Minimum Wage Fantasies In Las Cruces

Jan 19, 2019

Commentary: In the January 17 L.C. Sun News, there was a letter to the editor by Richard Reynaud questioning the impact of the minimum wage on Las Cruces businesses. It went to $10.10 on January 1.

Does he know that for a full-time worker that only amounts to about $21,000 a year? With the current cost of housing, medical bills, food, education and transportation who can afford to exist on that salary? That is below the poverty line. Don’t tell me that is generally what young people earn. Fewer than 10% are teenagers and more than half are prime age adults that must support a family.

In Las Cruces, 70% to 80% of retail workers are associated with out of state corporations like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Dillards, call centers, McDonalds, Olive Garden, Village Inn, etc. They can damn well afford a decent wage for their workers.

The minimum wage in California, Arizona and Colorado is higher than here and their doing just fine—as well as locally owned businesses.

Mr. Reynaud says El Paso is booming and everyone is doing well at $7.25 per hour.

He should ask them about health care, because Texas ranks last nationally for health care access and affordability.

When are we going to learn that when you pay all workers a decent salary the economy does better, because they spend the money locally and have more commitment to their job? Major retail giants like Amazon, Costco and Target realize this, as they are phasing in a minimum wage of $15 and hour or more.