Comments about ‘Letters: Raise minimum wage — it is not sufficient for rising cost of living’

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Published: Wednesday, April 3 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

To equal the purchasing power it had in the 1960's, the minimum wage would have to rise to $10.50 and hour. Since then, per-capita GDP has doubled, which means our country is twice as wealthy as it was back then. Saying we can't afford it is simply untrue.

If the minimum wage had kept up with the rise in executive pay, it would be $22.00 an hour today.

Oakley, UT

Minimum wage laws have prevented teens from summer employment, minimum wage law doesn't guarantee a job for anyone, Minimum wage laws have resulted in inflationary prices for all goods and services so they are basically a "feel good" measure that has little or no value in a free society.

As a teen in the 40's, I worked for 0.25 per hour - I gained skills and experience that I used to ask for 1.00 per hour later, and got it. With minimum wage, who will hire a novice?

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

you mean the kids who skip school and mock those who study and apply themselves should be guaranteed a living wage?

the disconnected and drop-outs, partiers, druggies, stoners, and malcontents should live in just as much comfort and affluence as those who worked hard and applied themselves in school?

what you sow, even so shall ye reap.

Dietrich, ID

Prices rise too. Skills and education keep your wages up not government.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Just how much are you willing to pay for a hamburger? For a gallon of milk? For a gallon of gas or for anything else that requires a human being to provide the goods or service?

If minimum wage goes up, so do prices. Those getting the lowest wages will be hurt most. They will be paid a little more but they will pay a lot more for their most basic needs.

Believe it or not, that "rich businessman" who is hoarding all the money (if we are to believe the rhetoric of the liberals) is your next door neighbor who owns a small business. Is he "rich"? Does he have "millions" stashed away somewhere? Does he play golf everyday and vacation or does he WORK? If his costs go up, his prices will go up.

A smart businessman knows how valuable a good employee is. That employee will be paid full value for the value that is rendered to the business. Demanding that the employer overpay his worker will not work.

If you need a higher wage, be worth more to your employer.

Joan Watson

Notice when the minimum wage is raised - the cost of living expenses increases? it seems the low income earner has a forever tough time.

Moab, UT

When the min. wage is raised 2 dollars everybody that works gets a 2 dollar raise (eventually). Some union workers that have their wages tied to the min. wage receive a 6 dollar raise.This money comes from higher costs of everything. Who gains? the Govt. in higher taxes both income and sales tax. Who loses? the 47% of poverty level folks that do not work for various reasons. For everyone else it is neutral, except we have just devalued any money we have in savings and retirement accounts.

Ford DeTreese
Provo, UT

The real point behind all the rhetoric is that in our economy those who create the wealth do not receive a proportionate share of it. Yes, investors take certain risks, but who actually creates profit? The CEO? Right. Then why has so much wealth been funneled to the top in our economy, while jobs get shipped overseas, increasingly productive workers do not share in the gains their productivity creates, and the average worker is worse off today in relative terms than in 1980 when the supply-side, trickle-down carnival came to town?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

More of that trickle down economics nonsense from the right? How many more times does that need to be disproven?

Since when have jobs been lost because min wage has increased? I need an actual peer reviewed study, not am radio hot gas. Am radio talking heads were the same folks who claimed WMDs were in Iraq and that the bush tax cuts were gonna help our economy. Both claims have been proven false.

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

So if you factor in the earned income tax credit for the few people who are actually working full time at minimum wage then what does that work out to per hour?
It's really sad that Democrats always frame raising the minimum wage as an emotional issue but when you look at the cold hard facts raising the minimum wage always hurts those that it allegedly intends to help. Does the writer have any idea what the unemployment rate for black teens is (or white teens for that matter) and how that correlates with the minimum wage?
I agree with Doug S- why price unskilled teens out of the labor force? How are they supposed to learn work ethic and the pride of earning money of their own if they are priced out of the labor market? Unpaid internships?
How does a person ever get work experience if they can't enter the world of work because the value they bring to an employer is less than what the employer is required to pay them?

J Thompson

There is a "disconnect" between those who think that workers are underpaid and those who pay those workers. Those who "work" think that they are the producers of profit. If they are, why are they working for someone else? Why aren't they using their "enormous" profit making potential to enrich themselves, using their own money, taking their own risks, and benefiting from their own effort?

The simple answer is that they've been fed a line about how much they are worth. America has become a nation of underskilled, overpaid bellyachers. How many industrial workers can design the part that they push a button to make? How many can program the CNC machines that do the work? How many have bought even one share of risk in the company that they work for?

The answer is that fewer workers are needed because it is not cost effective to hire people who produce less and who demand more.

Money makes money. Businesses buy equipment that outproduce manual labor. That equipment is expensive - but it doesn't complain. It doesn't call in sick. It doesn't go on strike.

