To the editor:
The letter "Another idea to promote jobs" that appeared in the Feb. 16 edition gives an insight into how political distortion can be used to twist the meaning of honest attempts to solve problems of low wages, high unemployment and job training.
The letter attributes destruction of jobs for the unskilled to the raise in the minimum wage and paying people not to work by expanding unemployment compensation. Sorry, but that's pure hogwash.
First of all, you need to understand that the minimum wage was set up to be an entry-level wage, not the top of the wage scale. But, in this economy, it's just that - the top wage paid to unskilled workers. It hasn't kept pace with inflation for more than 10 years, thus those who work for minimum wages keep falling further into the morass of needing better wages just to maintain a survival lifestyle. That's not a basis to feed children, pay expenses or provide educational opportunities. It only perpetuates poverty.
Second, nobody gets paid not to work by getting unemployment compensation. To qualify for compensation, you must be actively seeking a job, and you must document your efforts. In essence, you do have a job - your job is to seek work. This can be very stressful when American jobs are fleeing our soil in search of cheaper labor countries. If you have a job that pays you wages based on a full year, and you only work for nine months, that's getting paid not to work.
Poor corporate America - they have to pay taxes based on income just like the rest of us. That's why they've accumulated $1.2 trillion in off-shore banks and don't know what to do with it.
When corporations like Exxon, GE and others pay no taxes, I'd say that their tax rates are just about as good as they get.
So don't bleed for multi-billion-dollar companies, or people who get salaries for 12 months and only work for nine months. They're doing very well, and believe you can survive with no increase in wages, no unemployment compensation if you leave your job and no new training courses to qualify for any jobs that do exist.
Ah, yes, they've been born with a silver foot in their mouth and live in a protected bubble with a sign over the door that reads, "The unemployed, low-wage worker may not enter." Stay in your place, and maybe someday you'll get 40 acres and a mule.