New Castle News

March 8, 2014

Wage rates depend on quality of work

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

I think everyone should start working for $50 per hour.

Where did I get that figure? I pulled it out of my backside, much like President Obama did a few weeks ago when he announced a new $10.10 per hour starting wage rate.

A mentor asked me once, “Bob, look at your ankles. Do you see a ball and chain attached?” My answer was no. Then he said, “If you don’t like where you work, then find another job and move up.”

In other words, don’t ask the conditions to change. Change the conditions.

Life ain’t fair. Neither are the conditions of employment. Work isn’t about fairness; it’s about the company making a profit, period. No profit, no job.

Pay is based in part on skill, availability of skilled labor, affordability to make a profit. A 4-year-old can stamp envelopes, but I doubt she could design an airfoil capable of sustaining a mach 7 force and remain intact.

She would not be worth a six-figure salary with an aerospace company.

I am not advocating child labor. It is an example of low-skill labor.

My dad got us a job sweeping a warehouse. He taught me there is a right and wrong way to sweep. Efficiency matters. Effective use of sweeping compound yields superior results.

Who knew sweeping was so complex? We were paid about $1.50 per hour.

Wage mandates inflate cost, unemployment and part-time jobs. What no one considers is the devaluation of skilled wages. I will not see a $2.90 pay raise if the minimum is raised. Decades of training diminished in value by the stroke of the pen.

Pulling skilled labor down is more important than motivating unskilled workers to rise up and change their condition. Look at your ankles.

Robert J. Miller

Rose Point Road

New Castle