By Michael Wynn Song, Chair
Here’s wishing all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. As the incoming Chair I will work with the Board of Directors and the CEO to accomplish the goals we set at our planning session last year. The Oxnard Chamber will continue to work tirelessly to protect our business climate and ensure our continued economic prosperity, to strengthen our leadership program and to enhance the quality of life for all in our wonderful city. We hope our local representatives will follow our suggestions for promoting legislation that focuses on the issues most critical to achieving those goals.
With the signature count complete a council recall is now slated for this spring, the saga of the current Oxnard City Council member recall and a district-based election drama continues. The Chamber has voiced our position on the recall and now we’ll have to wait and see how things pan out. Regardless of the outcome we will continue to work with the City Council and local leadership to enhance the business climate
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the record-high stock market surges that have many investors cheering the corporate tax cut. Hopefully those tax cuts can also boost California worker’s wages to not only attract the best and brightest workers, but retain those workers in an ever-challenging California business climate. With the demise of pensions we need good wages and benefits to keep good workers. As part of Hyundai Glovis management, I am proud to say that we continue to evaluate and adjust our employees wages upward and provide good benefits such as dental, medical and vision insurance and a 401(k) plan with matching funds.
Stock market surges and corporate profits are good for business. Unemployment is going down but unless it equates to a better standard of living workers can’t be happy. California needs to prepare the workforce of tomorrow.
I don't mean to sound facetious but it's a safe bet to say that of the 55 million Americans that purportedly have a 401(k), not many are complaining about the stock market surges this past year. Nonetheless, healthy inequality is an issue; those who own equities and real assets get richer but most ordinary folks struggle to stay ahead. While the affluent are making boatloads of money, on the opposite end of the spectrum it's a totally different story. People don't mind falling behind when everybody else does. To give an extreme point of view, I don't know how many of the baby boomers are 401(k) participants but purportedly, less than half save less than $100K by retirement. To make an extreme point, this past year the average return on a million dollar 401(k) is about $170K. The percentage is the same but the baby boomer's return on his $100K 401(k) is $17K. The millionaire can support his family and live comfortably for well over a year on his plentiful return while the baby boomer can't even buy a Hyundai Sonata. Being proactive in your efforts to improve the standard of living for our workforce will ultimately help the Oxnard business community to prosper and grow.