The importance of a living wage

To the editor:

I just read an interesting article regarding the debate in Michigan over the right to work and prevailing wage legislation. Both sides seem to have strong arguments justifying their opinion.

I’m a comfortably retired blue collar laborer. I worked some place continually from the time I was 14 until I retired after 35 years in the union shop at Cummins. Having never been out of work or unemployed in my lifetime, I have a perspective for both sides of the discussion. As I read and followed the discussion, I noticed that both sides miss out on a couple important points. First is the importance of a wage whereby a family may grow and live a comfortable life. Also, the importance of industry to make reasonable profits on their investment for the product they produce with their employees’ labor.

We are just now recovering from effects of the COVID crisis. There, we quickly saw the value and importance of essential workers. What are they worth and what is their cost in a product? From the bottom tier to the top, each person adds value to the product. The laborer in the field picking produce to the corporate executive, they have a value and add to the product produced.

We learn from our Bibles that life is best with a two-parent household. One where the head of the house earns the income while the partner tends to the home and raises the children. To return to a society like that, we must pay the wage earner sufficiently to allow the partner to leave the workforce.

By a return to such a lifestyle, we may correct some of the social issues that plague our country. Children can again be cared for and raised at home and instructed at home and not in a day care where there is little opportunity to learn a Christian moral life along with family support of local church activities. Then with less resources need to be used for child care, those monies may be used to relieve some of the other social issues in our community. Poverty and homelessness can be addressed by social programs within the community and not be a burden on government agencies. By returning to single-wage earner per household will open entry-level jobs for the poverty-stricken homeless.

A living wage we can reward essential workers and begin to restore America.

William Gerhard, Scipio