In a recent article printed in the Idaho State Journal, I read about a group of people who feel that it is necessary to raise the minimum wage in Idaho to $12 an hour.

I have been an employer in Idaho for 29 years. During those 29 years, the only time that I paid as low as minimum wage was with teenage people that, honestly, had not yet learned work ethics and or work skills. If any of these kids showed promise, they were rewarded quickly with small incremental wage increases to keep their interest.

One of these young kids stayed with my company for years and was taught many job skills as well as life skills.

Were I required to pay these kids $12, it would not happen because I could not afford to hire them. That would eliminate the opportunity for these young people to learn the skills that can help shape the rest of their lives.

There is an extreme labor shortage of both skilled and unskilled labor in Idaho now. The age old rule of "supply and demand" will, and always has, regulate the appropriate wage for a given economy. Trying to compare the cost of living and an appropriate wage in Idaho to the same in, say California, is ridiculous.

Don’t deprive our young people of the chance to learn skills that will affect the rest of their lives.

Ryan Roberts,