"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Contrasting Writing Styles

Each day, I read the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post in order to get two different perspectives on issues.  Yesterday was no different.  In reading the story about the Congressional Budget Office's announcement that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2016 from $7.25 (a 40% increase) would eliminate 500,000 jobs; the spin that each newspaper put on the story was interesting.  

The Wall Street Journal focused on the benefits of such an increase on teenagers and the middle class; an unintended consequence and not really the poor.  That perspective was never given in the Washington Post article.  WP focused on a nationwide survey that said that the majority of Americans want to see an increased minimum wage to $10.10.  A perspective that the WSJ never mentioned.  The WP also interpreted the same CBO numbers as greatly benefiting the poor.   The rest of the articles pretty much mirrored each other.  

The articles continued with the White House economist saying that increasing the minimum wage would have zero effect on jobs.  Really?  Pretty much every article written about minimum wage speaks of some job loss with those who are supposed to benefit from the increase being negatively impacted. 

From my perspective, the minimum wage should be set by each city / county in a state and not national level.  The cost of living in NYC, Washington DC and LA is dramatically different than rural America.  This is the approach that is being encouraged in Maryland.  In those jurisdictions surrounding DC and in Baltimore, a higher minimum wage may be justified.  In western Maryland, a statewide or federally mandated minimum wage could possibly force many small businesses to close.  Tough issue with lots of different perspectives.

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