Published: Monday, Sept. 2 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
"...$7.25 an hour to $15. President Obama has proposed raising it to $9 an
hour. The president's opponent in his re-election campaign, Mitt Romney,
said he would support having the wage keep pace with inflation. Had we done
that, the wage would now be about $11 an hour."====== Interesting... So, why are the Romney supporters against ANY raise in
the minimum wage.When Romney proposed $2 and hour higher than
This editorial is way off the mark.There is zero evidence to support
the belief that adjusting the minimum wage to give it the same buying power in
real dollars that it did in the 1970's would dramatically raise the price
of a Big Mac or a Whopper. What objective research there is does conclude that
those items might cost an extra 15 to 25 cents with a $10 minimum wage.What is missing from your editorial is any mention of the impact that low
wages are having on the health of our economy. They force more people to rely
on food stamps and other forms of government assistance. Your super-cheap goods
at Walmart are in effect being subsidized by tax dollars. I'd just as soon
pay the extra buck and know that my desire for a low price isn't driving
the working poor even farther into poverty than they already are.I
urge you to Google an August 19th Washington Post Business article, "The
U.S. has a $7.25 minimum wage. Australia’s is $16.88" and read-up on
this subject for yourself.
Overall, I agree. Increasing skills is the way to go. But some have few
options because of intransigent issues. Do we raise wages for them but not the
others? If we give it to all, do we really feel that most not in such a
predicament (the teenagers and such) are really worth $15/hr.?One
point from the article "Congress, which can't seem to agree on any
economic issue, is in no danger of acting on this any time soon." There is
"Those without marketable job skills will always struggle no matter the
minimum wage"! If the opposite were true, it would do no good to obtain an
education, learn any skills, put forth any effort for self improvement or strive
for a better life because those who do not will get the same rewards as those
who do and our society, our economy and our nation would collapse. Can't
produce wealth from the government printing presses forever! Someone has to
produce something of value! N. Korea, Cuba, Somalia, Detroit, et are examples!
Here we go again with the same old, you can't raise the minimum wage or
you'll either wreck the economy or destroy millions of jobs, argument.
Somewhere today you'll see the "well why stop at $15, why not $30, or
$100". Yet over time the minimum wage has been raised either in response to
labor pressure or some other agreement such as inflation, and yes there have
been some individual specific adjustments by particular businesses or
industries, but here we are in 2013 and there are still millions of minimum wage
jobs, and an economy that hasn't been destroyed because a fast food worker
makes $6 an hour. In fact we have an economy that now thrives on most getting
nothing (sort of) and others getting it all (sort of). What an increase in the
minimum wage actually harms is that paradigm, and it actually seems like a good
thing. Conservatives long everything in the good old days except an economy
where the wealth was shared.
Of course those without skills are going to suffer economically. But our economy
needs some unskilled laborers. Someone has to perform those tasks. The [working]
poor will always be with us. We should treat them better than we do.Also, the editorial recognizes that there are economists on both sides of this
issue, yet on its key premise, cites only James Sherk of the Heritage
Foundation.There probably are better ways to help the working poor.
Let's carefully explore them. But until we figure that out, let's pay
our unskilled workers a little better.
If we double the minimum wage, in reality we just cut the value of the dollar in
half. We would need twice as many dollars to buy everything from a hamburger to
a gallon of gas.
The middle class jobs of the 1940's, 50's, 60's, 70's etc.
were not high skilled jobs. They were routine jobs that paid enough for one
average high school educated man to earn enough to buy a house, and support a
family on one income alone. They paid that much because our political and
business leaders had determined that having the U.S. be a middle-class nation
was the best way to avoid the fates of Germany, Italy, Russia, China, etc.
People who are economically desperate will follow any demagogue who offers them
a better life. Prosperous middle class people will support their moderate
democratic government.We are losing our middle class which puts us
at risk for all of those dangers that the post war generation of leaders tried
so hard to avoid.
What did we read in the news the other day? Unemployment among teenagers is
about 75% in America, an all time record high! And some of you can't figure
out why? Well, let me help you. Minimum wage jobs are for entry level people
will no demonstrable job skills, like teenagers and every time the minimum wages
are forced up, the unemployment numbers for teenagers goes right up with it!
Duhhh! Where will your teenager get any work experience?
Actually it is by doubling the money supply that we cut the dollar in half. an
increase of $2 in the minimum wage would not double the amount of money in
circulation, but would likely raise it by a more modest amount.Then
there are possible unintended consequences: people who cheerfully thought they
were at least getting a couple of dollars an hour in excess of the minimum wage,
suddenly find out they are minimum wage employees. Then they think they had
better get a raise or go elsewhere for work. Wages would go up in other jobs
then, and that raises inflation another notch.I find it hard to
either support or oppose a national minimum wage. It is a pity that any
full-time working person is living at or below the poverty line, not having
enough to support his family. At the same time there is some inflationary
effect which hurts everyone not on minimum wage. Then again minimum wage may be
sufficient for people in some regions, more than sufficient in other parts, and
inadequate in areas with a high cost of living which then leads to a higher
Yet there are other inflationary forces at work that are not so readily
regarded.While we need a certain number of accountants, teachers etc
whose productivity does not directly create any material product, any superflous
job, any extraneous employee, any topheavy administration, unproductive or
counter-productive worker does have an inflationary effect on the economy.
