For a former businessman, Wolf seems to know little about business

If you think Gov. Tom Wolf is fixated on destroying Pennsylvania small businesses, it’s getting harder to argue against that.

In the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, during a pandemic in which many businesses are struggling for mere survival because of his own draconian edicts, Wolf put out a call on Friday for Pennsylvania to raise its minimum wage — a move that would further decimate an already-ravaged business sector and undoubtedly put even more people out of business for good and more people on an already-overburdened unemployment system.

What could he possibly be thinking?

The Democratic governor — who was, amazingly given his policies, the owner of a business before venturing into politics — can’t possibly think with the economy the way it is, with double-digit unemployment, with more and more people being furloughed or permanently laid off every day, that most business owners can afford to give significant raises to their employees without cutting staff or going under, can he?

It is an incomprehensibly tone-deaf statement for Wolf to make toward anyone who is struggling because he decided which businesses weren’t important enough to remain open for several weeks and which businesses would have to operate under such ludicrous rules that it made little financial sense to be open, even if legally permitted to be.

We’ve said it before to the governor and we’ll say it again — most people who run a business aren’t Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates, who can afford to pay workers anything they want, even though that’s what Wolf and his liberal friends would like you to believe.

In reality, most business owners are hard-working people who may be already struggling to find ways to avoid having to furlough employees. A mandatory raise in the minimum wage will certainly mean more people out of work, fewer jobs and a deepening financial crisis in Pennsylvania.

If he fails to realize that, it means he is out of touch with reality and/or openly and shamelessly pandering to his political base (which, admittedly, makes little sense considering Wolf is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election).

If he knows what he’s doing, that’s worse. It means he’s trying to make more people dependent on the government. It’s bad enough Wolf wants to make government lord over everything. Now he’s trying to make government the savior, too.

We understand that trying to live on $7.25 per hour is difficult, if not impossible. But you know what $7.25 per hour is better than? Getting a fraction of that in unemployment benefits because the job you once held no longer exists.

There is some good news. We feel quite confident the Republican-majority General Assembly will not let this proposal see the light of day, which is just how they should approach it. And, thankfully, minimum wage increases are not something the wannabe king can declare into existence on his own.

But for the governor’s actions and statements to be seemingly against small business owners every step of the way during this pandemic is beyond disappointing and shows how removed from the reality of private business ownership he truly is.


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