I don't really know which one is more pro-poverty: the Republicans opposed to a higher minimum wage ["The minimum wage debate," Letters, June 18], or the Democrats opposed to tax breaks for corporations.

Well-paid workers become consumers, investors, active citizens and taxpayers. Poorly paid workers can't purchase much, can't afford to invest, don't have time to volunteer in their communities when they're working three jobs to pay the rent, and are likely to cost more in food stamps and other social welfare programs than they'll ever pay in taxes.

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High-taxed companies don't hire, don't promote, don't reinvest, and they take their business -- and jobs -- elsewhere. Low-taxed companies create jobs, reinvest, develop new products and contribute to a growing economy. That's why Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan have done so well.

Low-taxed companies would do the same in America provided they were forbidden to replace citizens' jobs with cheap foreign labor and put those billions of dollars into research and development instead of golden parachutes and Christmas bonuses for underachieving executives.

Paul Manton, Levittown