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Another view on minimum wage

September 11, 2019
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

In its Aug. 28, 2019 edition, the Observer noted in a front page article that an increase in minimum wage by 2027 to $15 per hour is being contemplated. The article went on to say "Over time, this represents a 77% increase in minimum wage." It would be more accurate to say that this represents a less than 7.75% increase per year over 8 years. There is a lot of difference, in most people's minds, between the two figures.

You might have mentioned that a tipped workers current minimum is $5.44, with an assumption that the earner will collect at least $3.02 per hour in tips. You might also have noted that since the raise to the federal minimum in 2009, minimum wage has risen by less than 2% per year, and that many workers spend their entire working lives earning at the minimum wage level.

I commend your acknowledgement that a $15 minimum wage will not be high enough to allow a worker on Fort Myers Beach to afford to live here. I have no idea what kind of resolution there can be to the high cost of living and the low compensation rates for many beach communities, but a raise to $15 per hour over an 8-year period won't fix that, no matter how much the wage hike is needed.

Kathleen Finderson

Fort Myers Beach



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