Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor, September 10, 2015

Wage hike would hurt city economy

If the Urban County Council increases the local minimum wage, it will never know that it caused some small businesses to reduce employee hours, fire workers, move to another county, or go out of business. They will never know how many potential businesses did not start or started outside of the county.

While some entry-level workers would gain, others would lose jobs or have their hours reduced. Others will not find employment because the council would have created a more costly business environment.

If passed, the minimum wage should not be tied to a cost-of-living index. The council should have to revisit that decision annually. Putting a minimum wage on automatic pilot is like filing a flight plan to fly into a mountain, turning on the automatic pilot and going to the galley for a snack.

The market-based economy is the fairest and most successful economic system ever devised. Companies offer and workers agree to wages based on the value of the work. It is not perfect, but because of competition, inequities are usually resolved. Interjecting another government mandate reduces the freedom of both.

Rather than passing a minimum wage, the council should be looking for ways to make Fayette a more desirable place to do business.

Ray Davis, Lexington

Thanks for saving dog

You may have heard the story about a dog slipping into a hole. Well, the real story is about the folks who saved him. I was with my son and his dog when this occurred. We headed to the fire department. We were upset, they were calm and professional.

They asked questions, made a phone call, and the rescuers were on their way. And rescue they did. We had lost all hope of a positive outcome, but they never did.

Thank you. Thank you.

Graeme Wilson, Lexington

Help low-wage workers

The Herald-Leader made a persuasive case for raising the minimum wage, and some members of the business class objected that it would cause some low-wage workers to lose jobs, hours to be cut back, some workers to lose benefits and prices to rise.

They never mention that profits might be squeezed.

Nothing provokes concern for the poor in some folks like a threat to raise the minimum wage. Research suggests that the negative impact for low-wage workers is generally small and in Lexington's relatively strong economy it is likely to be less than in other areas.

Some claim erroneously that most minimum-wage workers are teenagers. If the current minimum wage was left in place for those under 18, it might actually boost our extremely low opportunities for youth employment.

Objecting to Lexington's proposed modest and incremental raise in the minimum wage for adults is an affront to justice and an assault on the dignity of those workers. The case against a raise is also an affirmation that capitalism requires the raw exploitation of low-wage workers.

On Sept. 10, I hope the Urban County Council can reject such a cynical view and support our community's low-wage workers.

T. Kerby Neill, Lexington

Don't drink while pregnant

Sept. 9 was Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day, the opportunity to start a conversation about the only form of intellectual and/or developmental disability that is 100 percent preventable.

The facts are clear — FASDs are entirely preventable if women do not drink alcohol while pregnant. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can harm a developing fetus and cause a range of effects which can have a lifelong impact on children and their families. Some studies have found that 25 percent to 50 percent of women report drinking alcohol while pregnant.

In Kentucky there are 563 babies born each year with FASD. There are 44,137 children, teenagers and adults in Kentucky with the disorders.

Research with health-care providers and women of childbearing age indicates that many professionals advise women that light to moderate consumption of alcohol is safe. Yet the Centers for Disease Control clearly state there is no safe amount of alcohol consumption while pregnant.

Also, according to the CDC, only one in six adults talk with their health-care professionals about their drinking habits. Yet alcohol use during pregnancy is the leading known cause of developmental disabilities and birth defects in the U.S.

To learn more, visit http://www.thearc.org/FASD-Prevention-Project or arcofky!@aol.com or Alyssa McKenzie at aamckenzie@bluegrass.org.

Patty Dempsey, executive director, The Arc of Kentucky