I was amused at the letter from Ralph Nader (in the June 21 edition of The Inter-Mountain) to the people of West Virginia concerning Shelley Moore Capito's stance on the minimum wage.
Mr. Nader looked at the situation through a keyhole without opening the door to see the entire room. I am all for a bump in the minimum wage, but there is a lot more at stake in West Virginia and in this country.
Recent threats of the Environmental Protection Agency and new laws governing the environment will directly affect everyone from the coal miners (around 60,000 strong) to major industry and small businesses. And not just in West Virginia either but other coal-producing states like Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania to Wyoming and Utah. Businesses in these states could see the number of employees cut in half from the Ma and Pa stores to the local factories.
This will also affect those companies that are unionized as well. Why? The cost of energy will go up. Unemployment will go up. No one will be immune from this, from the fuel for your car to the electricity for your house. It will affect every household and business in America.
So if we jump the minimum wage before we corral the EPA situation, how many more would lose their jobs should these EPA laws go through?
With the new wage, more employees would be cut and opening and closing hours to businesses could possibly be cut. Hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. dropping to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No longer could you run to the super market or the drug store during those extended times.
Think about it. West Virginia would see a dramatic increase in unemployment with coal miners getting layoff notices and their significant others as well. Why their significant others, you ask? Because their businesses had to cut back. Unemployment in West Virginia would jump right off the bat to 60,000 due to the miners alone.
I am amused again with those who seem to think they know better. And they've never lived here or any other state. Mr. Nader attempting to inform and instruct others on how to run their state and their lives is ... well, it's equivalent to a Texas cowboy instructing an Alaskan Eskimo how to build an igloo. Putting the cart before the horse. Wait a minute, I forgot, Nader wants to get rid of the horse.
Mr. Nader either can't see the big picture or doesn't care. This situation of the EPA and the minimum wage both affect West Virginians directly. I don't see too many windmills or solar panels attached to many buildings.
Put the heat on the West Virginia representatives concerning the nation's energy policy. Coal keeps the lights and the country going.
As for the wages and our state? West Virginia needs to be more tax friendly like Florida and Texas. We need more industry, not more convenience stores.