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Richard Davis: Minimum wage increase is a question of fairness

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  • JustTheTruthMan bountiful, ut
    Sept. 8, 2013 2:22 a.m.

    For those who find it fun and lucrative to sandblast minimum wage workers, I give you a challenge... You obviously have sufficient income for your needs right? Take for one month a part time job. Witness first hand the corporate insanity and mind numbing crazy that happens in say the lunch hour rush where you have either slow workers trying to feed the masses or not enough help due to keeping labor costs down or insufficient number of employees period. If after a month of working at a fast food restaurant you still feel that our labor is only worth $5 an hour feel free to continue to spout your mouth. If on the other hand you grow in compassion towards us realizing that circumstances are as they are and that there really aren't that many jobs for even college educated people, apology accepted. If you are to knock anything, knock the over paid athletes at the consequence of over priced tickets etc. Oh, and rather than using that sandblasted help to purchase your clothes, household goods, groceries and etc make them yourself! Pump and refine your own gas and learn the reality of the insanity in mocking us.

  • Jake2010 bountiful, ut
    Sept. 8, 2013 2:11 a.m.

    Obama simply doesn't get it... Is economically incompetent. Raising the minimum wage to $9/hr with his insane mandate for health will crush small businesses and make about as much difference in the economic recovery of this country as the effectiveness of washing the car in the middle of a three hour rain storm. With his health mandate, employers across the country are being forced to reduce hours to non-living 30 hours or less. On top of that insanity raising the cost of the labor used for super markets and restaurants etc... IE Target, K-Mart etc etc is going to sky rocket those prices too. This guy simply doesn't get it! 2017 can't get here soon enough, but that replacement won't be a lick better. So, make the most of your lives and stay happy. There is happiness in pushing along no matter the nonsense surrounding you. And for those crying to go to school to not have to be a minimum wage worker, get a clue! Have you seen the hire statistics for college educated v minimum wage? Come on!

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 5, 2013 4:36 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" why does it matter who flipped the burger. Did the burger flipper make decisions on the latest marketing campaign that made my kids want to go to McDonalds?

    You are wrong about the CEO doing nothing. They are the ones who ultimately have to sell the copany to investors, and quite often are the ones who have to make the final decision on how to market their company.

    Where do you buy your clothing? Do you make it yourself from US manufactured fabric?

    I don't worry about my dollars being sent to Communist China becuase I know that with each purchase the capitalists in China are using that money to influence the communist leaders into giving up more control and allowing capitalism to become the norm for China.

    Say what you want, but I know what my money is going towards, do you?

    You hate capitalism, yet you live and work in a capitalist system. So, to quote you "you are an economic traitor to everything this country should stand for."

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 1:51 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701
    Deep Space 9, Ut

    Really?
    You think that CEO flipped YOUR burger for you?

    Did that CEO manage the Supply Chain, sign the order, fill the request?

    When I get a burger, or buy an item -- it's the burger flipper or check-out clerk that I need, and am willing to pay for.

    A CEO making $100 Million a year did NOTHING for my patronage.
    If anything - he only added to MY cost.

    For reason and that reason only --

    I buy locally from Mom & Pop joints.

    My money stays in the local economy,
    and I never have to worry about my American dollars being sent to Communist China.

    BTW - Red,
    You love Capitalism just as much as you love Communism.

    You say so with your wallet.

    To me - you are an economic traitor to everything this country should stand for.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 5, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    You know libs there are a couple of real philosophical differences being displayed here that go to the crux of this discussion and many more. The first is the Republican/conservative/capitalist, propensity to desire riches, and to ascribe that desire to all. Don't get me wrong I'm not against riches, I have a great house and lots of toys, but it's not "the" motivator for me or most liberals.

    Secondly, is the idea of private property. Not enough room to talk about here, but the conservatives here see the world through the lens of private property where most libs don't. It's not that libs don't believe in private property we just don't see the world through that lens and therefore don't tend to think of it as absolute.

    I doubt theses differences will ever be resolved but understanding them could change the discussion.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 5, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" but CEOs are being paied for what they do. They are being paid for their ability to manage large corporations. Just like there are few who can golf like Tiger Woods, how many people are there who have experience running large multinational corporations successfully?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:26 p.m.

    If it wasn't for wall street bankers, ceo's and entrepeuners were would those people get the jobs. Entrepeuners actually create a business with a demand from the community that create jobs people are looking for. It is no easy picnic for what they do. If you want to make there money try doing what they do. Will be in for surprise.

  • trueblue87 Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:03 p.m.

    the issue is that some of the low-wage jobs are not worth more than what they are being paid. take fast-food for example, flipping burgers is a very low skill job as opposed to say running a company, just about anyone can flip a burger or assemble a sandwich. if wages go up, costs go up. when costs go up, either costs are scaled back either by fewer hours or benefits or prices of their product are increased to offset the increase in cost.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:20 p.m.

    @Mike Richards:
    "Personal welfare is NOT a duty of the Federal Government."

    The government's job, as assigned by the US Constitution, is to 'promote the general welfare.' A minimum wage requirement would seem to deal with general welfare.

    On the other hand, a minimum wage increase raises the cost of living... which in turn, requires a raise in the minimum wage. So, essentially, the general welfare is not promoted with a minimum wage or increase in a minimum wage.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:36 p.m.

