The other day,Rosalie Sykora of Victoria wrote an interesting letter to our editor about paying good wages and not putting down workers.
I don't agree that government is what is keeping large companies from hiring. I think the number one reason for hiring new employees will always be consumer demand.
I also think she doesn't fully believe in representative government and probably thinks government is a foreign entity. People of all stripes depend on government services whether it be a business contract,Medicare,Social Security, employee pay and benefits or fixing the pot holes.
I don't doubt that Rosealie has heard people putting down low wage workers but I don't see much of that. I see where a lot of people are now realizing that those jobs are no longer entry level jobs.
I don't see companies boosting wages on their own in this economy because of economic theory that we adapted to in the 1980s. It was sentiment similar to what the letter writer was alluding to;be grateful for what you have because if you ask and get more, our company will go out of business. That may be true for companies operating on the margins but any hiccup along the way whether it be wages,energy costs, or competition will likely do them in.
I heard an interesting discussion between Joe Scarborough and political pundit Mark Halperin about raising the minimum wage. Joe used the argument we have been hearing for three decades; raising the minimum wage is a job killer. Mark Halperin asked Joe a couple of questions that he was not prepared for. He asked " do we need to lower the minimum wage and are workers today getting a fair wage?" Joe mumbled something and went to a commercial break, as his co-host Mika Brzezinski was trying to ask Joe about the lavish bonuses and pay the CEO of those companies were getting.
We used to take conservative theories and run with them ,but now economists are actually putting those theories to a test. We have learned that the cost of giving McDonald employees a decent living wage with benefits will only add 67cents to the cost of a Big Mac. We have also learned that Costco can pay 3 times the minimum wage,offer good benefits and still stay competitive with Wal-Mart. This is all part of the reset this country is going through.
Ordinarily Texas would get a gold star for having a low unemployment rate but now economists are looking behind the curtain for the reasons why. They found that those jobs are mostly minimum wage jobs without benefits. Texas leads the nation in people not having health insurance, a governor who won't participate in the Medicaid exchange program , and a poor education system, which questions how long our economic boom will last.
Call it wealth distribution,socialism or whatever comes to mind but we need to raise the minium wage to start closing the gap between the 99% and the 1% or we have another Great Depression. As you can see ,those at the top are doing very well but unless we do something to increase middle class consumer spending,we are repeating the mistakes of the 1929 Great Depression.