California deserves positive coverage
I find it disturbing how your publication cheerfully reported May 19 on Page 3, ``Accu-Form fleeing California costs,'' while at the same time two of your four front-page articles focused on California-based manufacturers' technological breakthroughs and expanded operations.
If a relatively small, 10,000-square-foot facility makes headline news moving to Utah, then it would seem a 10,000-square-foot expansion to an existing, 33,000-square-foot facility would justify the same coverage.
It seems you have chosen to overlook the positive and dwell on the negative.
Gregory D. Whitney
Kern Economic Development Corp.
Minimum-wage law spawns bureaucracy
I was one of the many who responded negatively to Plastics News' Viewpoint last year supporting the increase in the minimum wage. It seems you still have this on your agenda [June 2, Page 10 Perspective by Bill Henson], and it makes me wonder about the other parts of the political agenda behind your editorial views.
As I recall the debate, no one predicted that the increase was going to bankrupt anyone. That's an exaggeration of the facts. We did seem to agree though—and I'm sure those of us who were negative on the issue still do—that fewer people would be employed with a higher minimum-wage rate than with a lower rate. That's as close to an immutable law of economics as you can get.
If you raise the cost of something, less will be purchased. This does not mean that unemployment, which is another thing entirely, would be affected one way or the other.
There are only about 700,000 workers who earn the minimum wage at any point in time. If they all lost their jobs (an impossible result) it would only change the employment/unemployment rate by 0.5 percent, which is less than the normal fluctuations in the unemployment rate within a year. The truth is, unless you run a controlled study, there is no way to tell what the net effect on minimum-wage employment is at different rates.
However, there is absolutely no basis for this silly proposition that ``the wage standard greatly benefits business.'' It either has no effect or a slightly negative one. There is no earthly way it can benefit business. It's a tax on wages. These standards keep the government in the business of regulating and taxing business. This cannot be construed as a benefit, and I'm sure if you ask the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, instead of speculating, they will tell you the same thing.
Without a minimum wage, we would set wages just as we do now. We would pay the rates that give us the quality and quantity of workers we need. We don't need the government to help tell us how or what to pay people.
``Standards, stability,'' these are bureaucratic concepts bordering on socialism. Competition and free choice are the principles we should be defending. You should review your editorial principles to see where these fit.
John P. Dellevigne
HPG International Inc.