EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 31, 2014

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Minimum wage

The giant fast food and retail chains pay their workers a poverty-level minimum wage while making enormous profits and paying their CEOs tens of millions of dollars a year. They pay so little that their workers require Medicaid and food stamps to get by. Indeed, McDonald’s actually has the audacity to post instructions on how to apply for these programs on its employee web site. This means that we taxpayers are subsidizing their profits to the tune of billions of dollars a year -- $7 billion for the fast food industry alone. If you want to reduce the cost of social programs, it is far more effective to pay all workers a living wage and let them spend the money in the economy (creating more jobs) instead of the government spending it to bolster their employers’ profits.

Layover station

A funny thing happened at the stakeholder’s meeting on Monday at the Plaistow Town Hall. We learned that only one representative from the town of Plaistow is on this committee. The person chosen, oddly enough, is very much FOR this layover station to be built in Plaistow. So, those who do not agree that it is something our town wants (note we even voted against it two years ago) are not being given a chance to be part of the investigative committee. So, Plaistow, is this how democracy works? You choose one person who wants this thing so you can appear to be “equal” to all?

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