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Letter: Small business is the engine that drives the economy

A few years ago as a small businessman I sold the company I created. I employed 14 people. Four of those employees were on salary and 10 were paid an hourly wage of $8.

If the federal government forced me to pay a minimum of $10/hour, it would cost me an additional $2/hour/employee or $160 more/day, $800 (5 x $160) more/week, and $41,600 more/year. That would be the equivalent total pay of 2.5 employees. Where would that money come from? It doesn’t grow on trees.

Because all of my clients (small businesses) were faced with the same choices, chances are we would all come up with the same conclusion … we would have to reduce our employee staff to survive.



Keep in mind that small business is the engine that drives the economy. It’s the largest employer in the country. Also keep in mind that I would probably lose a few clients resulting in a further staff reduction. It’s the classic ripple effect.

Multiply this by hundreds of thousands of businesses and the unemployment rate would cripple the economy. My little business was responsible for supporting approximately 56 people. Everybody wants to make more money but there are consequences to be had. Eight of my employees would be happy and two would be out of a job.



Those two would be on unemployment, food stamps and medicaid. Who do you think pays for that? Do you think our current system could afford another 20 percent of the people on government handouts?

Everybody thinks they’re worth more than they’re being paid. Well, there are two types of worth values that need to be addressed.

The first one is human value. I will agree with everyone when they say that they as a human being are worth as much as the company president when it comes to the human value. But there’s another type of value that determines your worth to a company. It’s called your economic value. The more market value you bring to a company the more you get paid. It’s that simple.

That’s why NFL quarterbacks make the really big bucks and linemen don’t. So don’t confuse your human value with your economic value. There is a big difference.

In today’s world, the welfare system has trumped our work ethic. Welfare benefits pay more than many minimum wage jobs in over 30 states. Welfare recipients in Hawaii (highest) are paid over $29/hour ($60,590/year). South Carolina pays the least ($21,910/year). When our Sens. Michael Bennett and Mark Udall leave office they will each receive a retirement package including free medical worth $174,000/ year “for life.” Don’t you think there is something wrong with this picture?

Stan Rachesky

Glenwood Springs


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