I'm amazed that there are any supporters of an increase in the minimum wage who are also readers of Plastics News. [A.J. Dillard, June 3]. I always picture the average reader to be much like myself, an owner or manager of a relatively small enterprise, trying to make a profit from his business. First let me say that none of the 300 people that work for our company are getting paid the mandated minimum wage. The average is probably three times or more this rate. Actually I don't know of any employees of businesses like ours who get the minimum wage. So why the controversy?
The issue is one of principle. What business is it of the federal government (or Plastics News) what people get paid? Why should they determine what is fair? The arguments against are all based on irrefutable logic.
The higher the price, the less a service will be required - i.e. lower employment. If 90 cents is good, why not $2 an hour or more? If the minimum wage is fair regulatory game for the government, then why not a maximum salary for executives tied to the minimum wage?
This seems to be the preferred direction of some in the media and government bureaucracy. None of this will produce or sell more, or make returns on investment higher. That's the way our collective well-being, our standard of living, is improved.
Those who ask how one would like to live on a minimum wage are missing the point. We should not be legislating what a ``living wage'' is. Who really needs a car anyway? Or a house? You can take public transportation or walk. You can rent a cheap apartment. Follow this road and we extrapolate ourselves into the socialist dream world.
What one gets paid for his work is a matter of personal choice, not public policy. Restrict it on the low end with a minimum and you get less work available. Restrict it on the high end, and you stifle initiative. Both are bad things for individuals and society. To rationalize the monetary flows as a net positive through the beneficial effects of the tax laws is ludicrous. Who pays excise taxes anyway? Who pays business taxes in general? The consumer, with a handling fee by the taxing agency.
The only people who will benefit from the increase in the minimum wage are the politicians who foisted it on the rest of us, as something for nothing, and a few kids who work after school at the local fast-food outlet.The only way for us to hold elected officials fiscally responsible is to vote them out of office when they are not. Passing the minimum wage laws and balanced budget amendments is a waste of time.
HPG International Inc.