To the Editor:

Could one of the reasons for the population loss in rural Iowa be the lack of decent paying jobs? There are large portions of rural Iowa where there are minimum wage jobs without benefits.

Wal-Mart has replaced many small businesses in rural counties. Many of their workers need welfare to survive. The welfare programs that Wal-Mart workers rely on include Medicaid, subsidized housing and food assistance. Meanwhile Wal-Mart and other corporations are setting records for corporate profits. A May 2013 report "The Low-Wage Drag on Our Economy: Wal-Mart’s Low Wages and Their Effect on Taxpayers and Economic Growth" shows how their business model exerts downward pressure on wages.

Should we continue to support a created taxpayer-funded social welfare program by corporations? Raising the minimum wage could help alleviate those programs.

Julie Stewart Ziesman, Waukee