Letters: CEOs should pay for their employee food stamps, Medicaid


Return To Article
  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    @ Dr. Thom: It has only been in the last several years that businesses have focused on providing a profit for shareholders. A minimal amount of research into the economic history of this country will show that.

    At the time of the Founding of this Country, the purpose of a business was to serve the community. And corporations were viewed with a great deal of distrust.

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Sept. 1, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    Supply and Demand

    The harvest season of 1894 in Utah County was a great one for wheat, so much so that many who relied on wheat as a cash crop could not sell what they harvested at any price. The potato crop was dismal so prices were high. The following year many farmers sought to capitalize on that situation and planted potatoes instead. That fall there were thousands of bushels of potatoes they could not sell, but a lack of spring rain had killed most of the wheat so there was a severe flour shortage. One enterprising man built a potato shredder and refined his crop, and those of his neighbors, into potato starch which they sold as a flour substitute.

    If Walmart does not have to compete with wages because there is an abundance of low skill workers, don't blame Walmart. Figure out where the shortage is and refine your skillset to fit and start a business. Tell the SLC Chamber we have a good supply of low skill workers and don't need to import more. And tell the government to quit making it more profitable to refuse work than to take the entry level.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Sept. 1, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    I think capitalism can be a good thing. But it sometimes up to capitalists to engage in responsible capitalism. What is responsible capitalism? Well, that's treating your employees with respect (and this goes beyond wage). It is giving a better wage when you have the power to do so? It is providing good service and good products at a decent prize. All of this doesn't mean you can't make a profit as a business. But if those who espouse capitalism as the best system as they grow weary of its critics, maybe some things can be done better and more responsibly. The fact that a building collapsed in Bangladesh killing over 1000 people while they were making textiles for pennies on the dollar for companies that do business in America, including Wal-Mart, should concern us all. Does this make capitalism look good? We saw in our own society some of the problems with laissez-faire capitalism and now we see those problems in third world countries. Again, I think many of our big corporations can do better and STILL make PROFITS. Capitalism's own survival comes from meeting this challenges.

  • Dr. Thom Long Beach, CA
    Sept. 1, 2013 12:03 p.m.


    Business are not founded on the concept that the purpose of being in or starting a business is to provide a real wage for their employees, but is to operate that business while minimizing operational costs which includes holding down wages and other expenses. In short the point of any business is maximizing profits for its shareholders.

    CEO are paid more since they unlike most employees have a contract that states their base compensation and any stock options. If the stock goes up, they get more money, but if the stock goes down, then not so much.

    When a friend sold the business he stared in his home for $20 million, he didn't divide that amount by the number of employees and call it a day, he gave bonuses based on length of service, and kept the remaining $19 million for himself.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 1, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    "Isn't this so typical of those who would tell us that money is not ours to spend as we see fit, but that money belongs to the government and the government will decide who gets money from " some rich guy"?"

    Richards, could you provide the quote from anyone on this thread that has said this, or anyone in any position of influence in the US of A that has said this. You can't, can you? You are just making things up.

    "you don't have the right to tell that store what to pay its employees or how to run its business."

    Of course society has a right to tell a store how to run its business. Businesses have to follow certain codes and regulations. Society has every right, and the responsibility, to dictate the terms of how a business can function in a community, including issues of employee compensation. Indeed, even what employees they can hire (for instance laws against child labor).

    What is it with you guys that think businesses and business owners should be able to function with no oversight by the community? That some how they are a law unto themselves.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 1, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    Why is it that people will complain about the money CEOs make when at the same time they will attend athletic events where the participants are paid millions, go to music concerts where the artists are paid millions and go to movies in which the actors are paid millions. And some of the money that these celebrities are paid would dwarf what a CEO makes. It seems like as long as we are being entertained we have no problem with the 1 percent and their incomes as long as it is not CEO’s and corporations. Look at all the money we could have available for the poor and sick if we could cap celebrity earnings.

  • Way of the Warrior ARLINGTON, WA
    Sept. 1, 2013 12:01 a.m.

    I've got a new slogan: "Taxpayers of the Country UNITE!" Oh wait...

