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Join me in promoting small businesses



In response to the Shredder column “It’s 2014; do you know what year your senators are living in?” of April 17, I don’t believe women are paid less than men as all the women I know are smarter than, better educated, and earn more than their male coworkers (yes, I recognize my opinion isn’t a scientific study any more than is the government’s nefarious manipulation of data). What I do think is that the Paycheck Fairness Act is just another manufactured political issue that’s designed to divide Americans and change the subject from the significant failures of the current administration in Washington to issues of greed and envy, uplifting as they are.

With regard to all those senators listed with “R” after their names, let me say “thank you” for standing firm against a bill that wouldn’t accomplish anything with regard to payment fairness than did the Affordable Care Act make health insurance more affordable. Just because a bill has an appealing name doesn’t mean it represents a worthwhile policy. So “bravo” to Flake, Boozman, Crapo, and their ilk.

Instead, what I’d like to propose is what I call the Small Business Owners Fair Compensation Act. Since we all value small businesses in our community—like restaurants, dry cleaners, retailers, etc.—I think there’s a serious problem with owners’ compensation that needs to be addressed. I don’t think most people realize that many of these small business owners earn less than the average government worker and way less than low-level managers in government. Since small business owners take more financial risk, work longer hours, and sleep less—worrying about the next visit from OSHA, the EPA, or even worse, the IRS—I think it’s only fair that we, the taxpayers, guarantee small business owners fair compensation at least equal to the average pay of local, management-level government workers like chief of police, fire chief, manager of the local DMV office, and Cal Poly president.

The way this could work is we just average the annual compensation of these government managers and compare it to the earnings of participating small business owners, and if the owners’ compensation is less at the end of a year, they receive a check from the government to make up the difference. This would not only be good for small business owners, but good for the entire community. Don’t we feel bad when one of our favorite restaurants or retailers goes out of business? Well, this bill will reduce these occurrences. And don’t we also feel sorry for the employees who lose their jobs when a small business closes? This would keep people working and reduce unemployment costs, thus improving the economy for the entire community. There’s only goodness associated with this act and, you must agree, no downside whatsoever.

So I ask all of you to join me in promoting the Small Business Owners Fair Compensation Act to your local, regional, and national representatives, and together let’s bring some fairness and peace of mind to our indispensible, local small businesses.

-- Gary Wechter - Arroyo Grande

-- Gary Wechter - Arroyo Grande

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