Barbara Breazeale

Barbara Breazeale

It gripes me to see the bleeding hearts moan and groan over minimum wage. They cry and weep that we need a working wage to support all people. Biden goes on and on over $15.00 an hour minimum wage.

Having owned my own business for years and for you who failed basic economics, here is my take on this. Possibly you do not know that businesses have to pay social security, workers compensation, insurance and other taxes on each employee they have. On paper it looks like $15.00 an hour but it is actually much more.

Recently I was in California for a vacation. Bill loves cherries so I went into a local market and there they were, $9.00 a pound!!! At that point I figured he was an apple kind of guy. Being a good wife, I told him they did not carry cherries. No comments from the male gallery.

The store pays $15.00 an hour or higher for labor, do you think they absorb that cost so you can have cherries at better rate? Dream on. (P.S. I just paid $4.00 a pound in Victoria)

Gas was $4.59 a gallon but I know that in high end spots like West LA and Santa Monica, it is easily $5.00 a gallon. As we drove around, you can no longer find hotels for $100 to $120 a night, those days are over in California. $200 is a deal. Maids, gas station attendants and store help make $15.00 an hour. (For whatever it is worth, most of the people I saw were playing on their phones and barely made eye contact.)

I visited a home in Mission Viejo which is beautiful two story tract home, very small lot (3 feet on the side of the house to the neighbor’s fence), very shallow back yard, all the houses look alike and they are going for $1.1 to $1.2 million dollars. No, they are not at the beach. It is lovely home but really?

Lumber is double and triple what it was a year ago. Is this because they just love to gouge you for more money or does $15.00 an hour minimum wage for people affect this cost? The wage may not be that in Texas (yet) but truckers, suppliers, are required to pay more in labor.

We stopped at Denny’s Restaurant in San Diego and the Grand Slam was $12.99! In Victoria, it is $7.59.

Waitresses, cooks, people cleaning off the tables are paid $15.00 an hour. Do you think Denny’s will just suck up that cost because they like losing money? So now when “Joe Lunchbox” comes in with his family, what will they pay for a simple breakfast at Denny’s?

McDonald’s in California is changing out to electronic order towers. When you walk in, there is no one to take your order, you step up to the tower, put in what you want and one person is in front taking your money. All the people who worked the front counter are replaced. Strike another blow for the “little guy” but the politicians can sit in their ivory towers and pat themselves on the back that they have helped the “little guy”. Yup, they helped the little guy right out of their job!

Do you think McDonald’s will be able to keep the $1.00 menu? I bet the Kardashians will be devastated by that news. My daughter paid $4.99 for four small chicken stars. Yahoo!

Many do not go to college, have no work experience, need to work part time, need to supplement their income but when the low- end jobs are replaced by a machine, they are hurt.

Suddenly those same jobs are being sought by people who have a degree, have experience, need full time, etc. Who is hurt?

What about the small businessman who often hires summer help to lighten a load or just help a college or high school student? If he has to pay $15.00 an hour, he will do the work himself, spread it to another employee but why would he take on part time help? It becomes too much of a burden. Summer help is kicked to the curb and rightly so.

We are surrounded by politicians who were lawyers, came from money or were “community organizers”. It is easy to spout off what you can do for the “little people” when you have never been one of them, don’t know how small business works and what makes it tick.

I have always said that one day I will be that lady handing out the carts at Walmart, by then I may be making $20.00 an hour for minimum wage. Why did I ever put myself through college and get a degree?????

What am I thinking, they will probably automate handing out carts!

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Barbara Breazeale is a mom to four and grandmother to seven. She is the Advancement Director for Victoria House of Palms, P.O. Box 4886, Victoria Texas 77903.

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Barbara Breazeale writes an occasional blog for the Victoria Advocate.

(3) comments

Bruce Woods

Thank you for trying to put it in perspective Barbara. Well done.

Martin Strarup

Well done Barbara.

Rick Dockery

Minimum wage is not the problem in California. Taxation is. 15$ an hour is minimum wage. As a business owner I would be ashamed to pay minimum wage. I need skilled workers and will pay for that. It's ok to start at minimum wage, but one's goal needs to be upward mobility, which I've seen time after time. One's goal should be to find out why one makes minimum wage then figure out how to improve. I have 0 business friends who start at minimum wage. Most jobs start at 10 an hour minimum. Again, using California is a bad example.

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