Decent Work Bill Sails the Senate

The Editor,

Youth unemployment is a major threat to the peace and stability of our country, but yet those Assemblymen in the Senate are busy passing a legislation that would kill jobs for our young people. (Re “Decent Work Bill Sails at the Senate”)

This so called Decent Work Bill, which sets the minimum wage at US$3.50 a day for domestic workers and US$5.50 for other skilled workers, is nothing but a job killer!

By the way, I’d like to know how our senators arrived at those numbers (US$3.50 and $5.50). Did they use some sophisticated math equation? Or was it divine revelation.

Regardless of how they got those numbers ($3.50 and $5.50), the Decent Work Bill should be renamed the Harmful Work Bill because it harms our youths!

The law of demand (economics) tells you that, the higher the price of something, the less people will take it, and the lower the price, the more people will take it. It applies to EVERYTHING, including the labor wages for low skilled workers (mostly young people)! There are no known exceptions to the law of demand!

So why did our economically illiterate senators take upon themselves to pass a bill that would increase the wage of a maid from US$50 per month (current market rate) to US$70 per month??

Because, according to the Bill, it would give economically vulnerable Liberians the ability to exercise “their rights at work”. Really…. can someone tell me “what are their rights at work”? Where is Senator Karnga-Lawrence when you need her?

Hey Senator, exactly what part of the Constitution gives the legislature the “right (s)” to force one Liberian (employer) to pay another Liberian (employee) more than what he or she worth? Please..there is no such “right (s)” in the Constitution!

Look. If someone offers you a job, at U$50 a month, to provide maid services for him or her, and you think your maid service is WORTH more than that ($50 a month), you don’t have to take the damn job. I repeat: You. Don’t. Have. To. Take. The. Damn. Job. You’re free to go find someone who’s willing to pay you US$70 or more. I’m sure Senator Karnga Lawrence and her colleagues (13 senators) will be more than happy to pay you more than that!

But what do you think will happen after this Decent Work Bill becomes law and forces ALL employers to pay their domestic workers US$70, instead of US$50? Do you think they will still have a job? Don’t bet your rent money on it…

Why?

Because most employers, like normal people, are responsive to changes in price. Higher labor costs will cause many of them to lay off their domestic workers!

But hey, don’t worry. As the price of maid services jumps from US$50 to US$70!, and people start laying off their maids, Senator Kargar-Lawrence and her colleagues (13 senators) will take another 5 years to pass another legislation prohibiting people from laying off their nannies! It’d called the Nanny Must Work Bill. How cool is that?

In the meantime, can Senator Karngar-Lawrence tell me what will happen to those ALL low skilled workers (domestic workers) who will lose their job because they’ve become too expensive for their employers?

Oh, one more question, Senator: Which one is better, a job at US$50 per month or NO job at US$70 per month? Simple math here, Senator. Pick one. Oh wait, I forgot, math is not her area!

It is not rocket science to conclude that when prices rise, people adjust their behavior by purchasing less. So when the cost (wages) of hiring low-skilled Liberians go up, jobs are lost! Don’t be surprised if you see more and more young unemployed youths roaming the streets, after this Decent Work Bill become law!

This decent Work Bill is not only economically disastrous, but it’s also disastrous for our democracy, that is if we even have one!

Martin Scott
Atlanta, Georgia

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