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Comments about ‘U.S. fast-food workers should get a 'living wage'’

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Published: Sunday, Sept. 22 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Hamath
Omaha, NE

We are going to pay them through our taxes (Welfare) or through their work. MIght as well help their self esteem and pay them through the work. Once on a living wage, they eventually will be able to get off welfare if not immediately.

redshirt007
tranquility base, 00

Exactly, it's been shown over and over how we are subsidizing these chain restaurants and other low wage employers.

They get their produce cheap because we subsidize farmers, they get their meat cheap because subsidized corn is dirt cheap that is fed to cattle and we subsidize their employees wages because they still qualify for food stamps after working 50 hours a week.

SEY
Sandy, UT

I have no objection to workers being paid a "living wage," whatever that might be (although it will never be enough), but it should be determined by market forces, not by government edict. If there's one lesson we should have learned through the years is that good intentions inevitably bring even more unintended consequences. More often than not, the cure is worse than the disease.

SEY
Sandy, UT

redshirt007 makes my point. Government intervention into the market brings negative unintended consequences that overwhelm any positive effects. Government subsidies should stop. They won't because crony capitalists have too much to lose. But the answer is to repeal subsidies, not pile on more "good intentions."

carman
Wasatch Front, UT

To Hamath:

Your theory sounds o.k. but will fail. Forcing higher wages will cause fast food restaurant prices to rise, causing a move up and to the left on the demand curve. Less food will be sold, and fewer workers will be needed. The higher fixed cost base will cause prices to rise further, further killing demand.

In the end, the industry will go the way that every other industry has gone where wages were forced above market rates. The jobs will be lost, companies will go out of business, profits will not be earned and reinvested.

Liberals always fail to see the the unintended consequences of their action. It is no coincidence that the states with the best economies are almost exclusively governed by conservative governors and legislatures. It is also no coincidence that the states with the worst economies are almost exclusively governed by liberal governors and legislatures.

Hamath
Omaha, NE

@ Carman,

I agree that you likely can't force this either. Big gov't seems to botch whatever they try. But I think we as consumers probably can and should to whatever extent we can.

If the industry can't support a worker without welfare, should we support it with our money? I think you are perhaps right though. I think I should stop going to fastfood and other low wage companies.

Why can Costco pay the $20 an hour and Sam's Club only pays $12? Same type company. Same type prices overall. Just one company gives more back to their shareholders and the other more to their workers.

JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

The reason fast food owners will not pay their workers a "living wage" is because their workers do not produce a living wage's worth of value.

It is the same reason I refuse to pay $10 for a gallon of milk or $20 for a hamburger. It's not that I don't like those things or that I want to deny dairy farmers or hamburger makers a decent living. It is just that I don't value those things at that price. I like new cars too, but I won't pay $100,000 for one when I can buy a new one for about a quarter of that much money.

Instead of "bailing out" the auto industry with loans and cash, why didn't Obama just issue an executive order that sets the minimum price anyone could buy a new car at $60,000? That would have solved the problem, right? Car companies and their workers would be very profitable at those prices, right? It wouldn't have changed car buyer's behaviour, would it?

How is raising the minimum wage any different?

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Carman,

Do you really think people will stop buying Big Macs because they cost an extra $0.50?

SEY
Sandy, UT

GZE: yes, SOME people at the margins will stop buying Big Macs when they cost 50 cents more. That's an economic truism. Certainly not all regular buyers will stop buying them, but some will. That's the problem with legislators: they assume that their good intentions won't change consumer behavior. Darn those unintended consequences!

redshirt007
tranquility base, 00

Raising minimum wage would do the country good. If it kills fast food, so be it. We have an obesity problem because of artificially cheap fast food. Stop the farmers subsidies too.

LiberalEastCoastMember
Parkesburg, PA

Hamath wrote, " Big gov't seems to botch whatever they try."

You flown lately? All those planes in the air, the safe takeoff and landings, that all was brought to you by big government.

Now say thank you big government!

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@carman
"It is also no coincidence that the states with the worst economies are almost exclusively governed by liberal governors and legislatures."

The state with the highest median income is Maryland, second is Massachusetts. Second to last is Alabama, and last is Mississippi. I take it you're using a different definition of worst economy than I am.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "redshirt007" and "SEY" we are not subsidizing the fast food restaurants or Walmart. We are subsidizing lazy people. If you are 23+ and have a child but lack marketable skills that would get you a job earning over $10/hr, you have some problems.

This article is also hiding a lot of facts. They just look at the fast food industry, but when you look at all minimum wage jobs, they are typically held by teens and college age kids.

Another unintended consequence that the liberals never seem to address has to do with their complaints with corporate America. You liberals complain that US employers are sending jobs overseas where labor is cheaper. Now, you want to make our labor rates more expensive, what do you think is going to happen to manufacturers that depend on minimum wage workers? Do you think they will stay here when it becomes cheaper to go overseas because of your minimum wage hike?

Christopher B
Ogden, UT

No one has a right to make a certain level of money with no specialized skills.

If you aren't that valuable, no one should pay you more than you are worth

And if you are worth more than you are making, go find another employer that will pay you.

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