The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

A laissez-faire wage

With regard to your lead editorial "Taking care of our own" (Feb. 25), on what grounds can you justify your claim that the dining hall and janitorial employees at the University of Virginia are underpaid? On what basis do you make this determination? Are you privy to some employment and wage data for the Charlottesville area to which the rest of us lack access?

In fact, since UVA merely froze the pay of these workers when the recession hit in 2008, it is likely they are overpaid, given the unemployment rate and consequent increased competition for these types of jobs in Virginia.

Furthermore, if these employees are indeed underpaid, they should quit their jobs and find alternative places to work at higher wages. Presumably, if they quit, no one else would come forward to take the vacant jobs at UVA until the wages offered are raised to market levels.

It is all well and good to have compassion for low paid working people. And, yes, students should treat them well and offer thanks for good, friendly and efficient performance. But don't make claims that have no basis in fact. The concept of a "living wage" is a canard; wages are determined by supply and demand, not the arbitrary opinions of activists looking for a cause to champion, however worthy it may seem to those lacking knowledge of basic economics.