To the Editor:
Watching TV pictures of black mobs trashing and looting and lighting fires: We’ve seen this before, those of us who can remember the 1930s rise of“National Socialism” in Germany and Italy.
Throughout history, advanced economies generated underclasses of the poor or identifiably “other” people – speech, religion, skin color – when custom or legislation raised barriers to integration. Serfdom in Russia generated the Cossacks – escaped serfs. Jacueries: French serfs burning and killing landowners and priests, antebellum slave rebellions. Today, we have millions of such denied entry to our economic opportunities by union-backed, ever-higher, minimum wages, licensing and other work restrictions.
As a shop owner or other businessman, one might discover at year-end he has worked for nothing. He has lost money. But if he were an employee, this is forbidden and he is laid off. A $15/hour minimum wage requires an employer to pay SS, Medicare, health/retirement and workers’ compensation, unemployment and other taxes, depending on union contracts or fear of unionization. If such costs are 50% of nominal wages, it costs an employer $20-25/hour to employ someone at $15/hour. Many of us – the elderly, handicapped, poorly educated or unskilled can bring in more than this cost for an employer? Hence we live on pensions, disability – and welfare.
How long must we suffer rampaging mobs of the alienated minorities before we allow them productive employment? Using police to suppress idleness-spawned crime risks future outbreaks as incidents can always be utilized by the disaffected to incite mob violence. And more welfare is not the answer.
Get Blacks back into the workforce. Identify and prosecute mob members not dispersing. Jail looters and arsonists. But, get rid of minimum wages.
Alphonse I. Johnson