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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters to the Editor for July 28, 2014

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Letters to the Editor for July 28, 2014


12 ways the Motorcycle Rally benefits Baker

Here are 12 little-known ways that the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally contributes to our community:

• We promote and collect money for camping at the Baker High School. This year they made almost $10,000!

• The FFA club held a tri-tip barbecue at the school Saturday night as a fundraiser.

• The Baker High School cheerleaders wash bikes and made $2,000!

• The Baker City VFW serves breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. It is their largest fundraiser of the year. Also on Friday night the bar revenue was the best they have ever had.

• In Halfway they sell buffalo burgers to help pay for their annual fireworks show. Last year they made over $2,000. Their most important fundraiser of the year.

• The American Legion Post No. 43 Poker Run brought in over $1,600.

• Relay for life and the Scouts also had fundraisers.

• The Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally is a dues- paying member of HBC (Historic Baker City) and the Baker County Chamber of Commerce.

• We supported the purchase of “Turbo” the drug dog for the Baker City Police Department and for his continuing care. This year we have donated $500.

• For the second year in a row we have given $500 to purchase bicycle helmets for Baker City kids.

• This year we stepped up and paid $2,000 to purchase electrical equipment from the Chamber. We could have rented the equipment to meet our needs but we felt that it was important that this equipment be available, free of charge, for local community events such as the downtown Christmas Tree Lighting and Miners Jubilee.

• We purchased two off road motorcycles for local law enforcement.

Kurt Miller

Hells Canyon Motorycle Rally operations manager

Baker City

Minimum wage laws not as good as they sound

Minimum wage laws are another of those ideas which sound good. After all, why shouldn’t a worker have a salary high enough to support himself in a decent manner? Conesquently most Americans support minimum wage laws. But this is an idea which, when you look closely at it, has some nasty side effects. Teenagers are especially adversely affected by these laws.

It works like this: There are certain job skills necessary for being a good, productive employee for all jobs, even for entry level jobs. One must show up for work on time, remain on task, do assigned duties to the satisfaction of one’s boss, phone in when sick, etc. Employers naturally want to hire those who already possess those job skills. But most teenagers who’ve never worked haven’t developed them yet.

 In an ideal world, employers could take a chance on hiring teenagers by offering them lower wages than they’d pay older workers, and teenagers who want to work could accept those lower salaries. Then, teenagers would have jobs where they could learn the basic skills needed to become successful employees. But this is not possible today. There is a minimum which employers can pay, and a minimum which teenagers can accept. Consequently many teenagers are priced out of the job market. This is a big reason why teenage unemployment rates are consistently much higher than the average. And regardless of what the minimum wage might be, their salary is $0.00, as they have no job.

Many black teenagers face an even worse job situation than their fellow teens. They come from dysfunctional, failing big city school systems, and so are even more inadequately prepared for the world of work than their suburban and rural counterparts. Their unemployment rate is thus even higher.           

The unemployment rate in the United States today is 6.1 percent. Teenage unemployment is well above 20 percent, and black teenage unemployment is an incredible 38.7 percent. It’s easy to see why noted economist Milton Friedman called the minimum wage laws the most anti-black laws on the books.

 Minimum wage laws don’t sound so good now, do they?

Pete Sundin

Baker City

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