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17 million kids deserve better

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To the editor:

Seventeen million kids are being raised in poverty by full-time or multiple-job parents. Handicapped kids struggle every day. I’ve lived it for 54 years because of my experience raising an uninsurable handicapped daughter.

These children struggle every day with hunger and fear of loss of a roof over their head, not to mention the embarrassment of not having money for any school activity.

If 15 percent of the GOP weighed this reality against its concern for low-wage jobs and the businesses that provide them, this reality would change immediately.

Most businesses depend on productivity improvements. Over the past 10 years, the cost of minimum-wage labor has been static while productivity has increased by almost 100 percent. The typical U.S. hourly employer is generating almost double the gross income per hour of labor paid than it did 10 years ago. Inflation, taxes and fluctuations in food costs have added to the gross income beyond the productivity factor.

A factory worker who has been replaced by a robot is in a job category more impacted by productivity than service industries where most minimum-wage employees work, yet even janitorial, cashiers, and food prep have been automated in a number of ways.

Labor is typically only 20 percent of the cost of doing minimum-wage businesses; a one-third increase in their cost is just a little less than a 1 percent per year increase. A $5 fast-food lunch goes to $5.45. I believe 17 million kids warrant it.

 

Alice Wargo

Ocean Isle Beach