Letters to the Editor for Feb. 11
Bravo for principled stand by Schenectady High basketball coach
I read the Feb. 6 article, “Girls’ team rebuilding from scratch” with great interest and admiration.
It reminded me of the movie, “Hoosiers,” in which Coach Norman Dale (played by Gene Hackman) stood up to public fan scrutiny and criticism after he removed his misbehaved “star” player from the game.
He stood firm on his decision to finish the game with only four players and told the incredulous referee, “My team is on the floor!”
Schenectady High School girls’ varsity basketball Coach Kathleen Wylie also had to make a controversial decision to dismiss a good number of established team members who repeatedly failed to show up for practice.
To allow the “no-shows” to continue their egotistical behavior following a string of reminders, or to ignore the behavior, would have undermined any team’s commitment to each other and the game.
To have caved would have been easy; and to have quit herself would have been childish.
Instead, first-year coach Wylie — the new, young teacher, the true leader of the team — made the rough call. She obviously knew that it’s not difficult to make a tough decision when you know what your values are.
She chose to begin anew and rebuild with a squad of rather inexperienced ball players who had shown interest and a willingness to work.
Congratulations to all of the new Lady Patriots! You are learning, through the example of Ms. Wylie, life lessons that extend far beyond a basketball court and that are far more important than a win-loss record. You’re learning about character, maturity and dedication.
And thank you, Coach Wylie, for doing the right thing.
Frank W. Pidgeon
The writer is a retired teacher and school administrator.
Minimum wage hike will hurt New York’s economy
Contrary to Gov. Cuomo’s assertion that a minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $8.75 would be of great benefit to the working poor, it would in fact be less than beneficial for New York and its populace.
The lowest rung of the pay ladder always remains the lowest rung. Any increase of the lowest wage raises all the wage levels above it, as any person now earning $8.75 will demand $10.55 (their 20 percent increase), and so on and so forth.
Since the general rule is that employee wages comprise 25 percent of the gross profit, an increase of 20 percent results in an 80 percent increase in the cost of goods or services. The purported benefit of an increased minimum wage equating to a better standard of living just doesn’t happen.
Eventually businesses in New York will find that they are no longer competitive with out-of-state companies and will either close or move. Gov. Cuomo knows the tax collector will find an increased minimum wage beneficial. An increase of all workers’ income pushes them into higher brackets (in the unfair progressive tax system).
Another effect of a minimum wage [hike] is a reduction in the income difference [between] the lowest and highest earners. The final conclusion is no difference: one pay rate for all workers. Without the incentive of greater income commensurate for increased effort, skills and productivity, the business environment soon deflates.
Money is the certificate of value as set by a free market system as to the value of a specific worker’s labor/time. A minimum wage worker gains a meaningful wage increase not by raising the ladder (upon which they are always the lowest rung) but by climbing the ladder with better skills and a higher value of work.
For a government minimum wage to be successful, there would have to be an iron curtain enclosing the state — the purpose of which would be to prevent employees and employers from leaving the state. And a wage freeze instituted for all above the minimum.
Minimum wage laws never succeed in what they set out to do. But they do tend to stifle the economy.
John O. Hornfeck
‘From Here to Antiquity’ passing into oblivion
I was pleased to see the excellent Feb. 3 article by Bill Buell regarding Bill Rezey’s small business, “From Here to Antiquity.”
Unfortunately, it was too little too late. I went to congratulate Bill on it today [Feb. 6], but to my dismay, his shop was half empty, and he informed me that he was moving out at the end of the month.
In the present economy, businesses such as “From Here to Antiquity” are not only tough to keep open, they are getting harder and harder to find.
My best wishes to Bill. He will be missed.
The writer is proprietor of Patricia’s Room.