Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Minimum Wage

February 19, 2015

People like to suggest that raising the minimum wage is in response to inflation.  I would suggest that raising the minimum wage causes inflation.

If a gallon of milk cost one dollar ten years ago, and today a gallon of milk costs four dollars we recognize that the gallon of milk has not changed.  Rather, we look at it as inflation and consider it to be a bad thing.

When minimum wage changes, the product itself, a basic hour of low-skill work hasn’t changed.  The cost has been inflated.

Another way of looking at it is to say that what two dollars used to purchase, now requires seven dollars to purchase.  The thing being purchased hasn’t changed.  The value of the dollar, what the dollar will buy, has changed.

When we increase the minimum wage, we devalue the dollar.

I am not an economist and I am not going to go back over the last fifty years and see the precise changes in minimum wage and the effect on the economy.  I have, however, been living through the last fifty years, and in my observation, raising the minimum wage causes economic turmoil.

The minimum wage is meant to be a starting point for employment.  As workers develop skills and demonstrate a solid work ethic, they may be rewarded with higher paying jobs.  New workers entering the job market take their place and the process moves onward.

When the minimum wage is raised it has an affect on what other employees are paid as well.  People often view their pay in relationship to the minimum wage so to keep employees, wages across the board need to go up.  Higher wages means higher operating costs.  These costs are passed on to the consumer, resulting in inflation.

Currently, people who make minimum wage may be eligible for a variety of assistance programs from the government.  These include food stamps, rent assistance, utilities assistance and other programs.  These programs help people to live a better life while making minimum wage. Perhaps we could add an option of financial training.  We should help to teach people how to live on their income, rather than beyond their income.

People should look to better themselves by finding better jobs, not by trying to force employers to pay more for an hour of basic labor.

Raising the minimum wage is a bad idea.

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Raising Revenue, but not Taxes

February 28, 2013

I have entered late into the political arena.  Last year, for the very first time,  I attended the local and district  caucuses.  It was an educational experience, and I think that I will continue to be involved at least to some degree.

Just this week, I had another first.

I emailed our state senators and our representative.

I have often thought that I should contact those who serve us, but until now, I have not ever taken the time.

I should have started these activities earlier in my life.  It was not difficult.  Democracy works better when people take the time to be involved.

Here is the email that I sent.

Message: Dear Senator, 

I, along with many others, am concerned about the budget deficit.  I would like 
to make a suggestion about how to raise income without raising taxes. 

Limit tax returns. 

As it is right now, individuals can utilize a whole variety of tax credits that 
can enable them to get enormous refunds that far exceed the tax money that they 
actually paid in to the system. 

It could be set that no one receives a tax return that exceeds the amount that 
was actually withheld from their checks.  They would still get their money back, 
but nothing extra.  

It would be necessary to adjust the W2s so that their was a distinction between 
money paid by the individual and money paid by their employer, or better yet, 
just don't show the amount paid by the employer.  The individual should only 
receive the money back that they paid.  

This would accomplish two things: 1. less excess money would be paid out for 
credits that exceed money received, and 2. the taxes paid by the employer could 
be kept. 

Technically, no taxes are raised, but the net benefit to the government would be 
substantial. 

Thank you to whoever actually reads this email, I hope that it will at least be 
considered.  

Sincerely, 

Curtis Girod
At this time, I have received basic form letters back from two of three that I contacted.  I also, noticed my misspelling of “there” with “their”  but I did not correct it for this post, since it was not correct in my original email.  I will need to be more careful.

At any rate, I would encourage you to be more involved in the political process.  Keep an open mind, be willing to listen, not just speak, avoid harsh rhetoric, and let us see if our political climate can improve with our participation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership Opportunity

February 21, 2012

Each year I hope that the president will present a budget that shows significant improvement by reducing the deficit.  Each year I have been sadly disappointed.  I do not want to hear about savings over a ten-year span.  I want to see changes in the current year.  No household, or business, can simply continue to operate in the red, talking about what they will do in the future.  They would go bankrupt, and/or, out of business.  Have we not learned anything from observing Greece?  Is there not a recognition of the urgency?  When will someone provide the necessary leadership and make the necessary changes?

Our country has a leadership opportunity.  Will someone please step up?

