Your Dec. 26 editorial, “Our View: Augusta shouldn’t stand in the way of minimum-wage hike,” is obviously supportive of the public referendum process and the concept of majoritarian rule.

These political concepts are fervently supported by progressives, who believe that a majority of the people – either through a referendum or by acts of a legislative body – may trample the rights of a minority. In this case, the minority is represented by individuals who own and manage small businesses.

They are being told that they must pay their workers a minimum wage as dictated by a majority of voters. Never mind that employees are perfectly free and enabled under the U.S. Constitution of negotiating and managing their own contractual relationship with any employer. They do this by withholding their labor and thereby refusing to work for (or enter into a contract with) an employer who does not pay what that individual considers to be a fair wage.

Would I like to see low-wage workers receive better compensation? Yes. But not at the expense of ignoring “the law of the land,” which is being abrogated, in this instance, by a progressive-minded majority.

In this case, the public majority views low wages as an economic injustice; thus, the mentality of “we will fix that,” failing to consider that an individual with a better education and skill set would not find himself in harm’s way.

Perhaps we should work harder to ensure a proper education for our youth, rather than to paper over the real problem with majoritarian rule – government fixes. The Constitution is quite clear that the rights of the people (and individuals) come first, not after, government-sanctioned referendums or legislative acts. I protest!

John L. Ross


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