    The CEO of McDonald's is paid less than $5 per year per employee. His salary isn't relevant to the discussion, although it's hard to have much respect for someone who takes home that much and no doubt doesn't need it. I think much more highly of guys like Lee Iacocca, who worked at Chrysler for $1.00 per year.

    It's difficult to know when government intervention crosses the line between useful and destructive. That's why it's important to have the debate. Large corporations such as McDonald's are deeply cognizant of market forces and tend to do what the market dictates.

    I think one of the dynamics occurring in our economy is that in terms of actual value (not dollars) the economy is shrinking due to Obama's (and the greenies') war on inexpensive energy. They don't seem to realize (or perhaps they do) that standard of living is largely a function of the cost of energy. When the standard of living goes down, the boats in the shallowest water run aground first.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:21 p.m.

    FreedomFighter41,
    most small businesses ARE corporations. small business and corporations are not mutually exclusive. the statement you deride is true. the largest job creators ARE small businesses, including small corporations.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:52 p.m.

    "First, the largest job-creating sector in the country is SMALL BUSINESS, not large corporations."

    False. Over 2/3rds of all Americans employed in the private sector work for corporations, NOT small business.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:09 p.m.

    @2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I know it's popular in some circles to only worry about what CEOs make. But lets face it... CEOs aren't the only people who's salaries may be considered by some to be "unfair".

    How about Tiger Woods, or Kobe Bryant or Brad Pit?

    Tiger Woods gets payed several million dollars each year to play golf!

    ========

    The difference is Tiger Woods gets rich for doing what Tiger Woods does.

    WallStreet, Banks, CEOs get rich from what OTHER people are doing FOR them.

    i.e., Master/Slave.

    If you are LDS, the Law of the harvest God says - you reap what you sow.
    not,
    It's OK by me to reap what others have sown, grown, and harvested for you and don't pay them enough so they must get food stamps from the Government to feed you..

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 4:36 p.m.

    everything these days seems to be about fairness doesn't it and the fairness but be defined by those on the left. I think it's great to raise the minimum wage to say...$12 per our...as long as small business gets a corresponding tax break. How many think Barack is going to cut taxes? Anybody????

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    "Why does he make several hundred times what his caddy does?"

    Good example. Tiger makes money in basically 2 ways. Endorsements and prize money.

    A caddy typically get a percentage. So, it does not fit with your premise.

    Also, I never said anything about fair. That was others. Life is not fair.

    But, we are talking about a company and their employees.

    We are talking about workers and CEO's.. A company owner does not fit into the same category.
    Both workers for a company.

    You obviously would rather compare a landscaper to a brain surgeon.

    So, back to my point. If a company thrives, is it not in part due to the workers?

    I would never suggest that the line worker should make the same as a CEO. But, the disparity is getting ridiculous.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:36 p.m.

    To "podunk utah" actually the minimum wage and most federal labor rules came about because politicians were trying to buy up votes.

    For example, minimum wage laws were a result of liberal politicians trying to keep blacks out of their districts. During the 1930's there were businessmen that would hire unemployed blacks and pay them less than what the whites demanded. Since the businesses were prospering by hiring labor that was relatively cheap, the liberals were worried that the new voters would vote against their freedom killing "Jim Crow" laws. So, they put into effect some minimum wage laws to stop the migration of minority workers.

    Minimum wage is just one way that governments like to control the economy. Unfortunately they typically fail when trying to manage an economy.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:25 p.m.

    Meanwhile, McDonald's boosts its CEO pay to nearly $4000 per hour.

    Based on sales figures, raising the minimum wage to $15 would require McDonald's to raise the fee of its $1.00 double cheese burger to $1.17. That alone -- without any other price increases -- would cover the cost of paying their workers a living wage.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    "Fairness" is an illusive thing to define for all people (when millions of people are involved and they all have different expectations, abilities, handicaps, needs, wants).

    JoeBlow,
    I know it's popular in some circles to only worry about what CEOs make. But lets face it... CEOs aren't the only people who's salaries may be considered by some to be "unfair".

    How about Tiger Woods, or Kobe Bryant or Brad Pit?

    Tiger Woods gets payed several million dollars each year to play golf! Is THAT "Fair"? Why does he make several hundred times what his caddy does? Why does he make more than his gardener?

    Kobe makes millions every year. Should everybody who works with or for him make the same thing he makes? (the CEO making more than the workers argument).

    Brad Pit makes $50Mil just for acting and getting pampered. Ask the government... is THAT "Fair"?

    I'd rather have a good teacher than a good actor or a good golfer. Is it "Fair" that they make several hundred times what a good teacher gets paid?

    That's what I'm talking about. "Fairness" (in income) is hard to agree on and legislate.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 4, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    One thing I don't get.

    The average worker is more productive than they were 30 years ago.

    The average CEO used to make 30 time their workers pay. Now, the average CEO makes 300 times that of their average worker.

    Did CEO's become that much more "productive" or "valuable"?

    I would certainly not want to have to justify the disparity in the two.

  • podunk utah DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    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!

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 4, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    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?

  • Viva la Migra American Fork, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 12:40 p.m.

    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...

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    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).

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    Kent,

    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

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

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    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!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    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.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    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.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    "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

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    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.

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    @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

    ========

    Agreed.

    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.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    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.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    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?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    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.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    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.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    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!

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    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.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:44 a.m.

    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.