Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Wage Wars

As seen in the January 24, 2006 Record Herald

The article to which I am refering to in this column can be found
  • Here

  • In the Friday, January 20, paper, syndicated columnist Holly Sklar wrote, "We need wage ethics today." She wrote of the "need" to raise the minimum wage in America.

    Brace yourself for my opinion, most of you won't agree with it; but please stay with me and let me explain. My opinion is that we should not have a minimum wage. If you want to work for $1.00 an hour, that's up to you.

    Let's say that, today, there is no minimum wage. Can you live on $1.00 an hour? That's grossing $40.00 a week, after taxes, about $29.00 a week. I spend more than that on gas. I know I won't work for $1.00 an hour, so I won't take the job. If you won't take it either (and perhaps no one will) guess what? Whoever is hiring at $1.00 an hour is going to have to up their rate. The employer will have to raise their rate and perhaps their prices to compensate, but eventually they will be paying an acceptable wage and selling at acceptable prices. That's how the economy works. Costs go up, prices go up.I used to work for minimum wage. I did that for about 1 month, then I received a (small) raise.

    I continued to work there about 4 months total. That wasn't cutting it so I got a new job. It was second shift and a farther drive, but the pay was worth it so I made the switch. Will I ever work for minimum wage again? No. I can't pay the bills on it, so I won't do it. I'm betting you wouldn't take a job that didn't pay you enough to pay your bills either.

    Sklar does not mention that most people don't work for minimum wage for long, either.

    Now let me tackle her math.

    She states; "A low minimum wage is a green light for greed. Between 1968 and 2004, domestic corporate profits rose 85% while the minimum wage fell 41% and the average hourly wage fell 4%, adjusted for inflation. In the retail sector, which employs large numbers of workers at or near minimum wage, profits skyrocketed 159%."

    The only way for profits to be up is for people to be spending money. Minimum wage may have stayed low or dropped compared to inflation; however, wages must have gone up somewhere or no one would have had the money to spend which increased profits. Low minimum wage is not a "green light for greed," it is a speed limit. If you want to work for $1.00 an hour, that's great for the company that hired you! They are going to do well because you are willing to work for $1.00 an hour.

    Sklar does not mention that most of those working for minimum wage are teens who don't need the money, but want it. If the minimum wage is forced up, the cost of business goes up, which raises cost for consumers. You then make more, but you spend more, so not a lot has happened by raising the minimum wage.

    Separation of Church & State

    As seen in:
    January 12th, 2006 Record Herald
    February 25th, 2006 News Journal
    March 8th, 2006 Times Gazette

    We hear it all the time; Separation of Church & State. Does it say this in the United States Constitution, or, more specifically, the Bill of Rights?

    The answer is no.

    The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Nowhere does it state that government shall rule to keep religion out of state matters either. My question is this: Who was the first person to say 'Separation of Church & State'? Or whoever said it was the government's job to keep the theory of intelligent design out of school? If the state can allow the teaching of evolution, then why not intelligent design? It can easily be argued that the study of evolution is a religion. (I'll give those who don't agree with me a moment to calm down.) Think about that for a moment, unless of course you've turned the newspaper into a crumpled mess on the floor for the cat to play with at this point.

    Intelligent design says that something was smart enough to make everything work together. He/She put the earth just the right distance from the sun, made the conditions just right, set the ball rolling with animals and made humans dominate, then sat back to watch what would happen.

    Evolution says that something happened, all of the makings of life suddenly existed, and life was made where no life was before. Different species developed over millions of years out of slime in a pond, only one got smart, and there you have life as we know it.

    I don't see the problem with throwing both of them out there and letting our kids draw from their parents' teachings and their own brains (oh, I forgot, we don't want them to use those while in school, just to do what they're told). Hmm, maybe if presented with both, kids would lean towards intelligent design.

    Why doesn't anyone ever bring up the part in the First Amendment that states; 'or prohibiting the free exercise thereof'? This sounds like prohibiting to me!

    Now don't get me started on the Ten Commandments!

    Half Mast Flags

    As seen in December 15th, 2005 Record Herald

    Here we are, getting ready for Christmas. Running here and there, shopping, visiting, cooking and apparently, forgetting.

    As I drove through downtown Washington Court House today, I saw the same slap-in-the-face I saw on September 11th of this year--the United States' flag flying at full staff on all government buildings.

    Why would this offend me? Because, we need to remember such things as Pearl Harbor Day (which is December 7 th) and Patriot Day (September 11th) because as soon as we forget, we do all those who died and served a great injustice.

    On December 7th, 1941, we were plunged into war by a foreign nation attacking and killing thousands of Americans on American soil. On September 11th, 2001, we were also attacked, thousands were killed on American soil and yet the City of Washington can't even go out and lower the flags in respect on these two days? Sep. 11th was on a Sunday, so maybe no one wanted to go into work just to lower the flags.

    The high today, Dec. 7th is only in the 20's, so maybe no one wants to get cold lowering the flags. Neither is a good excuse. Of all the years I've lived here in Fayette County, I've never been so ashamed of the County Seat letting down not only me, our Veterans of WWII and Operation Iraqi Freedom, but also the thousands who died because other nations didn't like our freedom.

    I certainly can't be the last flag toting patriot left, can I?