Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
Re "Fast-food workers rally," Business, Aug. 30
Bravo to the fast-food workers who are at long last demanding a decent standard of living.
It is important for all of us to understand the reality that their jobs are no longer the province of high school kids who want more purchasing power than they get from their allowances. More and more of these jobs go to adults who in an earlier generation had jobs that paid well and provided benefits — jobs that are no more.
Let me make a modest proposal: Instead of tying the minimum wage to state law, let us tie that wage to corporate profits. In this way, companies such as McDonald's will no longer be able to get away with what in many respects is indentured servitude.
By all means, give those fast-food workers their $15 an hour and force those greedy employers to provide health insurance. The results will be very good for our country.
Imagine a United States where greasy food eclipses healthy food in price, where even those employed to flip a burger earn a living wage. Imagine further the billions in healthcare savings and the economic boost when millions of employees suddenly have greater purchasing power.
Of course, the fast-food industry would probably be doomed; fast-food employees would become health-food employees. Healthcare professionals would wonder how they might sustain the ponderous girth of their profit margins without that reliable hoard of fat, sick and diabetic patients.
Michael E. White
Labor attorney Brent Giddens, who was quoted in the article, spouts tired warnings. He says paying fast-food workers $15 an hour would send jobs out of the country.
How does one send the job of a cook at the local burger joint out of the country? Do we need burgers so badly that we'll drive to Mexico just to get one?
I guess if we really want to keep wages down, we could support the current method of importing undocumented, noncitizen workers who are afraid to speak up for fear of being deported. Fill the country with the victims of this policy and let them toil at artificially low wages while hiding from the government that might deport them.
That way we can keep all wages low.