Business not the enemy in wage debate

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By Mark B. Wieser— Your recent editorial calling for an increase in the minimum wage among your readership indicates that many Americans lack a basic understanding of why this issue is of such significance to Democrats and liberals who are using it to make Republicans, Tea Party members and conservatives appear indifferent and unconcerned about the poor and down-trodden who are, after all, just trying to exist.

This never-ending scenario needs to be ended once and for all by tying the minimum wage to the increase in inflation.

Of course, I would rather see the law setting a minimum wage simply be done away with. After all, the United States existed for more than 162 years before that law was enacted in 1938.

The talking points touted by the left are simply not true. Those vile restaurant owners sustain a profit margin of barely 2.6 percent. Let me spell that out for everyone.  A typical café, for example, nets 2.6¢ on every $1 it takes in. Purchase a hamburger at $8.99 from the menu and the owner will have about 25¢ added to his net profit for the day. Believe it or not, this is about one percent or 1¢ more than those large, evil, corporate restaurant chains earn.

I can vouch for this because I founded a small corporation and in our industry the norm is 2.7 percent. However, the large corporation as the villain is unlikely to disappear from the public stage because it has proven to be an effective boogeyman in campaigns.  It was used effectively to pass health care most recently and a host of other union priorities in the past. And now, thankfully, a majority of Americans have at last seen that such lies can often begin in the Oval Office. 

Certainly all Americans should be conscious that it is difficult to earn a living on minimum wage. But for how many years have responsible parents urged their children to stay in school and educate themselves so they will not have to work the rest of their lives earning only a minimum wage? We need to stop being suckered into thinking that we are heartless in asking each person to prepare themselves to become a responsible adult. Once, we even had a president, a Democrat, who urged American youth to get into shape.

And we are not asking for much. Just stay in school. Learn what your teachers are trying to tell you. Learn to think. Become a responsible adult. Being poor is not an excuse!

The minimum wage was part of the New Deal passed by Congress to offer a starting level entry for workers to work at temporary jobs while continuing educating themselves by staying in school.

For the rest of this guest column, read this week’s print and online editions of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. If you are a print subscriber, your full online subscription is free. All you need to do is call 830-997-2155 to get a password. If you are not a subscriber, call 997-2155 or click on the ‘Subscribe’ button on the left side of the home page and sign up today!

 

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