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The working poor in Western New York and around the country are pleading for wage reform. With the minimum wage at just $5.15 an hour, many people are trying their best to just financially survive.

The Sept. 2 article, "The payday blues," made front-page news, and rightly so. It appears that the government has to be constantly reminded about the plight of the poor. The problem is that all of the arguing and discussions will not change the problem at hand. Action must be taken.

This plight affects so many people in our country. Poverty knows no religious, ethnic or cultural boundaries.

We have many people who are living in poverty. Often, they do not have the educational background necessary for the higher-paying skilled jobs. They may be working for much lower wages due to company "restructuring" or relocation. Single parents are paying for day care, and have little left for their needs. They work long hours, but find they still can't survive and are in debt.

Businesses argue that raising the minimum wage would cost jobs. In actuality, wouldn't raising the minimum wage decrease the company's profits?

Rep. Jack Quinn is again trying to initiate a wage increase by lobbying to incorporate it with a tax-cut bill. Other government leaders must follow and support this measure. Poverty's plight is worldwide and part of society's problem. Those in power must not turn their backs and pretend it doesn't exist. Change must be initiated to give the poor a fighting chance.



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