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In a perfect world, we would all be able to support ourselves and our families comfortably with jobs we love. This is not a perfect world, unfortunately.

Humankind has utilized slave labor since the dawn of man and minimum-wage jobs are not a far cry from forced servitude. Fast-food businesses would not be so ridiculously wealthy if not for their poorly paid workers. The cost of a McDonalds franchise precludes paying high-school graduates much more than $7.90 per hour.

Accept it or not, for-profit corporations will never pay a single employee with two children $25-plus an hour, unless he or she has a desirable college degree that is necessary to the job or will enhance organizational productivity and profitability. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations would need to be extended to protect yet another class of people—the UWWWWC: undereducated working white women with children!

Perhaps we should instead raise the poverty level significantly and give aid to folks who make too much right now for public assistance. That aid might include career counseling or skills enhancement. We should also consider providing financially strapped college students with food stamps. If a degree is the gateway to a better-paying job, then let’s make it easier for folks to stay in school. We should support apprenticeships in trade industries and encourage people to enter career fields thus far neglected in favor of frou frou liberal arts degrees that get a graduate nowhere fast.

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Finally, let’s enforce the EEOC regulations already in place and make sure minorities enjoy the rights it grants them. Any job is better than none at all. A foolish pipedream like the one suggested by former Rep. Gail Gutsche and Rep.-Elect Mary Ann Dunwell will only make it harder to bring sensible ideas like those I've mentioned to fruition.

Montana Rafferty Moss,

Missoula

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