Letter: What the Heritage Foundation editorial failed to address

Today, in the Juneau Empire, I read James Sherk’s Heritage Foundation essay on why raising the minimum wage will reduce employment. One of the most glaring things that was left out of his opinion piece, paid for by the very conservative “think tank” Heritage Foundation, was the profit margins which are made by companies who pay their workers minimum wage.

There is a direct, causal financial equation between paying low wages and creating billionaires. The wages they pay are often lower than dirt, and their resulting profit margins soar because they exploit the desperately poor by paying low wages.

Mr. Sherk writes that raising the minimum wage will cause job loss because the employers will simply move their operations to locales where they can exploit other people who will work for lower wages. On that he is right. NAFTA is the perfect example. American unions were crushed because big companies could just move to Mexico, abandoning their fellow Americans, and hire cheaper labor to make higher profits. This caused a lot of job loss; helped create the billionaire class; and increased poverty in the U.S. Both Democrats and Republicans were responsible for this.

If raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was a national requirement, and we cracked down on trade agreements which are engineered by the rich to exploit the poor, the companies couldn’t just move but would have to start sharing some of the profits with their employees by paying better wages.

My father was a successful businessman and an old fashioned Republican. He paid his employees a decent wage and there was never an effort on their part to unionize. They didn’t need to. They weren’t getting screwed. He told me his profit margin was usually around 30 percent. He made money, but he wasn’t greedy and he wasn’t a millionaire or a billionaire.

Mr. Sherk should address the above, but I’m certain he won’t because he works for the Heritage Foundation which tries to add academic justification to the Republican Party’s main objective of petrifying progress and protecting the plutocracy.

Lisle Hebert, Jr.,