Higher Minimum Wage Would Kill Struggling Businesses



Apparently, the letter writer promoting a higher minimum wage has never owned or managed a business, or had to make a payroll out of her own pocket, with borrowed money, or even taken a basic economics class.

As one who has done all of the above, I offer a few facts the socialists seem to ignore.

For most small businesses, including retailers and fast food eateries, which operate on a very thin profit margin, payroll is the biggest operating expense. Any increase in labor costs must be offset with higher prices on the products they sell, or higher production from the employee. If the cost if a person’s labor is greater than the value an employee produces, that person will probably become unemployed.

Most minimum wage jobs are entry-level positions for kids just learning to work, (and most of them in this day and age should be paying their employer for the training, as they have no clue as to the meaning of work).

Several years ago I advertised for a receptionist, requiring telephone and advanced computer skills. One of the applicants had spiked hair, purple on one side, and green on the other, with multiple piercing of lips, cheeks, ears, eyebrows, etc. Her computer skills were: her brother had a computer. She was actually a graduate of Payson High School!

If one is still earning minimum wage after a year, they need to look at their own shortcomings. When I had employees, if they had not made any progress in six months, they were terminated.

Every increase in the minimum wage has resulted in increased unemployment rates. In the Obama economy, teenage unemployment is over 20 percent and black teenage unemployment is over 50 percent. An increase in the minimum wage will only increase those numbers.

A minimum wage increase in small town Payson would lead to more unemployment, or closed businesses, as the owners could not survive the demands on their already thin bottom lines.

Oh, and by the way, those big corporations do not employ the minimum wage workers. Their franchisees and other struggling small businesses do.

The states with the highest minimum wages have the highest unemployment rates, and all have been run by Democrats for many years. Most of them are bankrupt, or close to it.

There is no recovery! The only gains of the top 1 percent have been to Obama’s top 1 percent crony bundlers who have been given hundreds of millions of our dollars in exchange for their hundreds of millions of dollars they bundled to buy Obama’s stolen “re-election”

Dale Oestmann


Ted Paulk 3 years, 3 months ago

I feel so sorry for the small billions of dollars in profit that the Walton family of Walmart, McDonalds, Target, etc earn each quarter. I say, "Pay the employees in old burgers at the end of each shift." If they work extra hard; throw in an order of fries!!


Wendy Trainor 3 years, 3 months ago

I am the author of the letter that you refer to in your letter. And my husband and I do own a small business in Phoenix - actually it is a 3rd generation family business that has operated at the same location for the last 60 years with over 10 employees. So I do have a small understanding of economics and proper business practices. And unlike your assertion, many of the businesses that pay low wages to their employees do not operate on a very small profit margin - many of them make huge profits and pay huge salaries to their executives and pay healthy dividends to their share-holders. All I am asking is that they fairly split those profits with their employees. And if the profitable companies paid their employees a fair wage, then that would help all those truly small, struggling businesses because there would be more money in the economy so that overall sales could increase and the economy could become healthier. We are not rich, but our employees also are not poor. Win/win situation.


jeff durbin 3 years, 3 months ago

I really doubt if any second or third generation business owner knows anything about starting a business and fighting every day to keep it and this is not taught in the college sewage education system. It takes a huge risk and to start a business and greater risk to keep it. I really doubt if many if any second or third generation business owner has the motivation and drive as the original owner did. It looks like some of these business owners and people who agree with them had everything given to them. I agree that a profitable business should reward its employees, but the majority of business fail (90 percent the first year and 99 percent by the fifth year) and you can’t have it both ways.
Every small business owner I know is struggling. Some of us have more debt than profit, more trouble than any employee. The business owners I know who are doing good have cheated the stock market and retirement systems and no one complains. It is very easy to cheat Wall Street and investors out of money, but some of us prefer to keep business legit, and hope for a break. I am a business owner tired of working 10-15 hours every day and having employees telling their best ideas for their self-improvement while they never losing sleep or worry about next week’s bills. I wish I could inherit a glamorous business or a retirement fund so I could ride on somebody else’s coattails while proclaiming the benefits of socialism. Fortunately, I have chosen capitalism for socialism only leads to one thing, Atheism. Jeff Durbin


Larry Brophy 3 years, 3 months ago


I'm a serial entrepreneur. I've started and run a number of businesses, and won't bore you with the details. Some succeeded and some failed. I've paid employees when I didn't take home a paycheck after putting in 60 hours a week myself. While I appreciate your thoughts, you're missing the point entirely. The issue is fairness. Right now the minimum wage isn't fair. Look for my letter in the OpEd pages replying to Mr. Oestmanns piece. And, BTW, this has nothing to do with socialism - and socialism DOESN'T lead to atheism any more than capitalism leads to Christianity. You oughta know better....


don evans 3 years, 3 months ago

Fairness??? Since when is life fair? Please show us the law for that. Employers pay what they think the labor of their employees is worth. If the employee doesn't like it, they are free to look elsewhere. Besides, have you seen the average service employee recently? Can't add, can't subtract, can't spell, can't communicate in proper English or in writing. When the electronic cash register goes down, they are totally lost and the business suffers. And what self initiated actions do they take to improve themselves, nothing. Just whine, demand more money, benefits, and do everything they can to get out of any work.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.