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.