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Living wage responsibility of individual workers

Business owners should not be required to provide a living wage.

An individual employee living alone would need well over $15 an hour for the most basic living. Requiring a business owner to provide a living wage to every employee, regardless of that employee’s education, skills and ability means marginal employees will get laid off and will find it even more difficult to pay their bills and find new jobs.

And what about the clumsy, nervous 16-year-old high school student with no skills and no idea of what it’s like to function in a business environment? Few teenagers will get jobs which will deter their future employment experience and growth. A bored teenager out on the street with no money is just a recipe for trouble.

What is needed is a two-tiered minimum wage structure: one wage for entry-level individuals without a high school or GED diploma and a more robust standard minimum wage tied to inflation for those who have graduated high school.

Individuals who are still in high school or have dropped out will clearly see the benefit of finishing school or getting their GED as their hourly minimum wage will go up significantly.

A living wage is the sole responsibility of the individual. Want to make great money and have financial security? It comes from hard work, knowledge, acquiring skills and self-discipline, and becoming an invaluable asset to the employer.

Phil Winter

Kihei

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