Letter: Market, not municipality, should set wages

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An $8.75 per hour minimum wage in Portland? Why not $18.75 or $25.75? Where will the non-market-driven wage increases come from? From higher prices for goods and services, or from saved wages of laid-off workers.

After Oakland, California, raised their minimum wage numerous restaurants in the Chinatown district closed due to labor costs eliminating profits. Spain, Greece and South Africa all have generous minimum wage laws. They also share an unemployment rate of close to 25 percent.

The fashionable notions of third parties and governments to raise minimum wages have no regard for whether everyone is productive enough to be worth paying the wage they set. Setting a higher minimum wage is merely taking from others (in the form of increased prices) and giving to those workers. The phrase “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need” opined by Karl Marx describes the mandated wage increase. A proposal for a minimum wage is a proposal for wealth transfer.

I applaud Gov. LePage’s endeavor to thwart minimum-wage increases. The capitalistic market should be the ultimate arbitrageur of an individual’s compensation, not our elected government officials.

Steve Merritt
Old Orchard Beach