Given that America has the widest gap in income equality in the industrialized world, it’s incredible that anyone would oppose an increase in the minimum wage that would be a small step to closing that gap.

Since the economic recovery began in 2009, 95 percent of the economic gains have gone to the wealthiest while the actual values of median household incomes have dropped for the middle classes. To have a healthy economy and to “fix” welfare, we need to fix the issue of income inequality.

Raising the minimum wage in Maine actually would be very beneficial for employers. The middle classes comprise 70 percent of the consumer base. Because the minimum wage is so low, money earned has to go directly into the basic necessities for daily living. Few people can save enough money to get ahead and enjoy the American Dream of owning a house, etc.

When the middle classes do not make a living wage, their ability to consume more products and move up the economic ladder is severely diminished, and the economy does not flourish. Although employment levels have risen, the types of jobs being added are not as well-paying as the previous manufacturing jobs.

For many of the workers who make up the backbone of this state, well-paying jobs with good benefits are long gone, shipped overseas by our illustrious American corporations. The concept of companies moving abroad to save money on resources and labor, thereby making products cheaper and more affordable for American consumers, has backfired.

With low wages, workers can’t consume at the level required by corporations to maintain their profit levels, thus corporations remain abroad for new markets. To fight against an increase in the minimum wage (an annual salary just above poverty level) is to fight against a stronger Maine economy.

Kathleen M. Moore

Waterville

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