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News Analysis: 'Greedy businesses' and the 'living wage': popular policies, disputed outcomes

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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 22, 2012 7:49 a.m.

    To "SLMG" unfortunately the number of kids who are working to help with family finances is not the majority of kids, but is a minority of teens that work.

    You claim that "No company has been negatively impacted by paying a 'living wage' and treating there employees fairly." But you are wrong, see "Thousands Lose Jobs Due to Higher Federal Minimum Wage" at Reuters. Companies have, and will lay off people. From the San Jose Insider "San Jose Minimum Wage: Voters, Not City Council Should Make the Decision"

    Apparently it has hurt businesses and communities by raising minimum wage up to what a government official thinks is "fair".

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    May 21, 2012 8:41 p.m.

    People, "greedy" Utah busines is what creates the jobs. If you have ever owned a small business you would know that there is far more at stake here then minimum wages. Your jobs are at stake. A business must show a profit in order for the owners, you know they people who have the most invested, to stay afloat and pay their bills, taxes and insurances. It takes an average of 7 years for a business to make a profit, during that time the owners usually just scrape by. If you don't want to just make minimum wage, come up with a great idea and struggle to make a business out of it, or get great grades, scholarships a useable education and invest in yourself. Specialise in something, doctor, dentist, etc... This is America, we still have a few rights and a capitalistic society. Instead of expecting someone elses investment to hand you a minimum wage, with benifits and profit sharing; make yourself worth a higher wage!!!

  • SLMG Murtoa Australia, Victoria
    May 21, 2012 7:45 p.m.

    RedShirt

    USS Enterprise, UT

    There are some problems with setting a "living wage". You have industries that use a lot of teenage labor. How do you determine what a "living wage" is for a kid who has food and shelter provided by their parents.

    I worry how this idea will be carried out, and its potential impact on businesses.

    A lot of that teen labor you talk about is not having their "food and shelter costs provided by their parents," these teenagers are working to help provide that same food and shelter for themselves and their families because no one in the family has wages high enough to cover the full cost of the household.

    No company has been negatively impacted by paying a "living wage" and treating there employees fairly. A company going broke is because of the way it being run and the top people syphoning off huge profits.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 21, 2012 12:14 p.m.

    There are some problems with setting a "living wage". You have industries that use a lot of teenage labor. How do you determine what a "living wage" is for a kid who has food and shelter provided by their parents.

    I worry how this idea will be carried out, and its potential impact on businesses.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 21, 2012 11:31 a.m.

    Re: UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    "I fail to see any way conservatives will ever support a "living wage" push of any kind."

    I earn a "living wage" and I recommend it for everyone. It is unfortunate that we have such a high unemployment rate under our current tax and spend president. Hopefully that will change when Obama is fired in November.

  • P Central, Utah
    May 20, 2012 11:04 p.m.

    "KDave

    Moab, UT

    Minimum wage laws are like a dog chasing its tail. Raise the minimum and everybody demands more. So the prices to consumers rise and we are right back where we started"

    The other groups often forgotten in the minimum wage discussion are those retired on a fixed income as well as those who are out of work.

  • GuitarMan1975 Draper, UT
    May 20, 2012 3:47 p.m.

    I think Anne's point is to say that if businesses will bear more wage responsibility we can tax less. It isn't very Capitalist, but then again my pole of the average American's understanding what Capitalism really is around 5% being able to provide a cohesive definition that includes ethics, which is the crux of true Capitalism.

    Our country is sadly incapable of being Capitalist at this time. Our government is over-regulating, businesses are misbehaving, and most importantly, consumers are grossly uneducated and irresponsible about how the use their money. Were we to focus on the consumer, teach them how to use their money to change the markets, their votes to elect someone besides the lesser of two evils, and how to negotiate with an employer for a decent amount of money without the help of a union, we could actually begin to engage in a solidly Capitalist economy again.

    Until then, solutions like living wage are the best options we have to keep the ship from sinking.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    May 20, 2012 3:27 p.m.

    Brigham Young stated it best when describing the industrial revolution of his day something to the effect of: "the ways of the world (capitalism included) tend to exalt a few to unfathomable wealth, while sinking the masses in poverty and degradation."

    I think even he would acknowledge that this inequality gap is even more exasperated now than it was in his day, that the Gilded Age now is even more destructive, greed-driven, and unrelenting than the first one was. Also look at the response to Wall Street greed at the start of the Great Depression versus the response to the same after the financial collapse of 2008. We are not only not taking measures to reduce wealth inequality, but are enacting policies (both public and private) that amplify even further this inequality. There is no end to this greed in sight.

  • Aunt Sue SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    May 20, 2012 2:44 p.m.

    Why have businesses forgotten the lessons of Henry Ford? He wanted his workers to be able to buy the cars they were making. He paid his factory workers 4 X the going rate for factory workers, and with health benefits. The other factory owners were furious! But it worked. His employees were loyal, and worked hard. Their children could stay in school, instead of working to help out their families. They were able to rise out of poverty with higher wages and more education. AND they bought his cars, greatly increasing his customer base.
    Teens would also earn the higher wages, they work hard too. Then maybe they could save for college, instead of taking out ruinous loans. Health insurance should also be required. The Fewer taxes would be needed to support the working poor.
    There is plenty of money when CEO's and upper management are taking home kingly salaries and incredible bonuses, and the companies have millions to bribe our government ( yeah those campaign contributions would be called bribes in any other country! )
    Yes, I am a conservative Republican teacher with a graduate degree, who believes that all people deserve respect for their work.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 20, 2012 11:04 a.m.

    I fail to see any way conservatives will ever support a "living wage" push of any kind. In the spirit of true capitalism, the mantra is if you were worth more, you would be paid more. And since we now live in a world that is becoming ever more flat, and we compete with people not next door, but around the world, replacing local "talent" at a lower wage is ever more affordable and available.

    As a liberal-conservative, or conservative-liberal depending on who you talk to, I don't see anyway this problem will ever go away. We just had a meeting recently at work about how the company wants to structure our pay on a bell curve. As such, there will always be those who are winners, and those who are losers, it is how the math works. American capitalism relies on cheap labour. From the digging of the first canals, to the imported labour that built our railroads, to now the immigrant labour that picks and prepares our food, our system depends on a strong and deep lower class - those who struggle to feed their families.

    Ann, you can't have it both ways.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    May 20, 2012 7:54 a.m.

    Minimum wage is just a number, being smart with money is what we need. Live within your means has proven to have far better impact in people's lives than minimum wage will ever

  • KDave Moab, UT
    May 20, 2012 6:46 a.m.

    Minimum wage laws are like a dog chasing its tail. Raise the minimum and everybody demands more. So the prices to consumers rise and we are right back where we started.

  • AmPatriot Taylorsville, UT
    May 20, 2012 4:33 a.m.

    This article is putting some light on why the US economy is in full blown failure that even the government will become a victim of this greedy and class warfare.

    Business and cities are collaborating on the grounds that labor can be held in check from prosperity and the american dream of independence by keeping labor wages so low they are indentured servants with high debts. If they lose their jobs they lose their lives and livelihood and get jail time for not paying their utility bills. There really isn't any collaborating because the upper level business owners "are" the rulers and "own" the government by proxy, re-election donations. Business in Utah are so fat that they can donate a $1,000,000 and it can make them billions on govt perks and write offs to keep them here.

    We in Utah not only have hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals on upper class freebies, business are getting million dollar welfare to keep oppressed underpaid and impoverished Americans in slavery.

    My idea of economic growth is to force business and worker "profit sharing laws" adjusting wages and benefits of workers by the success of business.