Children’s charity closes due to Murphy’s minimum wage increase

While we generally support the idea of a minimum wage, the blinkered ideological approach of “one size fits all” is having a bad effect on those who serve some of our most vulnerable residents.  The best way to ensure a rising minimum wage is through collective bargaining through the unionization of the work force.  Labor negotiating in the free marketplace with capital produces individual outcomes that are collectively much better than the imposition of mandates from above that Governor Phil Murphy and his gang favor.  

Lori Comstock of the New Jersey Herald did a great job covering one such tragedy today:

Kids Educational Enrichment Program, a childcare organization best known as K.E.E.P. that has served the Sussex County community for over 100 years, will be shutting its doors for good next week.

The announcement was sent to parents and guardians via a letter dated July 17. The letter, signed by K.E.E.P., Inc. Board of Directors President Barbara Vandenbergh, said the nonprofit will cease operations effective at close of business on Wednesday, July 31.

The letter states many reasons for the closure including a mix of "usual" business challenges coupled with "increasingly strict and ever-changing regulatory requirements imposed on the industry" by the state and the state's mandatory minimum wage increase schedule which has, combined, "rendered us unable to meet our financial obligations," Vandenbergh wrote. Earlier this year, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation boosting the state's minimum wage and implemented a five-year phase starting with an increase from $8.85 to $10, which went into effect July 1, to $15, which will be reached by January 2024.

In the letter, Vandenbergh states that "after much investigation and future financial projections" the board came to the decision to close.

…K.E.E.P., formerly known as Sussex County YWCA, was incorporated in 1917. The program, which is dubbed the largest child care provider in the county, according to its Facebook page, offers flexible scheduling, low rates and financial assistance to qualified families. A registered 501(c)3 organization, K.E.E.P. employed 72 people in the year 2015, according to the latest 990 form available by the Internal Revenue Service.

Perhaps there should be a philanthropic wage for those who want to volunteer to do good works but need something to cover the basics?  This is what an individual union, covering these individual workers, could accomplish.  If the management of a charity couldn’t figure out a way to make it work, there would be a ready organization – the union – to step in and try.  What we have now are top-down mandates that don’t take the realities on the ground into account.  One-size fits all… except that it doesn’t.

Please read Ms. Comstock’s full article here…