Whether it's idle hands in a factory or a superflous bureaucrat (a certain
number are of course necessary), a mishievous lawyer, or any other category of
economic superfluity or hindrance. We must produce profitably and have a basic
minimum of support personnel. The wages and salaries of superflous persons
produce extra wages but no valuable contribution is made to the economy. Anticipating a possible argument that the retired are in the category of
"superflous" we must always remember, and retain in remembrance, that on
retirement they receive back their own, with interest to protect the value of
their contribution, through employer and government programs, that they might
otherwise have received in higher wages in their working lives.
Yes DMN, and the "poor will always be with you"... Was that a prophecy
or an indictment? The minimum wage is not in line with todays costs. And, the
economic mobility that used to he a hallmark of the American economy is almost a
fond memory. So, what do we do DMN, let them eat cake?
"government-imposed wage levels lead to unintended consequences."Are you saying that the government-imposed $7.25 minimum wage leads to
unintended consequences, or that a government-imposed $9.00 minimum wage would
lead to unintended consequences? What consequences? And how do they differ? Or
are you implying that allowing the market to dictate wages would lead to
intended consequences? Intended by whom? By those who already rake in the
lion's share of the wealth?"Either the price of fast food
would rise substantially, or restaurants would find ways to cut costs through
automation or other means."But fast food prices have risen
substantially while the minimum wage has remained constant. Perhaps those
"other means" might include not paying CEOs far more than they are
worth. McDonald's, for instance, just tripled the pay of its CEO in spite
of falling sales. But they can't afford to pay their workers an extra buck
an hour? Or two? Right.And telling low-skill workers to get a better
education and improve their marketability is disingenuous. There aren't
enough high-skill, high-paying jobs to go around. But there are quite a few
low-skill, low-paying jobs.
It seems like the local police always side with the business operators when
there is a conflict with people, especially workers. Could it be that local
police are predisposed to favor the people who control their pay. The really big falsehood in this case is that there is such a thing as a free
market in employment by business operations. A market that is ripe with
obstacles to fair competition such as skills that can only be gained by the
rules of businessmen, and a population of workers beyond the territory of the
business operation cannot be called a free market.Further, even the
voices of business operations say that a person on welfare has greater wages and
benefits than the current minimum wage. Why should a person take a lower pay
when a greater pay is available.
Yawn.More of the promoting of the same myths about min wage despite
being debunked time after time after time.Raise the min wage.
It would be nice if everyone made more. However, if you raise wages without
raising productivityn someone has to pay. Some business owners are making
plenty and can easily afford to pay more. Others are struggling to keep thier
doots open. If you have 10 emploees, a $2/hr raise is $40, 000 a year. That
will put some companies under. So some will benefit making $9+/hr and some will
lose their jobs. A better approach is to get the economy going
again. Demand raises pay but not artificially like the minimum wage. High
demand increases productivity and everyone wins. Of course this requires
undoing most of the current and former administrations' policies.
The only way for America to survive the onslaught of internal trauma such as
poverty and economic oppression is to find a new way to distribute the wealth
created by the people. The old way of just robbing the people by commerce is
not working. People all over the world having reached the bottom of the barrel
are faced with the choice of fight for change or die of starvation. A benevolent government of the people would calculate the true cost of the
American dream and propose a minimum wage to achieve that goal. A
smart and proper government would not impose the minimum wage to be paid by
private business but would lead the nation by example. The
government would simply hire every citizen who wanted a job, at the minimum
wage. There’s plenty of work to be done in keeping our society alive and
up to date. The probable result of a zero unemployment and proper wages would
be a thriving economy with great benefit to business operations and persons of
skill.Business would fulfill its true mission to society and still
provide opportunities for business and people to prosper from their own efforts.
The Deseret News observes that more than half of those receiving minimum wage or
less are age 25 and younger. Fair enough. But let's be more specific about
who are the people who are age 25 and younger in Utah: They are young marrieds,
college graduates, returned missionaries, members of the armed services, young
construction workers, etc. Is it really OK to pay these people $7.25 an hour or
Re: "... if you raise wages without raising productivity someone has to
pay."The minimum wage hasn't kept pace with
productivity.According to a study by the Center for Economic and
Policy Research (March 2012):"If the minimum wage had continued
to move with average productivity after 1968, it would have reached $21.72 per
hour in 2012."Senator Elizabeth Warren asked Dr. Arindrajit
Dube, "a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who has studied the
economic impacts of minimum wage":"'So my question is
Mr. Dube, with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, what happened to the other
$14.75? It sure didn't go to the worker.'"Dube went on
to note that if minimum wage incomes had grown over that period at the same pace
as it had for the top 1 percent of income earners, the minimum wage would
actually be closer to $33 an hour than the current $7.25" (Huffington Post,
March 18, 2013).
Oregon's minimum wage has been among the highest in the nation for as long
as I've been working (I attended Ricks College in the early '90s and
remember blowing away my classmates when I told them I earned $5.25 an hour at
my summer job.) We've been subject to the same economic up and downs as
the rest of the country, but our burgers still get flipped and our shelves still
stay stocked. Our minimum wage went up to $8.95 at the beginning of the year,
and we haven't fallen into the ocean yet.The idea that raising
minimum wage hurts anything is a Heritage Foundation myth designed to make
business owners feel better about making their employees eat cake. Unless the
CEO of McDonald's is willing to start working a cash register himself,
"low-skill" workers are absolutely necessary for "job creators"
to grow their wealth. Maybe there was a time when minimum wage workers were
mainly teenagers saving to buy their first car, but times change and the minimum
wage needs to change along with them. Hate to break it to you, DN,
but we can't all be Mitt Romney...
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