Observations on letter writing do gooders

February 13, 2014

I am writing to comment on some letters about the recent increase of the minimum wage in the Feb. 7 edition of the Cape Gazette.

It's never surprising that the do-gooders' philanthropy involves other peoples' money usually obtained through government fiat. But, their misguided, illogical thinking on the topic are.

One do-gooder writes that, "...with helping more than 50 percent of the population, $1 (a 14 percent increase - my add) is too little, too late for most working poor...a substantial wage increase (she doesn't say how much) should be proposed soon."

Another says that, "Small businesses do not have to gain competitive advantage on the backs of their most vulnerable workers. If they can't make a profit based on the excellence of their product or service, then they deserve to go under."

In other words, even if the workers' production doesn't merit a raise or the business has marginal profits, she apparently has no problem unemploying all workers in the business as long as labor costs are forcibly raised. Now, how exactly would that help the "most vulnerable?"

To add some clarity, the 2010 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that only 6.9 percent (14,000 of 203,000) of hourly rate workers in Delaware receive at or below minimum wages. And, "nearly 50 percent of all workers paid minimum wages were employed...primarily in restaurants and other food services...(where) for many, tips and commissions supplement the hourly wages received."

Economist Henry Hazlitt in his book, "Economics in One Lesson" said it best (in 1946). "The more the individual worker produces, the more his services are worth to consumers, and hence to employers...and the more he will be paid. Real wages come out of production, not out of government decrees."

The do-gooders should read the book.

Geary Foertsch
Rehoboth Beach

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