Letters: Raise minimum wage — it is not sufficient for rising cost of living


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  • the truth Holladay, UT
    April 4, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    I am not stating that minmiun wage caused inflation directly,

    but money for increased wages MUST come from somewhere,

    apprently the left and liberals believe it just comes out thin air.

    Either by loss of minimum wage jobs or the cost for goods and services must go up.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    April 4, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    One concept that seems to be missing from the discussion is whether or not the minimum wage is actually a "living" wage. The basic concept is that the minimum wage is a set-point for employers which specifies the minimum wage that must be paid. No where can I find in any legislation that this has to be a living wage. These are typically jobs where someone passes through to learn skills and experience on their way to something else. By continuing to raise the wage limit, you defeat the purpose of a minimum wage job. It seems that many confuse a minimum wage job with a career. Don't get wrong, these are important jobs in out society. However, we need to keep perspective as to the original intent of these laws.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 4, 2013 9:58 a.m.

    To "atl134" like so many other liberals, you don't understand economics.

    Lets say you run a retail store. You want to maintain your current profit margin. Your employees cost you $10,000 per month, and all are paid minimum wage. So, if you raise minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 per hour you now have 2 choices. You can either cut back worker hours to maintain prices or you raise prices to cover the extra $2400 per month that the same labor now is going to cost you.

    What are you going to do? Your labor costs have gone up by 24% with no increased volume of sales. You need to maintain a profit so that the banks will loan you money when you need it.

    Now that you and all other businesses in similar circumstances have had to do the same thing, what happens to all of your retail goods, including food and clothing? What about the farmers that rely on cheap minimum wage labor?

    Here is the interesting thing about your ilk. You complain that US jobs are being lost to nations with cheaper labor while pushing policies to make US labor more expensive. Why?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 4, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    @the truth
    "If you raise the minimum wage,
    then the cost of everything else gets raised.
    The cost of living goes up.
    And subsequently you are relatively still in the the same situation,"

    Not true, and I'll explain. Let's say mean income is $16 an hour (it's higher) and minimum wage is $8 an hour. Let's say 10% make minimum wage and they see a 10% increase in minimum wage. The increase in labor costs is 10% of people getting a 10% raise on income that's only half the median, (.1 * .1) /2 = a .5% increase in labor costs.

    It's balanced out by price increases. Okay... but those impact everyone, not just the poor. Pretending everyone spends the same amount (which is false, the wealthier buy more stuff than the poor but let's just assume that) that means the 10% of people making minimum wage see a 10% wage increase and a .5% price increase. So they're not in the same position at all.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 4, 2013 7:34 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" you are completely wrong. Look at North Dakota. Free Market capitalism is working very well there. The minimum that people are being paid in some areas is double the national minimum wage.

    What you are seeing is the effects of liberal fascism. The attempt by liberals to control businesses through legislative action. Liberal fascism does not work, and that has been proven time and time again.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 4, 2013 6:56 a.m.

    LDS? Lib,
    either show us that the deficit is cut in half like BO promised, and that he took NO lobbyists into his administration like BO promised, or that people can actually KEEP their health care plans like BO promised, or that the costs for families are DECREASING $2500 per year, like BO promised,

    or admit that BO is one of the biggest liars on the planet.

    your call.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    April 4, 2013 6:19 a.m.

    Terrible idea! Certainly not a "one size fits all" concept.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 3, 2013 9:51 p.m.

    Face it --

    Uber-Conservatives will not be satisfied until America is the Western Hemisphere's version of Somalia.

    [Lower taxes, no minimum wage, no healthcare, radial religous extremeists, No Social Secutiy, no education, no police or fire department, less/no government, every openly packing assault weapons on the streets, dog eat dog, law of the jungle, only the strong survive, every man for himself, ect.]

    Don't raise minimum wage.

    And Stop complaining that the working poor are still qualify for Food Stamps and getting low housing assistance -- while their companies who are making ever more and more higher profits, are being indirectly being subsidized by the ever growing larger Socialistic Government!

    Your call.

    Free Market Capitalism isn't working.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 3, 2013 8:43 p.m.

    @Eric- I agree with you that raising the minimum wage is not inflationary. Inflation is simply caused by too much money chasing too few goods. When the minimum wage is raised companies operating on small profit margins find ways to eliminate positions that would normally be filled by minimum wage workers. This is why I and other posters pointed out that raising the minimum wage hurts the people it is intended to help.
    My suspicion though is that like many left wing ideas, the point is not to help the people who need it but actually to hurt the "evil rich". It's a shallow, myopic, and sad ideology.
    I think Rush Limbaugh makes a good point when he always says if raising the minimum wage to 10 or 12 dollars is good then why not raise it to 20.00 an hour? How about 30.00 an hour? That should be even better right?
    You didn't actually state a position on whether you favor raising the minimum wage but if you do then what logic do you use for that position? Are free markets incapable of functioning in America circa 2013?

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    April 3, 2013 8:32 p.m.

    Raising the minimum wage will merely send more jobs overseas to our nation's competitors. Like it or not, we are in a global economy. We must compete with foreign wage earners. And foreign wages are extremely low.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    April 3, 2013 7:35 p.m.

    Wow, so interesting. Great letter on raising the minimum wage, and suddenly everyone on the right starts shouting 'cut your hair and get a job, hippie!' Uh, raising the minimum wage isn't inflationary. Lots of studies of the issue.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    April 3, 2013 6:03 p.m.

    If you raise the minimum wage,

    then the cost of everything else gets raised.

    The cost of living goes up.

    And subsequently you are relatively still in the the same situation,

    You have accomplished nothing!

    The true answer is if you need more money then get more skills or training, or get more education, or don't live a life of privilege, live within your means.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    April 3, 2013 4:59 p.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 3, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    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".

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 3, 2013 1:59 p.m.

    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)?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 3, 2013 1:56 p.m.

    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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 3, 2013 1:24 p.m.

    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.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 3, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    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.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 3, 2013 12:37 p.m.

    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.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    April 3, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    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?

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    April 3, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    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.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    April 3, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    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.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 3, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    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?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 3, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    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.

  • Ford DeTreese Provo, UT
    April 3, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    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?

  • KDave Moab, UT
    April 3, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    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.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    April 3, 2013 7:49 a.m.

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

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 3, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    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.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    April 3, 2013 7:18 a.m.

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

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 3, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    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.

  • DougS Oakley, UT
    April 3, 2013 6:41 a.m.

    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?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 3, 2013 12:28 a.m.

    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.