I commend you on two recent editorials.
The first focused on the quality of cultural life in Bloomington-Normal (“Coliseum improves community's quality of life,” OurViews, Aug. 13).
The second was an endorsement for separating the legislation for an increase in the minimum wage from modifications in the federal inheritance tax (“Raise minimum wage; don't tie to inheritance tax,” OurViews, Aug. 15). You then went on to say that you urged the increase in the minimum wage and implied that you might favor an end to the inheritance tax.
I am impressed that you realized the difficulty of participating in the quality of cultural life on a minimum wage income. The Illinois minimum of $6.50 per hour doesn't buy much.
With $3 gasoline, one hour at minimum wage is what it takes to get to work and back, after payroll taxes.
Many households must work three or more minimum wage jobs in order to approach the lower end of the local median income. Could we consider a minimum of $10? This would drop the three jobs to two.
I consider the inheritance tax necessary to enforce social responsibility. A means to advocate meritocracy over an aristocracy.
Fears of having to sell the family farm or business to pay the tax often seem to be creative letter-writing exercises based on poor information. I will be interested in what you have to say.