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Yes, there once was a living wage

 

Last updated 5/21/2020 at 5:52am



There is a reason “the living wage” has been a topic of discussion for 30 plus years. At some point in the 1970s was when the last living wage was paid. I know about the living wage firsthand.

I got married in 1953. I worked part-time for the first two years while I finished college and my wife managed steady work as a key-punch operator. Two years later, we were able to buy a new car, a 1956 Beetle, and two years after that, we were able to qualify for the mortgage on a new home.

Also, of note, I was only 21 and my wife-to-be 18 when we married. That’s what a minimum, living wage looks like. After that, I got an advanced degree, the springboard that propelled us solidly into the middle economic class. But we were also very, very lucky – no serious injuries or illnesses and no unplanned pregnancy.

I don’t think berating people for not having got a formal education is particularly productive. Not everyone wants to be tied to a desk all day, and they shouldn’t need to be.

Blue-collar jobs galore would be available if the government would only begin the infrastructure program that Trump seems to have forgotten. We will be needing those new jobs as our economy recovers and, to get that, we need a government that works for all the people.

John H. Terrell

 

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