Monday, January 16, 2017

Minimum Wage Refugees


For 58 years a non-profit corporation called Epi-Hab has been employing the handicapped, folks with palsies, epilepsy and other handicapped conditions, folks who are unable to get employment in the mainstream labor force.

Matt Redman, the Director of Epi-hab seeks out work for his folks, bidding on assembly work, menial labor work, anything that will give his people a sense of worth.  On many occasions he's succeeded, often bidding lower for piece work once done in Mexico, jobs brought back to America without need of a single threat from the President.

Sadly, on January 1st, a 20% boost in the mandatory Arizona minimum wage is probably signaling an end to the great work Epi-Hab has accomplished for so many.  Mr. Redmann says the law puts him immediately in the red, by $80,000 dollars this month....a cold hard fact that will require him to lay off folks whose job prospects are nil.  Worse, Redmann fears he'll never again be able to underbid Mexicans who will work for far less.

Epi-Hab is not the only victim of the minimum wage hike.  In the first days of this new year a flurry of small businesses are already announcing employee lay-offs, most notably for those with fewer than a dozen employees.

Liberals will say all this is good; that it's high time employers stop exploiting labor.  I would ask those liberals if "zero" is really better than "$8.50 an hour"...but I've learned there's no reasoning with the liberal mindset.

But I feel most sorry for those Epi-Hab workers who'll now sit home, their days empty, their life no longer filled with a sense of worth.

Perhaps those folks who voted for that 20% hike in the minimum wage will hire them.......but I'm not counting on it.



Jerry Carlin said...

Good Morning Friend! Here is my problem with the minimum wage: I am a Capitalist, plain and simple. When the "working poor" are subsidized with food stamps, medical, housing, transportation and other government help, that means I am subsidizing industry with my tax dollars. If industry paid a "living wage" I wouldn't be asked for this contribution.
Places like Walmart encourage their employees to sign up for this government assistance!
I would be willing to get rid of minimum wage entirely if you also got rid of government assistance and turn it all over to free enterprise. Then, companies would pay whatever they had to pay to keep employees.
...and then, there is the "social" side to me. I read this morning that just eight people have as much wealth as the Lowest 3 and 1/2 Billion People on this planet! Something is not quite right.

A Modest Scribler said...

It's early, Jerry, but I'm seeing a modified version of the chicken or the egg, here. If we stopped encouraging out overly generous government benefits both the corporate and income tax would be lower, providing those small businesses on the brink to survive while still paying "living wage". And, without the government gravy to fall back on, workers would not take such a nonchalant approach to their jobs.

I could write a whole book on the subject of Walmart. I am more than willing to see Walmart go down the tubes. I can nearly always beat their prices with Amazon, and with a far better customer experience. As to employees at Walmart, at least a majority of the ones I've encountered couldn't get a job at a Macy's or a Dillards, their job at Walmart simply the next evolution from fast food worker to stocking Chinese shit on the shelves, and ignoring you when you need assistance. Do these ilk really deserve a living wage? Staying with Walmart, how many downtown business districts has Walmart killed off? Was that a great idea? I don't think it's worth saving a nickel on a plastic soap dish to make my downtown unsafe to walk at night. And, finally, and I'll give up on this one, when you look at the kind of people that Walmart attracts (Walmart makes most of their profit margin off of food stamps and providing an ATM that will dispense welfare money), that's a good enough argument to seek a different business model.

I could go on, but it's Martin Luther King Day and I'm trying to be kind.