Workers have bellyached themselves out of a job.


You should not be livig on minimum wage. Min wage jobs are a gateway. If you are trying to earn for a family on min wage work your way up or get another strategy. Min wage jobs are NOT ment to be living wage jobs. You should only have one for a few short years early in life when you have ZERO skills.

Salt Lake City, UT

The logic of those who argue against raising the minimum wage leads to the conclusion that there should be no minimum wage at all, kind of like it was in the 19th and early 20th centuries. So take a look at history. What were conditions like for workers when there was no minimum wage, and robber barons were accumulating enormous wealth by exploiting workers who did not have the entrepreneurial or other skills to start their own businesses. Is that what you want to go back to? Might as well repeal the child labor laws too, so the free market can operate unfettered. I have no doubt similar arguments were made back when these laws were first considered. They strike me as cruel, heartless, greedy, short-sighted, and ultimately wrong. By paying a decent, living wage, employers benefit society by establishing a stable middle class of people who can actually purchase the products and services they produce, which ultimately provides the very profits the employers seek. Eliminate the minimum wage, and poverty and crime will increase, along with the need to fund welfare and prison programs. Employers, which would you prefer?

Deep Space 9, Ut

I think that most of the conservatives missed the key line in this letter. He said " I say let's raise the minimum wage and protect the workforce who can't protect themselves." Why is it that those people can't protect themselves? Is it because they don't know how to budget and make the most of their earnings? Is it because they have been taught that they can't make it on their own?

To be honest, this letter is just a justification for more government control and uses the excuse of caring for the poor. The problem is that they are not caring for them, but are making them more dependant.

To "Byron Noel" if you want to raise the minimum wages, create the demand for labor. Look at North Dakota. Labor is in such high demand that Warmart is paying at least $16/hr, despite minimum wage being $7.25/hr. The best thing you can do to raise wages is to get everybody working.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

I'd much rather have trickle down economics than BO's trickle-up poverty!

the bush tax cuts kept unemployments rates below 6% until the barney-frank induced housing bubble collapsed - nothing could survive that.

BTW, does slick willy's 49% victory in 1996 constitute a majority yet? Nope, I didn't think so - seems you have a history of misunderstanding facts.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I quote Ronald Reagan --

"A rising tide lifts all ships."

Modern Republicans love Ronald Reagan,
but hate everything he stood for.

raising the minimum wage,
gun control,
raising taxes,
amnesty for illegal immigratns,
raising the debt,
increased Federal size and spending,

BTW - I voted for Reagan, twice.
I haven't change or moved an inch in 35 years -- but, the AM radio driven, far-right-wing, Tea-Party contolled Republicans have.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "LDS Liberal" yes, and a sinking ship helps nobody.

Artificially raising minimum wage through legislation has the same effect on the economy as drilling holes in the bottom of boats.

The fascist policies that you want to promote will ultimately fail, and you will blame others for your mistakes.

Again, look at North Dakota for what happens when the free market determines wages. Walmart employees earn at least $16/hr there.

Salt Lake City, UT

So we should be able to have people work for dirt poor wages, then when people are working those jobs (because someone has to do the crappy lousy paying jobs) we condemn them for needing things like food stamps and for having incomes so low that they end up not paying any income tax (despite their still paying sales tax, payroll tax, etc)?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Isn't it wonderful when people still blame Reagan for today's problems. They wring their hands and tell us just how badly minimum wage earners are hurting. Why don't they do something about it? Why don't they go to their employer and ask him to cut their wages so that he can pay others more? Why don't they risk their money and start a business and then pay everyone a "liveable" wage? They'll never do that. They're too comfortable passing blame and pointing fingers. They don't seem to realize that for their beloved "transfer the wealth" programs that they have to have their wealth transferred to someone else. They don't seem to realize that they, just like you and me, are the taxpayers and that they, just like you and me, are Obama's target when he demands that the "rich guy" work harder so that the poor guy can get more government handouts.

If you want to be well paid, EARN the money by doing something that has value. Start a business. Take a risk. Otherwise, you can just moan and groan about Reagan and his "rich friends".

Cardston, Alberta

Minimum wage laws are truly over-rated. They are best suited for the very young and for those who are hoping to move on to something better as soon as possible..nowhere to hang around for any length of time. Comments about higher prices for a hamburger, a gallon of gas etc. etc. are bang on the money. I am not in business for my health. All the EXTRA work and worry which accompanies being a business owner is no walk in the(sunny) park. My family has to live too. Mortgage, car payments, utilities, groceries, and the list goes on. I ALWAYS pay above the minimum for adults as performance warrants. I fully understand that staff turn-over needs to be kept to a minimum.

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