Comments about ‘Richard Davis: Minimum wage increase is a question of fairness’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

Minimum wage laws are well-intentioned but destructive. When government meddles in economic matters, this distorts healthy economic forces and usually creates worse problems. Such is the case with minimum wage laws. They sound good, but end up putting many people out of work, because businesses have to raise prices, hire fewer workers, or close the business.

Entry-level jobs are a springboard of opportunity to higher-paying jobs. But minimum wage laws mean FEWER jobs, thereby DESTROYING that springboard for many unskilled workers who are trying to get a job.

Another silent effect of artificially raising wages by mandate is that it also raises PRICES all around. So the resulting inflation means that the promised “greater purchasing power” is a cruel hoax.

Promoting minimum wage hikes makes people feel good and compassionate, especially if they ignore the principles of economics. But in reality these mandated wage hikes do a lot of damage to a lot of people, and to the economy in general, while making little true long-term positive difference.

Sioux City, IA

In reality "minimum wage" has nothing to do with fairness. It is merely an attempt to give the perception that workers will be paid fairly.
The real problem is still the same as it has been for centuries. That problem is the "Greed" of certain people and the "Sloth" of other people. While it is true that many people will work hard and many employers will treat their workers fairly and with respect we still have a percentage in both groups who won't do either of these things.
And when you triple the population in a short period of time the situation becomes more visible.

Hayden, ID

Fairness? The government can not make anything in life "fair". No two people have the same abilities, intelligence, creativity, drive and work ethic. The government can not give one person something that it doesn't first have to take away from another person by force. What's fair is getting what you actually work for, rewarded for your creativity, paid for the value your produce and the market place is much more fair than any incompetent, meddling bureaucracy could ever be. Detroit is a good example of government trying to enforce what they think is "fairness". Fairness from liberals is code for more entitlements!

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Who would be most harmed by an increase in the minimum wage? Wouldn't it be those who are paid minimum wage? A business MUST pass along all costs or that business will not survive. If McDonalds must pay $2 or $3 more per hour, they will increase the cost of their meals. Who buys those meals? It's not the "rich guy". It's the minimum wage earner. Gas stations will be forced to pass along the wage increase. Grocery stores will have to increase their prices. Wal-Mart, and other "discount" stores will have to increase their prices.

Who will be hit hardest by those price increases, the minimum wage earner or the "rich guy"?

Government has no business interferring with "minimum wage". Government does not own the businesses. Government is not at risk in those businesses. The principle purpose of the Federal Government is to protect the United States against enemies. Personal welfare is NOT a duty of the Federal Government.

Incentive comes in many forms. If a minimum wage earner wants to earn more money, the most certain way to do that is to increase his skills. It works everytime it's tried.

Ogden, UT

I agree. McDonalds et al should be required to pay $20.00 per hour. That way the public can pay $10.00 for a Big Mac.How would that work for you Mr. Davis.

Dietrich, ID

Didn't John F. Kennedy say life is not fair? Thing is raising minimum wage raises inflation. Since prices have to be raised to cover anyway. As for try living on minimum wage are you saying you can't live on a higher wage without government help? What would happen if minimum wage went away all together.

Way to raise your own minimum wage better education and skills. I wonder if he had to sign a payroll? Since the only way a business owner can make minimum wage is if after the many costs of the business enough people support his product or service to make the money for him. I guess if a business owner does not get minimum wage than government can give it to him like they do his employees.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

I think we should lower it so the conservatives can complain even more about food stamp usage increasing, while their overlords set new records for profits...earned?

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Labor, especially unskilled or low-skill labor, is a commodity. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.

“According to the Economic Policy Institute survey, only 21 percent of low wage workers lack a high school education, and over 40 percent have been to college. Most likely these are individuals who were laid off during the recession or were unable to find a job except for one working at a low wage.”

So business owners need to pay the penalty for BO’s mishandling of the economy? What’s fair about that?

What’s fair about forcing an employer to pay $9/hour for labor that is only worth $5/hour? The employer won’t do it, and we will have even more unemployed.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

I think we should lower it so the conservatives can complain even more about food stamp usage increasing, while their overlords set new records for profits...earned?
8:14 a.m. Sept. 4, 2013



NO minimum wage.
and Let people starve!

Who cares about people,
while WallStreet Money Changers are making RECORD setting profits never before seen in history?

Because that worked oh so well in France.

Face it,
Conservative won't be happy until America becomes Somalia.

Paul in MD
Montgomery Village, MD

Blaming everything on greedy republican "overlords" may feel good, but it paints a very distorted picture not supported by the facts.

First, the largest job-creating sector in the country is SMALL BUSINESS, not large corporations. So the idea of a few greedy Wall Street tycoons running the entire economic picture in this country is absurd and impossible. Even McDonald's, although it has a central corporate mechanism, is primarily a franchise business. Local franchisees pay a set fee, then set (mostly) their own prices.

Second, over the last several years, we've been upside down in job creation. The normal trend is for new full-time jobs to outnumber new part-time jobs by 2-1 to 4-1. Currently, the ratio is backwards at about 1 full-time job for every 4.5 part-time jobs created. Very few companies are going to pay much more than minimum wage for part-time workers.

