul. Fixing our infrastructure would provide jobs and strengthen our economy and allow the middle class to grow and prosper while growing the tax base, which would provide even more help and jobs for the unemployed and underemployed.
Yet, for some reason, West Virginians have been voting the 3 Gs -- guns, God and gays! The Republicans push these "issues" hard and fast to win votes while in reality trying their hardest when in power to take away the things that really make this country strong and creates growth. Our problems with providing drinkable water, replacing dangerous bridges, repaving potholed roadways and creating a new electrical grid will persist until we wake up and realize we reap what we sow.
Jeffrey C. Pratt
Wage increase would relieve taxpayers
The best reason to support increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour is to relieve taxpayers who are paying for the earned income credits and the various welfare and medical benefits presently received by workers on and near minimum wage. This taxpayer subsidy just enables large employers like McDonald's and Wal-Mart to continue to under-pay their workers.
An incredibly bad reason to oppose such an increase is concern for franchisee profits. Since all franchisees would pay the higher wages, their relative profitability would be unchanged if they raised prices equally. According to an article in the Sept. 2 paper, a typical franchisee makes about 5 cents for each $1 of sales. McDonald's meanwhile makes almost 20 cents per dollar ($5.5 billion on sales of $27.6 billion).
Personally, I would suggest keeping $7.25 as the wage for high school dropouts, $9 for high school graduates with C averages, and $15 for those with A averages, but we seem to think monetary incentives only work for CEOs.