Prices and wages

Helen Vidrine’s letter (March 1) opposing raising the minimum wage requires rebuttal because it argues the false logic that if wages go up, prices go up and no one is better off.

Scientific studies have shown otherwise. In many industries, labor is not the primary driver of cost. Raising the salary of workers at a pizza parlor by several dollars, might increase the cost of a pizza by only a few cents, but would enable the workers to contribute much more to the general economy.

Henry Ford made sure his workers had a high enough wage to buy the cars they helped manufacture. Other capitalists at the time scoffed. Higher wages not only ensured that the workers could afford to buy more, but resulted in higher quality and a more motivated work force.

A new book, “The Good Jobs Strategy,” by Harvard scholar Zeynep Ton, shows that even in supposedly low-skill service sector work, higher wages are the key to greater employee engagement, better customer service, higher productivity and a better bottom line.

Do we really want to buy products and services from businesses with disgruntled workers who may take out their discontent on us, their customers?

— Mike Baldwin, Benbrook