Minimum wage was initially intended, at least partly, to keep workers from being exploited during the Great Depression. $7.25 an hour isn't exploitation.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

Lost in DC:

Actually, all labor is a commodity. Even students in MBA programs are taught to market themselves well. They are products that the corporate system purchases.

Corporations have a dual pay system. They pay one group (the owners and a select few executives) as much as possible. They pay the other group as little as possible. Not until this system is understood for what it is will we have any kind of economic democracy in this country. We will be saddled instead with a form of corporate feudalism that has very subtly turned capitalism into the very thing it was designed to destroy: aristocracy.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible."

- Henry Ford

Steve C. Warren

Let's see, 88 percent of the low-wage workers are over age 20, and most of them work full-time. Thanks for this information, Richard. It sure isn't what we've been told by people who oppose a minimum-wage increase.

And thanks, Kent C. DeForrest, for the comment on corporate feudalism. The minimum wage is just one of many tools needed to keep greedy corporations from oppressing workers.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Define "Fair".

We always run into problems when somebody tries to decide what's "Fair" for everybody else (especially when you put a politician in charge of deciding what's "Fair").

In a "Fair" and perfect world we would all earn the same, because we would all be equally talented, and equally skilled, and equally educated, and equally motivated. But we all know that world doesn't exist.

Trying to legislate that the world be "Fair" rarely works.

That said... there needs to be a minimum of what an employer can pay. Otherwise many jobs would only go to illegal aliens willing to work for way less than the minimum and qualified American citizens would sit unemployed... oh wait... that's what we already have.

Saint George, UT

As if minimum wage is going to lift anyone out of poverty? Minimum wage laws is a subterfuge, a trick, a patronizing wink to the business community by Democrats and Republicans. Minimum wage laws destroy initiative and keep the government and business in a cozy protective relationship that insures their profits at the expense of the poor and industrious. It is not only an affront to liberty and free enterprise, but insures the long term survival of the business that supposedly is interested in its employees, rather than profit. Any businessman worth his salt would be interested in rewarding excellence, not mediocrity. Excellence is rewarded with financial incentives, something that minimum wage laws make almost impossible! How is it possible that people can't see things for what they are? Money rules this world and minimum wage laws insure that those who have it will continue hoarding it!

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT


thank you for confirming labor is a commodity.

I would agree, to some extent, with your comment about the dual pay system. Owners should be paid as much as possible, but not execs.

Corporations have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to return as much as possible to those shareholders, so yes, they DO pay the owners as much as possible (while still retaining enough to capitalize and otherwise fund the business).

They are obligated to the shareholders to pay as little as possible for ANY other cost of doing business, including labor - including executives. Executive talent requires a premium, and the directors should not pay execs more than they are worth. Do directors fail in this responsiblity? yes, often they significantly overpay execs, but that is no excuse for overpaying common labor.

Want more pay, make you labor worth more. That plain and simple

face it, liberals won't be happpy until they turn the US into the USSR.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

IMO if the Government is going to get into the "Fairness" game, and legislate "Fair" minimum wages... they also need to have a legislated cap on earnings (not just a minimum). That way all those football players, Kobe Bryant, movie starts, rock stars, and CEOs earning $70Mil can only keep say $1Mill and we can give the rest of their salary to the poor!

Probably not going to fly is it? You can only take this legislating "Fairness" business so far before somebody complains and it breaks down.

Legislating "Fairness" is like trying to legislate "Morality". It doesn't work. Because everybody doesn't agree on what's "Fair" (so everybody complains that your "Fairness" legislation is not fair to them). Just as everybody doesn't agree on what's "Moral" (so they complain that your morality legislation doesn't fit their morals).

Both sides get into trouble when they try to legislate THEIR idea of "Good"ness (especially on a National level).

Viva la Migra
American Fork, UT

How long will it take the minimum wage raising proponents to realize that they shouldn't be using a 40 hour work week to calculate how the minimum wage could life a person out of poverty? I think I just read that 80% of the jobs cited in the latest jobs report are part-time, capped by employers at 29 hours due to Obamacare penalties...

Deep Space 9, Ut

To those of you who want the minimum wage changed as a matter of "fairness", how are you going to define what is "fair"?

You should find the parenting article titled “That’s not Fair”. It used to be on MSN, but is available at other websites now too. You sound just like the kids they describe. The author says "Whose kids haven’t at one point hollered, “That’s not FAIR!” when they felt cheated out of their supposed share of something?" That sounds like you and others like you.

They go on by stating "Early on, fairness is typically defined in one of two ways: with everyone getting exactly the same thing, or the child getting everything he or she wants....Fairness is a perception about what is deserved or agreed upon,” Rode says. “It is sometimes very unfair to make things equal.”"

If you bother to read the entire article, you find that fairness is arbitrary, and is a childish attitude. Why base minimum wage on an attibute of a 5 year old?

podunk utah

for all you Ayn Rand wannabes... the minimum wage and all federal labor rules for that matter came about due to stupid, lazy, shortsighted, ridiculous, cowardly, foolish actions by employers back in the day... now certain industries and corporations are repeating those same ways and they will reap what they sow... government regulation!

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