In God We Trust

September 29, 2011

I appreciate that we still have the saying “In God We Trust” on our money.  These days it seems even more important to realize that our ultimate trust is placed, not in our government, nor our own resources, but in God.

As the fiscal year for our country comes to an end, we have serious problems  facing our country.  I regularly pray that our leaders will make good choices and good decisions, that God will give them the wisdom to know what to do, and the strength and courage to do what is right.

I think I need to pray harder…perhaps you will join me.

Perhaps we can hold meaningful discussions of possible solutions, rather than shouting matches of entrenched ideology.  Perhaps if we worked together, we would collectively find the wisdom and strength that we need to build a stronger country.

May God help us.

A Better Plan?

September 8, 2011

Who, in their right mind, would spend a dollar, that they need to borrow,  to make a dime?

I ask this question in advance of the president’s speech tonight because I am hoping that he is not going to propose spending billions of dollars on a job stimulus project.

We would  have to borrow the money.

We would get back only a small portion in taxes.

It would provide only a temporary improvement.  When the federal money runs out, those people would again be out of work.  It is not a permanent solution.

I sincerely hope that he has a better plan, than spending money we would have to borrow.  The increased debt would last longer any benefit.

Something’s Not Right

April 12, 2010

According to the Quad City Times, April 8th edition, nearly half of U.S.  households will not have to pay any federal income tax.

That just doesn’t seem right. 

Why should one half of the country pay the cost for the other half?  I understand that the people who make more money should pay more in taxes, and I fully support that concept, but that doesn’t mean that 47% should pay nothing!

Politicians get elected by lowering taxes.  Politicians think that rebates and credits will stimulate the economy.  So politicians reduce national income and increase spending.  This is a problem.

It has gotten out of hand.  We have an enormous national debt.  We need to reduce spending and increase tax income.  We need to be financially responsible as a country.

Everybody who has an income can pay something.  We should be sharing the load, not getting a free ride.

Reduced Freedom

March 31, 2010

The passage of the new health care bill will result in many more people having coverage.

Whether they want it or not.

The bill will require companies to provide health care coverage, or pay a fine.  Either way it will increase the cost of doing business in the United States.  That cost will be passed on to customers.  It will also be one more reason to send jobs out-of-country, where the cost of doing business is cheaper in many ways.

The bill also requires individuals to purchase health care coverage, if they do not have it provided, or pay a fine.  Yes,  there will be a subsidy, but for many people, the subsidy will not cover the cost.  It will be one more added expense for people who already are having a difficult time.

Comply or be fined.  Those are the options, and it is a reduction in our freedom to direct our own lives, and our own businesses.

Cut Back!

March 11, 2010

If an individual is spending more money than they make, they must either make more money or spend less.  If they decide to spend less, they will maintain the essentials and trim back on the non-essentials.

The same is true in the business world.  If you are not making a profit, then you need to remove non-essentials from your operating costs.  This can sometimes involve painful decisions.  It is important to make the right cuts.

The same is true with our government.  It is time to recognize  what is necessary, and what is non-essential.  It is high time to reduce spending in non-essential areas. It is not a time to be spending more money.  It is time to be spending less.

National Debt Reduction

March 10, 2010

I have an idea.

Personally, I think it is pretty good.

We have a huge national debt, with basically no repayment plan.  We just keep spending more money and racking up the debt and I don’t hear much talk about what we are going to do about it.

What if we tied political campaign contributions to debt relief contributions?

If you make a contribution to a political candidate, then, let’s say 50% of your contribution goes to the candidate’s campaign, and 50% goes to debt relief.

Furthermore, any candidate that leaves elected public service should surrender their remaining war chest funds to debt relief.

We really don’t need quite so much money spent on attack ads and telephone solicitation.

We sure could use some help paying off the debt our politicians have created.

Changing Tide

January 20, 2010

Yesterday, Republican  Scott Brown was elected to fill the Senate seat long-held by Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy. 

That is quite a change.

This election should be recognized by democrats as  a sign that people are not comfortable with the direction that they are leading our country.  A distaste, and distrust, of the proposed health care reform; a sense of weakening security, a fragile economy and spiraling debt: this is not the change that was expected when President Obama took office a year ago today.

Perhaps democrats should rethink their strategy.  It’s not so much of a mandate anymore.