Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bazzo Says: Compassion for whom?

Bazzo Says:
BY ANTHONY J. BAZZO
 OF YORKTOWN NEWS & MAHOPAC NEWS

The generous among us with other people's money (GAWOPM) are at it still.  It is not enough that the minimum wage is about to rise to $9 an hour next January. Noooo. It is not enough that Gov. Cuomo tried to get it raised to $10.15 an hour, $11.50 in the city and surrounding suburbs.  Noooo. The GAWOPM say it must be $15 per hour. 

 

We have allowed the GAWOPM to redefine entry-level jobs as jobs that should enable employees to feed a family of four. We have allowed the GAWOPM's to redefine minimum wage as the number necessary to feed that same family.  We have allowed the GAWOPM's to redefine this as compassion.  Yet, the question is compassion for whom? Certainly not the employer. They want you to believe that the only affected parties are those big corporations, which is patently false. Minimum wage hikes affect our delis, gas stations, pharmacies, restaurants and many other so-called mom and pop operations. 

 

Remember this is not $15 a day, nooo, it is an hour, every hour, for five or six days a week. Plus the extra increase in FICA payments which, in spite of what you are told, come entirely out of the employer's pocket. We are told by the GAWOPM that this would alleviate the need for our social service network. Not true. In New York, we have raised the bar of eligibility so high that the low-rung worker would still qualify. 

 

So, again, compassion for whom? Certainly not the taxpayer or consumer who gets stuck with the bill. Do you really think these higher costs are not going to be passed on to the consumer? If you don’t, you must be a Hillary supporter. 

 

In an article on page 2 of the April 14 edition of The Daily News by Erin Durkin—"$15/hr. boon to city: study,"—we are told that City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a report stating that increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour would mean a boost in city paychecks of $10 billion a year. It would also save taxpayers $200 to $500 million a year in Medicaid and food stamp savings. 

 

God, what a deal! Who wouldn’t want that? In fact, if $15 an hour would do this much good, why stop there? Why not $20, $30, or $50? We could, by their argument, buy ourselves out of the social service safety net. 

 

Yet, like the man-made climate change argument, or the Obamacare argument, this whole thing is based on emotion instead of fact. The conductors of the study admit they did not study the effect on business. You see, in the world of GAWOPM, life is one dimensional. Business will simply eat the increase in costs out of compassion. The problem is, of course, that the “compassion” would be forcefully confiscated by the force of law from a business’s revenues and into the pockets of their employees.  

 

When employers are suddenly forced to pay their workers artificially inflated wages, the market becomes retarded and the employer needs to find a way to make up the expense. This often results in fewer hours for employees and even layoffs. It is not that businesses would make those remaining pick up the slack, though many would, but it is that business would instead be forced to explore new technologies, which now are costlier than an employee but with the increased cost of the employee through the minimum wage hike, the technologies would be less costly than the employee and therefor would replace that employee.  

 

Restaurants, which under present law are allowed to pay waiters, waitresses, bartenders, busboys and bar backs less because they receive tips, less per hour, but under the new proposals would be required to pay the same amount as non-tipped workers would force service industry businesses to either institute a no-tipping policy or invest in the new tablets that allow diners to place their order from the table, or both. You think I am wrong? Check out a city like Seattle, which now requires the $15 per hour minimum wage. Fast food restaurants there are investing in new machines that will replace four workers per machine in the kitchens. 

 

Again, compassion for whom? Certainly not the workers who lose their jobs or will make less money due to no-tipping policies and the use of tablets by customers. Oh, I know, I know, we will get the GAWOPM to outlaw the use of tablets, no tipping polices of machines that replace kitchen workers.  That is the natural progression.  Of course the other natural progression would be for those businesses to close, or are to also outlaw businesses closing because they cannot afford to open. Oh, I know, I know, let’s just have the government subsidize those businesses to stay open. 

 

In spite of what the GAWOPM think, money will find a way. You cannot pretend the laws of economics do not exist. Business will do what is best in their self-interest. Yet we have allowed the GAWOPM to define self-interest as being the same as selfish. It is not! 

 

When government arbitrarily raises the costs of a job to more than it is worth, those who get hurt most are the poor, the part-timers, teenagers, low-skilled workers and minorities. I have a great idea: Let the GAWOPM check their compassion at the door, they are killing us. 

 

This is what I say. What say you? 

 
Bazzo 04/21/15


VOLPE/BAZZO REPORT
State Senator Dr. Terrence Murphy discusses the issues at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, April  29, on channel 74
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