by Ronald A. Sobieraj
Over five years ago the price of a gallon of gasoline hit $3.50. Some complained, but one letter to the editor noted that forty years earlier he spent $3,000 on a new car. Today it is $30,000. Gasoline for it cost 35 cents a gallon then and now it is $3.50. The writer asked what the fuss was about.
I did some research. The minimum wage in 1968 was $1.50 an hour; it is not $15 today. The standard Federal income tax deduction then was $3,000, it is not $30,000 today. The state exemption then was $600, it is not $6,000 today. Then Parkway tolls were twenty-five cents, what are the tolls today? Paperback murder mysteries cost about fifty cents then, what are they today? Should the minimum wage be increased? Of course!
California passed a $10 minimum wage this year. If NJ had a more democratic state constitution the citizens could use Initiative and Referendum to bypass a dictatorial Governor or an unrepresentative Legislature. Neighboring states like Pennsylvania or New York don’t have the current problem with judges. The people elect a new judge whenever there is a vacancy (like most states).
Sobieraj is a resident of Perth Amboy.
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