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The False Narrative Of The Healthy Workforce Proposal

The False Narrative Of The Healthy Workforce Proposal

There is a false narrative that anyone who owns a business is sitting on massive piles of cash and can easily afford to pay someone who doesn't show up for work.

BY MATTHEW MONTE

There are so many problems with the so-called Healthy Workforce Ordinance that voters will be asked to approve or reject on Oct. 3. The proposed law would require every business in Albuquerque to offer all employees full-time, part-time and temporary paid sick leave.

It sounds good until you start thinking about it, and until you understand what small businesses endure on a daily basis, what with trying to keep sales up in a stagnant economy and trying to keep paying employees.

The biggest problem with the proposed law is that there is a disconnect and a false narrative that anyone who owns a business is sitting on massive piles of cash and can easily afford to pay someone who doesn’t show up for work.

This is simply not true. If a business owner does not show up for work, then his duties don’t fall to someone else, they just don’t get done. If an employee does not show up, it usually falls on the business owner to pull double duty.

This is especially true with small businesses here in Albuquerque. We are struggling enough with state and local regulations and tax burdens.

We are honored to call Albuquerque home but sometimes can’t help but wonder if Albuquerque feels the same way about us. It’s not a matter of caring for our employees, it’s a matter of financial viability.

That being said, I encourage anyone and everyone to open a business. What is your passion? Do you want to be your own boss? Do you want to be where “the buck stops”?

Do it! I strongly encourage you! I will even support you in whatever way I can. The more business owners this city has the better we will all be. The vast majority of business owners in this city do what they do because they love it, not because they enjoy local government being their Number #1 Highest Expenditure.

Not only does the state account for close to 28 percent of our financial expenditures, but it also demands an incredible amount of time invested annually to ensure all permits, fees and certificates are paid and up to date.

If the city and state wants to remove some of the incredibly high tax burden and regulations; not only will we be able to offer our employees more, but we can pay more, hire more and begin to talk about growth. Our government can only go to the same well so many times before it comes up dry.

I understand that that New Mexico is a social state supported mostly on money from D.C. But that money comes at a price. Isn’t it time we invest in ourselves? What if we took the road of investing in private infrastructure instead of waiting for public money? How many states are thriving while we struggle?

I believe it is time that we start asking these tough questions and make the difficult decisions. Let’s find out what is working in other states. Let’s understand how they are thriving. It is time to make changes in New Mexico.

Our people deserve more. Our children deserve a brighter future. Our sick deserve better health care; mental health being a huge factor. Let’s take the choke-hold off of private businesses, off of entrepreneurs and put it where is belongs  on elected officials.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Let’s do things differently and watch our state, our people, and our children thrive.

Matt Monte owns Monte’s Pueblo Pipe Shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico (3636 San Mateo Blvd. NE505-881-7999).

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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