Business leaders know that ignoring problems comes at a cost, so we learn to deal with them quickly. If we ignore problems, they can result in bad service, loss of customers, inferior products and, ultimately, in the loss of a business. We need our elected officials to take a similar approach when dealing with entrenched and seemingly unsolvable problems—our nation’s social and economic well-being depends on it. Americans want politicians who will level with them, not spin them on the issues. That’s leadership.
For example, let’s talk about minimum wage hikes. While it may sound good to say that low-wage workers should make $15 an hour, do government officials fully appreciate how businesses have to mitigate labor cost increases? Some businesses will reduce employee hours, others will increase prices, some will lay off employees and increase automation. In worse case scenarios, some will close their doors.
With gas prices down and retail sales up, some companies are moving forward and increasing wages without any government compulsion which is the right way to go about it. Case in point, Walmart recently announced that it would increase wages for more than 100,000 of its department managers. In a segment titled, Wal-Mart to raise starting wages for more than 100K department managers, I told Neil that it’s good the company is raising wages on its own, not because the government said so. Businesses don’t need a one-size-fits-all approach to lifting people out of poverty, we need leaders who understand that the best way to help employees thrive is not to kill but rather to create jobs. This is something I discussed with Trish Regan on The Intelligence Report in a segment titled, Carl’s Jr. CEO says higher wages kill jobs.
Higher labor costs aren’t the only concern. In California, legislators are on the verge of creating and then solving a nonexistent problem. California Assembly Bill (AB) 525, misleadingly called the “Franchise Bill of Rights,” is making its way thru the Legislature. I wrote an op-ed that was published in this weekend’s Orange County Register titled, ‘Franchise Bill of Rights’ a cure for nonexistent problem, in which I discuss how the bill would have a chilling effect on franchising growth. I hope our California elected officials show leadership on this issue by sending this flawed bill to the circular bin.
Speaking of leadership, none is more needed than when we approach the topic of immigration reform. As Republicans continue to jump into the 2016 presidential race, one of the most divisive issues remains immigration reform. Republicans use this issue like a cudgel to beat each other up in the primaries. The winner is the Democratic nominee in the general election. The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed I wrote on this subject and in which I sought to clarify and defuse the issue by outlining some basic principles that I believe all candidates should be able to support. You can read the op-ed here: Ending the Republican Drama About Immigration.