  • Jory payson, utah
    Aug. 31, 2013 9:17 p.m.

    Here is the thing. Why don't you guys who are complaining that the job creators not creating any jobs, why don't you put your money where your mouth is and start your own business. Then you can pay the people you employ whatever you want.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 6:11 p.m.

    Re: "Isn't this so typical of those who would tell us that money is not ours to spend as we see fit ..."

    If the money we earn is ours to spend as we see fit, then why isn't gambling, for example, legal in all states? Aren't the legislators in those states where gambling is prohibited, such as Utah, telling us that they know better than we do how to spend our money? Aren't they telling us that our money is not really ours to spend as we see fit, that unlike people in other states, we're not grown up enough to decide how to spend it ourselves?

    But let me guess, it's all right if a state prohibits its citizens from spending their money on gambling, because gambling, unless it's done on the stock, options, or commodities markets, is wrong - well, except in those states where it's allowed, and therefore isn't wrong - and prohibiting it is "for our own good."

    So gambling's wrong, and the government should prohibit it.

    But for some odd reason, paying employees "hunger wages" isn't wrong, so the government should do nothing about it.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 5:20 p.m.

    @ Truthseeker:

    Cutting the Corporate Tax is still a good idea imo but, if that does not level the playing field, a healthy import duty for goods originating countries paying smaller salaries, such as you mentioned, would do it.

    The United States for a great many years paid its bills largely with import duties, they did not tax the incomes of the people before 1913.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 5:11 p.m.

    Joseph Smith ran for President of the United States.

    His platform:

    Higher import tariffs.
    Sell public lands, and buy the slaves their freedom.
    Women and Blacks get the vote.
    Universal Healthcare.
    A Social Security program of sorts.
    A cut of Congressional pay by 75%.
    A progressive tax.
    A National Bank.
    A stronger Federal Government.


    a better redistribution of the wealth.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 31, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    Isn't this so typical of those who would tell us that money is not ours to spend as we see fit, but that money belongs to the government and the government will decide who gets money from " some rich guy"?

    If you don''t like the way that McDonallds or Wal-Mart operates, then don't shop there. You have the right to choose the store, but you don't have the right to tell that store what to pay its employees or how to run its business.

    If you want the government to enter your home and tell YOU how to spend your money, then you know nothing about being a citizen living in the United States. YOU have a responsibility. YOU can decide where to spend YOUR money but YOU cannot dictate to others how they spend their money.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    I'm sorry, but reality check;
    Nobody [CEOs] is worth $60,000 an hour.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    Consumers have real power they rarely use. Folks who bemoan how much CEOs make or how little companies pay their workers and ask someone else (the government or the companies themselves) to do something about it will see little change and remain powerless (and frankly, many people would prefer to complain rather than do anything about it).

    K-Mart used to be bigger than Walmart. It didn't shrink because of anything the government did. It withered because most people stopped shopping there.

    If you feel strongly about a cause, share your passion with others and encourage them to vote with their patronage. If people really care about CEO pay, they can not only impact that but they can get CEOs fired. Companies dump CEOs when they loose market share.

    As long as revenues and profits continue to rise, companies are not likely to make any changes in their business practices. Consumers, banded together, can make changes to company policy, letters to the editor cannot.

  • Lilly Munster netherlands, 00
    Aug. 31, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    WallMart, Halliburton, Bain Capital. How can any honest citizen find justice, equality or a living wage when these Vulture Capitalists OWN the most lobbyists, and OWN the most Politicians? What would it take to return power and opportunity to the working class?

  • David Centerville, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    Dane, it isn't "fraud" when a corporation pays it CEO, regardless of the amount or the increase. It also isn't fraud that a corporation pays its employees, even if their pay is very little.

    Rather, I think you mean to say "poor management" and "poor decision making". But not fraud.

    Rather than suggesting that corporations pay for food stamps or other government entitlement programs, why don't you stop buying things at McDonalds and Walmart? I am sure if enough people showed their displeasure in these huge, grossly overpaid salaries to CEOs by not purchasing things from such businesses, that there will be a greater and more immediate impact and change.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 31, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    " A better solution would be to decrease our American corporate tax, currently the highest in the world, so we could compete with Chinese manufactures and bring industry home."

