To The Daily Sun,
This is in response to Tom Dawson's two letters to The Daily Sun in the course of a week regarding labor unions, and the letter from Bob Joseph of March 25 about the minimum wage. It almost seems to me that these two people don't like America very much, or at least they don't like the capitalistic economic system of free enterprise the U.S. Founders miraculously created, which may not be perfect, but it's the best the world has ever seen.
First, can you answer these questions? 1. What is the Ford Motor Company in business to make? 2. What is the Apple Company in business to make? 3. What is McDonald's in business to make? The answer to all three questions is the same — they are all in business to make money.
Is their primary purpose for being in business to create and provide jobs for people? Absolutely not. They are in business to make money for themselves and their stockholders, and a by-product of that effort gives employment to people who have a need and a desire to work and earn a living for themselves and their families. When the company's bottom line (profit) is affected by rising costs, in order to stay in business they must cut costs. And the decision on how to reduce costs is determined by what is the least disruptive to the operation of the company. And it usually means that the least skilled workers will be laid off first.
Fact #1: Most young people bring little or no skills with them when they enter the job market for the first time. The minimum wage was designed to give them an opportunity to develop some work skills and good work habits, because until that happens, they are not economically worth any more than that.
Fact #2: "Right-to-work" laws have nothing to do with someone's "right" to a job. No one has a "right" to a job. A company creates jobs in pursuit of their primary reason for being in business.
Fact #3: The minimum wage was not intended for the bread winner of a family of any size. It was, and still is for people with no marketable skills, entering the job market for the first time. If someone is the bread-winner of a family of two, three, or four, or more, he should have made sure he had the skills to support that family before he went ahead and had that family.
If the present minimum wage of $7.25 is not enough, as some progressives think, and that $10 or $15 is better, why stop at $15. Why not increase it to $25? If $15 is good, isn't $25 even better? How about $35? I tell you what. If $15 is better, why not increase the minimum wage to $50 per hour and make everyone happy?
Progressives want to change the labor and minimum wage laws for strictly political reasons, but they cannot change the laws of economics. Increasing the labor costs for the least skilled members of the workforce means layoffs of those most expendable. That's a law of economics that can never be repealed.
Small-business owners are the most powerful engine of any economy, and we are fortunate that most of them are benevolent and civic-minded enough to hire some unskilled and unproven workers who bring nothing with them to the job market in the beginning. But they are not going to do it at the expense of the success of their businesses, a fact totally misunderstood by the "progressive worldview," and people like Mr. Dawson and Mr. Joseph, and politicians who have never worked in the private sector.
Like our current president.