How to Fix
by Peary Perry
week one of our local radio talk shows had a group of young college
students in their studio to discuss problems with our government.
As you know, if youíve read this column for any length of time, I
am not a big fan of our government.
However, having said that, I do feel that I have a certain amount
of experience when it comes to any discussions about how to change
our existing situation.
After listening to these young students for about an hour, I was forced
to turn the radio off since their demands, wants and needs far exceeded
any realm of reality. For example, they all thought complete health
care from cradle to grave should be available at no cost to every
person living in the United States, whether they are an American or
not. We should take care of everyone for any and all medical problems
no matter what.
Their second demand was for free education for any person living in
the United States from kindergarten through four years of college.
Here again, cost was no object it just should be free to any and all
Their last demand or want was for wages to be higher across the board
and thought that the minimum wage should be somewhere in the $15.00
per hour range because as one student saidÖ ďNo one can live on anything
I would have liked to have been able to reach into the radio and grabbed
one of them and give them a real good reality shake. Iím sure that
isnít politically correct, but then who cares? Itís my opinion and
I can say what I want.
Obviously these young people have never been in business or tried
to run a business. They donít know what its like to be sued because
one of your employees collects unemployment after being fired for
stealing. How so? Well the judge allowed the individual to plead guilty
but gave him adjudicated probation, so even though he was guilty,
the court does not recognize his plea of guilt so he qualifies for
unemployment. There goes your tax rate. They donít know what itís
like to have your workers compensation rate increased because someone
claimed an injury when they didnít even work for you and still collected.
Read your policy, it says the company can pay Ďfalse and groundless
claimsí. If itís cheaper for the insurance company to pay the claim
rather than fight the claim, what do you think will happen? Should
you as the employer be responsible for one of your employees who has
an affair with a young woman and causes her to have a baby? My insurance
company paid over $600,000 on one of these claims. You think these
youngsters would like to have to defend an EEOC claim filed by someone
who filled out an application for a job opening and didnít get hired
because others were more qualified? Even though you win these kinds
of issues, the time and effort to defend yourself is enormous.
As to a minimum wage of $15.00 an hour. Several years ago I got into
a discussion with a waitress where we go for breakfast. The waitress
expressed her opinion that everyone working in the place should be
paid at least $10.00 an hour and have free medical insurance.
I told her that was ok, but I pointed out that bacon and eggs were
$4.95 and a hamburger was $5.95. Then I asked her if she had thought
about what would happen if bacon and eggs were, say $15.95 and a hamburger
was $17.95. She answered very quickly that the place would not be
in business because no one would pay that much for the food. They
would go down the street to another cafť, she added.
So, I asked just how the owner was expected to pay the increase in
salaries and the cost of medical insurance without raising his prices.
She walked away and didnít say another word.
The last time I looked the government was not a money making entity.
In fact there are those in the government who think the word Ďprofití
is a four letter word. But what I wanted to tell these young students
was for them to go out in the hard, cruel world and try to run a business,
pay bills, deal with employees, hassle with banks and insurance companies
and still go home at night with a smile on your face and come back
in the morning and start all over again. Do this year after year and
see what happens. It isnít as easy as you think.
If companies donít have profits, then what is the use for their existence?
As long as companies can make a profit, then employees are paid and
taxes are paid by corporations as well as their employees. If you
raise the taxes for total health care and education for any and all
in this country to the point where the company is not profitable,
then the taxes as well as the employee base is lost. Then more jobs
get shipped to other countries and those unemployed United States
workers become a liability to our social programs.
It is possible to price yourself out of the marketplace. Look at the
US auto industry if you donít believe me.
Iíd like to know what kind of an attitude these students have about
their thoughts and concepts in say ten or fifteen years. Iíd be willing
to bet they will have changed.
What do you think?