Minimum wage boost needed

Dear Editor,

Last week, on March 29, Vermont senior U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was grilling Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on the illegal union-busting activities used by that corporation. 

In order to embarrass our senior senator, Schultz shot back that Vermont has a paltry minimum wage of only $13.18/hour. Starbucks, his company, pays more.

We all know that an individual, never mind a family with children, can’t make any headway on such a low wage in today’s economy. 

The Vermont Legislature should have raised the minimum wage to $15/hour years ago to keep pace with the actual cost of living. 

Now, in 2023, they could at least start there on the way toward a wage that would allow a family a living without depriving their children of the necessities of life in Vermont today.

Geoffrey Cobden,


One comment on “Minimum wage boost needed

  1. What’s better for workers than a higher minimum wage? A tax on vacant land and unoccupied premises. A higher minimum wage discourages hiring. But a vacancy tax on residential property makes the owners get residential tenants (and set the rents within reach of wages), while a vacancy tax on commercial property makes the owners get business tenants, who in turn will need workers, leading to higher *market* wages and more stable jobs.

    What’s better for business than a lower minimum wage? A tax on vacant land and unoccupied premises! A lower minimum wage cuts the spending power of prospective customers, and makes it harder for prospective employees to afford housing within a manageable distance of your business. But a vacancy tax on nearby residential property keeps it populated with prospective customers and workers, while a vacancy tax on nearby commercial property keeps it populated with complementary businesses that will attract foot traffic to *your* business.

    Notice that a vacant-property tax is meant to be AVOIDED, not paid. Better still, avoidance of it would generate economic activity, expanding the bases of other taxes and allowing their rates to be cut, so that both workers and businesses would pay LESS tax!

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