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Hardships tough for minimum wage earners
by Ralph Mirsky


March 24, 2005

I read Joseph Branco's articles and some I agree with and others I don't. I've never commented on the past articles that I've disagreed with until now. I feel compelled to say that not everyone is as fortunate as yourself.

I too worked for minimum wage when I was 16yrs. old, back way before you were born. The job I had was a piano mover working for a local music company in Sacramento CA. The job was part time while going to high school and it paid the minimum wage of $1.80 per hour. In those days a loaf of bread cost 25 cents and you could get a complete meal deal at McDonalds for under a dollar, a candy bar cost 5 cents and gasoline at the pump ranged from 15-25 cents per gallon. And guess what? I was, even after all my spending on whatever, still able to save a few bucks.

The problem today with today's economic situation especially here in Ketchikan... People, grown adults, that have been displaced from decent paying jobs because of plant closures that domino effect causing other small business's to close and downsizing, leave for a lot of those effected workers few options other than to take a minimum wage job while waiting for (thank god) Federal retraining benefits for displaced workers.

In a lot of cases it can be a very stressful, humbling and a humiliating experience going through the process.

I know first hand what displaced workers deal with and what they have go through and I for one am grateful to the Legislature for raising the minimum wage here in Alaska to $7.25 per hour - even though I believe it should be higher.

We deal with people struggling to raise families on minimum wage incomes. The hardships here in Ketchikan for a minimum wage earner are tough at best.

Ralph Mirsky
Ketchikan, AK - USA

Related column:

The Minimum Wage Should Be Abolished by Joseph Branco



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Ketchikan, Alaska