Actions have consequences, sometimes those consequences are unintended. Recently many people have advocated a $15 minimum wage. I am not against people being paid fairly for their work and productivity.

Traditionally the minimum wage has kept employers from abusing new or low skilled employees, but it was never meant to be a place where an individual should be happy in remaining. Recently a friend who is involved in furniture retail in Florida told me of a change that the company which they work for was implementing in advance of the push for a $15 an hour wage.

First of all the company was going to increase the weekly base to $12 an hour and then would pay a commission rate which would allow an employee in the bottom third of their sales staff to earn in the $15 an hour range. This on the surface sounds good, but in raising the hourly base rate they were cutting the commission percentage by 2%. The net result of this change was that the next 1/3 of employees found their annual salary reduced by $5,000-$10,000.

The top tier of employees found their salaries reduced by $10,000 or more. By implementing this the company was able to maintain their overall salary level and maintain the profit level required to stay in business. In effect the productive employees are subsidizing the less productive employees. The less productive employees are more likely to be happy and remain with the company while more productive employees may want to take their talents elsewhere.

Many of our current group of presidential candidates are advocating many free benefits, such as health care, college, repayment of student loans, etc. They argue that corporations and the ultra rich are not paying their fare share. There may need to be some adjustments in our taxes. But no adjustments will cover the cost of all of these. These proposals will require a tremendous tax burden on middle class families and as the example from Florida illustrates a massive redistribution of income and wealth.

Our free enterprise system has given opportunities for people to excel, don't allow Socialists to ruin it.

JIM HUFF

CHRISTIANSBURG

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