We need optimism and a plan
In his Sept. 19 commentary “Advice from a job creator: Bring on the optimism,” Richard Sheridan mentions nothing about onerous taxes or overbearing federal government. With all the overheated talk of tax cuts (and smaller federal government) being the solution to our economic ills, it’s refreshing to hear about the real key to job creation directly from a small-business man. His only mention of taxes is our needing more taxpayers. To have that, we need more jobs.
When business revenue weakens, the short-term survival instinct is to slash jobs. Mr. Sheridan confirms that corporate executives need to see a trend to justify adding more jobs.
Stimulus plans are temporary fixes. Federal investment in national infrastructure and alternative energy is an excellent goal. Unfortunately, these plans have been wrapped into temporary efforts. We need a top-down, unifying goal pitched by our federal executive and legislative leaders.
Where is the galvanizing leadership of the past, like John Kennedy’s 1961 challenge to send a man to the moon in 10 years? Can our politicians put aside campaigning to do what we hired them to do – take care of citizens?
Stephen B. Hodgkins
More or less government?
In his Oct. 3 commentary “To boost incomes, Uncle Sam should lend a hand,” Lane Kenworthy overlooks what many feel is the main reason for stagnant wages – the government. Consider the volumes of regulations and the taxation the government imposes on the private sector. There are more than 25,000 pages of Environmental Protection Agency regulations, numerous Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, and countless pages of Internal Revenue Service regulations that businesses must comply with.
Now consider the man-hours needed to meet those standards, and you have a considerable roadblock to rising wages. Prior to the 1970s, there was no EPA, no OSHA, and the tax code was far less complicated. Government needs to get out of the business of regulating business.
If the federal minimum wage from 1968 was indexed for inflation, it would be worth $10.43 today. Having the federal government pay an Earned Income Tax Credit to low-wage workers is really a subsidy to companies that underpay their workers.
Increasing the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $10 an hour and indexing it for inflation would be a good first step toward realigning wage gains with productivity gains in America.
Allowing companies to pay people so little for full-time work that they need government subsidies to survive is inhuman and immoral.