People who are on Social Security Disability Insurance are former workers that have incurred mental and/or physical disabilities, limiting what type of jobs they can obtain. This is why a number continuously attend school in an effort to re-enter the labor force. They want to work, even if they are paid a minimum wage of $7.50 per hour. The reason is they just want to reclaim their status as workers.

The problem is, this November voters may price these individuals permanently out of the labor market by electing to raise Maine’s minimum wage. If this happens, it no longer matters how much work experience or education a job applicant has. What will matter is how long they have been out of work. In fact, if a person doesn’t have a job while filling out an application for a different job, they may never be considered for hiring.

Then not only will those on Social Security Disability Insurance remain jobless, so too will the rest of the unemployed. This includes those receiving general assistance at the expense of taxpayers. By defeating the proposal to increase minimum wage, we are allowing people the opportunity to become taxpayers once they obtain jobs.

The bottom line is, with a higher minimum wage, we would create a “worker-elite” by shutting out the long-termed unemployed. The unemployed would rebel against the voters. They would do this for vengeance against those that never considered them, when they voted “yes” to increase Maine’s minimum wage.

Douglas Papa

Winthrop