    The U.S. has higher statutory tax rates, but lower "effective" tax rates than many countries.

    The U.S. corporate tax burden is smaller than average for developed countries. Corporations in 19 of the member states of the OECD paid 16.1% of their profits in taxes between 2000 and 2005, on average, while corporations in the U.S. paid 13.4%.

    The U.S. tax code offers so many deductions, credits, and other mechanisms by which corporations can reduce their taxes, the actual percentage of profits that U.S. corporations pay in taxes or what analysts refer to as their effective tax rate is not high, compared to other developed countries.

    Manufacturing jobs are in China (India and other countries) due to wage rates (less than $2.00/hr) NOT corporate tax rates.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 2:46 p.m.

    Problem is, we, the people, don’t have any control over the people who decide who pays taxes.

    If we, the people, can get control of our government by clearing away the obstacles of our voting and removing the effect of business, we may be able to improve our status and happiness.

    A better plan would be for the government to hire all who wanted a job and at a rate that makes the American dream possible. The cost of the program to be paid for not by the CEOs but by a flat rate on all of business operations.

    Business would have the choice to pay the tax or hire the people at a rate greater than the government pay. Either way we would have full employment and a booming economy.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    The LDS Church had a great idea: to develop our own co-operative industrial system in the then "State of Deseret". I wish that had worked out but too many chose to go outside the system to buy products either more prestigious or of a cheaper quality. One day I expect to see that system of home manufactures given another try.

    Similarly we are concerned about how WalMart treats its employees and the apparent fact that it could afford to pay them substantially more. Nevertheless we are forgetting, it seems, that Walmart is the biggest retailer of "Made in China" goods in the country. A better solution would be to decrease our American corporate tax, currently the highest in the world, so we could compete with Chinese manufactures and bring industry home. We could, in this and other ways, "level the playing field" so that home productions could thrive. Paul, and I believe Romney, would or might have encouraged such a policy, though I think Romney's general economic policy lacked sufficient specifics.

    Then again Americans could, if they really wanted, begin by buying "Made in America" where there is still an American product to be had.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    On the topic of recent college grads having a high degree of unemployment, the new reality is that grads not finding a job in their field are offered internships that give both employee and employer a look at a prospective career/prospective employee. This seems a great option for both sides, but here again things went astray. The Supreme Court ruled this past term that employers were taking advantage of interns by asking them to do work to benefit the company but without pay. The Court had to set rules to assure that interns were not being taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers who hire unpaid interns instead of full time employees. The government is the only referee that can prevent the abuses this letter and the comments review. The government shouldn't compete with the private sector, but their is no other or better referee for job market abuses.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 31, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    "Walmart employs about 2.1 million people, 2/3 of them in the U.S. Its 2012 revenue was 3x's that of Apple and 15x's that of McDonald's.

    A study in Wisconsin by the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce determined that a typical Walmart store costs taxpayers over $1.7 million/yr, or about $5,815 per employee.

    Four members of the Walmart family made a combined $20 BILLION from their investments last year. Less than half of that would have given every U.S. Walmart worker a $3/hr raise."
    (Paul Buchheit, lead creator of Gmail)

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Not to mention these so called job creators drain the economy more than any person on food stamps does.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    "The bottom line is without a college education to get higher paying jobs people don't have a chance, there are few jobs that pay a decent wage without a degree."

    And yet... The stats show that those who are the highest unemployed are recent college grads. So what's the point of getting yourself thousands in debt when you won't have a job once you graduate?

    Here in America we don't have an education problem. We have a problem with corporations completely gouging the American public. We are being taken to the cleaners. When will we wake up?

    This isn't a R or D issue. But an American worker issue. The time has come. Enough is enough!

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 10:09 a.m.

    Re: "Does anyone understand what 'an entry level job is?'"

