Portland’s business community is under attack! Recent actions by and statements from officials reveal the government’s intent to take control of local private-sector businesses.

First, there was the initiative to impose a crushing $15-per-hour minimum wage mandate on all Portland businesses. Fortunately, this effort failed, given the disastrous impact the $15-per-hour wage requirement has had on small businesses in Seattle.

Now a proposed ordinance would require all employers in the city to provide paid sick leave. Progressive Mayor Ethan Strimling supports this initiative and says it is the right thing to do.

Really? Talk about being insulting and disrespectful to all those business owners who are working hard and making personal sacrifices to run successful, profitable companies. Are these risk-taking business owners incapable of making such decisions on their own without government pressure and mandates?

What recourse do the employers have to battle against these assaults? One option: If the city is going to impose unacceptable, punishing increased financial costs, business owners should demand a reduction of city taxes equal to the increased expenses being imposed. After all, government pays for other goods and services it deems necessary; why not pay for those costs (excluding taxes and fees) imposed on employers?

What’s next? What about the city requiring employers to give all their hardworking employees paid vacation leave? After all, it may be the right thing to do. Why not mandate a minimum percent annual pay increase for employees?

If this effort continues, the city’s private-sector business community will become part of the “socialist sector.” And, to be correct, the title of mayor should be changed to “comrade.”

Bill Underwood

Springvale