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Business, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Issues; Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment. Susan Lynn is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. She serves as Chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources subcommittee, a member of the Finance Ways and Means Committee and the Ethics Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thank goodness we have studies to tell us what is "fair"

None of us resent anyone receiving a good salary; especially if they do a good job. That’s what we all hope for.

I think what bothers us about the Governor’s recent raises for his commissioners is this; he’s violated a tenet of capitalism, and in doing so, he's offended us, the taxpayers.

Labor is a commodity just like any other input of production. Every business manager wants to please the stockholders by keeping expenses as low as possible and profits high.

As such, buyers (employers) negotiate to pay as little as they can while still getting the quality they want, and sellers (employees) negotiate to get as high a salary as they can by promoting their skills.

One thing that is really funny to me is that not only would most employers not pay for a study like this, but if they did and the results came back like this one, they’d probably lock it in a file cabinet for the next ten years and feel very satisfied that they’d done a very good job of hiring talent.

So when the governor raises the salaries of current employees by such an extraordinary amount due to a study of what’s “fair” we realize he isn’t looking out for us, the stockholders.

We think "fair" is what they agreed to work for.

If someone is threatening to leave and the Governor wants to keep him or her, sure, offer more money to stay. But why just raise their salary when we the taxpayers apparently had a bargain?

He’s basically violated a tenet of capitalism for a tenet of socialism.

In socialism, all workers are equal drones. Never mind performance, experience, skills of persuasion, talent, initiative, instinct and enthusiasm – all should make the government study regulated rate.

I have a wage study of my own, wages for commissioners in Tennessee are - exactly what we've been paying. Apparently, despite valuable skills and abilities, the prestige, honor and future resume benefit of being a commissioner in a governor’s administration has in the past made up for any wage disadvantage when compared to the private sector.

Studies are just that…a study. They are not instructions on how much we should pay but an indicator of what the free market is bearing at the time. It doesn't mean we need to conform. We should continue to negotiate as we always have to get the best qualified person for the job. A study can indicate if we are paying too much and can also indicate that we’re getting a really good deal.

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