, Newburyport, MA


August 20, 2013

Obama continues to divide country


These 64 day hops wanted an education and we found a way to get it: hard work, sacrifice and personal responsibility. If you want something bad enough you can find a way to do it.

The president talked about a minimum wage, which I support. As the president spoke on this as a way to help the middle class, my thoughts went deeper into this. The last 25 years of my working days, I worked for a small company with 12 units. The president of this company in 25 years never failed to give a yearly raise and a yearly bonus; he did not miss one year. That’s probably some kind of record. The problem: Wages are a bottom-line profit; every increase in wages lowers profit margins, consequently during this time we raised our markup margins from 31 percent to 45 percent markup. The drawback, wages increased but the cost of goods and services increased also.

Raising the minimum wage will not result in a better middle class; it just raises the cost of goods and services as companies need to maintain profits to continue to survive.

My final thought is that President Obama continues to divide this nation like no president in my lifetime. First it was the 1 percent vs. the 99 percent, then it was the haves and the have-nots; now it’s an equitable wage for all and a retired pension for all. He continues to uphold only the laws he agrees with despite his oath to uphold all the laws of the nation.

On Jan. 1, 2014, the nation’s middle class, the poor, will see their discretionary cash available for spending diminish, almost disappear as taxes increase along with health insurance, heating costs, gasoline prices rise, food costs escalate. We Americans will be facing hard times and an uncertain future as our national debt rises to $18 trillion.

America, you voted for him not once, but twice. Now try to enjoy your decision.


Richard A. Astukewicz of Salisbury is a retired business manager.

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