Pay czar makes me a raging Republican

April 02, 2010

I was a "Repdem," a Republican for fiscal responsibility and government intervention and a Democrat for abortion, gay rights and other social issues. The government's "Pay Czar" has now made me a raging, radical Republican.

Imagine that your company establishes a pay plan where everyone earns the same salary. Everyone arrives at nine and leaves at five, takes a coffee break at 10:30 and lunch at noon. A perfect working environment with the exception of one thing -- production decreases, and the business will go bankrupt.

A perfect example of why this "Pay Czar" will cause a business to go bankrupt and ruin our country can be found in a small, rural seafood processing business in my town. The crab pickers are all currently paid based on pounds of crabmeat picked each day. The below average pickers pick 10 pounds per day, the average picker picks 20 pounds per day and the best pickers will pick upwards of 40 pounds per day. Each picker gets paid based on how much they produce. Under the new "Pay Czar" method, all of the pickers will get paid the same. Now, do you think that production will stay the same for each picker after the equalization of pay? The best pickers will say, "Why should I bust my butt and get paid the same as the worst pickers?" The average pickers will say, "Why should I bust my butt and get paid the same as the worst pickers?" Thanks to the "Pay Czar," all pickers will either gravitate to the production of the worst pickers or the best pickers will find another job -- it is just human nature. The business will now be paying everyone the same wage with production per employee at best cut in half. Goodbye business!

I must admit that at first I understood the government telling the bankers that if we bail you out, it is not right for you to make millions of dollars for your past mistakes using our money to keep you afloat. I understood that.Then the Obama health plan comes to pass. A provision eerily appeared in the plan to take effect in 2012 that states: "any employee of a health insurance company may not be paid more than $500,000." You might argue that $500,000 is certainly ample for anyone to live on, so enough is enough, and $500,000 is more than adequate. I will guarantee you that the best employees will quit, leaving the health insurance company with 10-pound pickers. The health insurance companies will fail, and the government will take them over. It will continue to be run by 10-pound pickers, and it will drain the lifeblood out of our economy. I guarantee it!

The same principles will apply at a health insurance company. If the star performers know that they are capped financially then they will leave, plain and simple. Even if they never could or would make $500,000 per year while working for this company, they know that they do not want to be in an environment where their income is capped, so they move on. The health insurance company will be left with only 10-pound pickers, and the business model and plan will fail and go bankrupt.

For those who have read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, you must be very uncomfortable right now. Our country was built with certain freedoms and opportunities available to everyone. We could dream of working hard, succeeding and fulfilling our own American Dream. The next edict that might be passed by the Obama Democrats might limit the hourly wage of 7/11 clerks, waitresses and auto mechanics. Are you concerned yet? Your "Pay Czar" is watching.

The government takeover of the private student loan program is just another piece of the Democrats' socialistic agenda. President Obama said "I didn't stand with the banks and the financial industries in this fight. That's not why I came to Washington. And neither did any of the members of Congress who are here today." What President Obama is saying is that he came to Washington on an anti-prosperity and anti-private sector platform and that only the government is able to manage business. What a naïve and un-American position.

The current AIG brain drain is just another perfect example. One division of that company caused all of the problems, yet the government limits the pay of all employees as we watch the best ones leave in droves. The government has orchestrated a company of 10-pound pickers. I had always heard that the bastion of the Democratic Party was to increase government so they could control the voters at the polls, and I just passed this talk off as anti-Democratic. I was so very, very wrong!

G. Philip Feldman, Cambridge

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