    If someone loses his job, people say he should take any job he can get. Often minimum wage jobs are the only jobs available, but if he takes one, then people criticize him for having an entry level job. If he simply must take such lowly work, and it doesn't pay enough for him to live on, then he should get a second and a third job. Then, while working three full-time jobs he should somehow "improve his skill set," so that he can get a higher-paying position.


    "According to a recent survey ... Millenials really are most likely to be employed in service industry jobs. So, all those jokes about post-graduation latte pouring and t-shirt folding haven't been in vain. And while it might be comforting to think of these jobs as necessary way stations on the path to an upwardly mobile future ... there's mounting evidence that the American labor market may never return to its pre-recession composition. The future is already here and it brings with it low-wage temporary or contract work as a way of life."

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    @ Star Bright

    "Does anyone understand what "an entry level job is?""

    I think we all do. However, do you not understand that while these corporations are giving gigantic increases to their CEOs that you are then paying (out of your tax dollars) to give their employees food stamps and health care?

    How does that make any sense? I thought repubs were concerned over how their taxes are spent.

    Lets use some common sense here. Until employees at these corporations are compensated enough to be off food stamps and medicaid, none of these CEOs should be paid. Especially huge bonuses.

    It only makes sense. Think about it.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    May I nominate this for the Letter Of The Year Award?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 9:45 a.m.


    Salt Lake, UT

    The bottom line is without a college education to get higher paying jobs people don't have a chance, there are few jobs that pay a decent wage without a degree.


    Now necessarily.

    1. Many of those WITH college degrees can't even get a "good" job anymore.
    2. There has not been a "good" job market now for over 6 years, so wages have been stagnant to receding.
    3. They are completely with college degrees and 5+ years experience over jobs making barely $15 hour.
    4. Their debt to earning ratios for that piece of paper is no longer a good investment of their time OR money.

    So --
    Why should one go into debt $50,000 to get a job making $5 an hour more than minimum wage?

    If they aren't moving UP - no one else will either.

    Meanwhile --
    GDP appears to go up,
    but the rich (1%) who produce nothing - but collect the earnings of the actual producers are getting richer, and the poor (the 99%) keep getting poorer.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    Good letter. These large corporations are taking advantage of government welfare programs (the taxpayer) to pick up the slack for their Scrooge wages, just so they can turn an ever-increasing, year over year, double-digit profits for their shareholders. Wall street has lost its way. Investors used to be happy with just profitability, now they are only happy with those companies who are exponentially profitable which has led to a decline in real wages and reliance on government welfare programs. They have become the real government moochers.

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    Aug. 31, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    Does anyone understand what "an entry level job is?"

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    @ trekker: Many of those who work minimum wage jobs have a college education. The problem us that "job creators" are not creating jobs. Additionally, many high paying jobs require no college - education is not the answer - decent wages are.

    The fastest growing industries in the US are retail and food service - industries that don't require an education and that we allow to pay low wages.

    In spite of claims to the contrary, it is possible for companies like these to thrive while paying real wages and benefits to their employees - examples of this are businesses like Costco and WinCo.

    Whether or not employees have a college education, taxpayers should not be subsidizing businesses by paying for food, housing, and healthcare for their employees.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 7:31 a.m.

    I think that U.S. government and local governments should stop giving huge corporations(Walmart) tax breaks and incentives if the workers of these corporations are on government assistance. Why should the taxpayers subsidize walmart's profits?

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 4:54 a.m.

    If a business cannot afford to pay the full cost of doing business - which includes paying a real wage to their employees - perhaps they should not be in business.

    If we, as consumers, want the product or service a business is providing, we should be willing to pay the full cost of that product or service.

    Those who do not want that product or service should not have their tax money used to support it - especially if the head of the company and the stockholders are making hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 3:47 a.m.

    The bottom line is without a college education to get higher paying jobs people don't have a chance, there are few jobs that pay a decent wage without a degree. The US is changing, soon there will be no middle class. You will have the poor and the rich. I would like to see money go toward getting those on assistance an education so they can support themselves, kind of like the teach a man to fish story. Otherwise they will be on food stamps welfare for the rest of their lives.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 1:45 a.m.

    Great letter.