LETTER: $15 is not the answer

The following letters to KIRO TV were sent to the Northwest Asian Weekly for publication.

Dear KIRO TV,

Thank you for your piece on the minimum wage raise in Seattle and how it can affect the immigrant community and businesses. We have not heard the side of the minimum wage opposition and how it will hurt the immigrant community and businesses. I am a small business owner and very concerned about my employees, my community, and my business.

There is much complexity to this debate. We want to close the gap on income inequality, but raising the minimum wage is not the answer. The unintended consequences are that many who are earning minimum wage are entry workers, immigrants, less skilled, and inexperienced workers. They will now have an even harder chance in the job market if the minimum wage goes up to $15/hour. In theory, it is noble, but the economics of it does not help many people that they intend to help. It will hurt the ones they intend to help the most. Large businesses that have millions and billions of dollars can endure this devastation, but not small businesses, in which a minimum wage hike of 61 percent will cause businesses like mine to cut staff, invest in automation, relocate, or just close our doors. Business is already hard enough, and I just don’t think I can endure this minimum wage hike. Please continue to cover segments like you did to bring different perspectives to the mayor’s office, council members, and citizens. (end)

Thank you,

— Yen Lam

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