Comments about ‘The great minimum wage debate: how Obama's proposal to increase the minimum wage will impact the economy’

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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 19 2013 11:05 p.m. MST

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Mcallen, TX

Why not make it thirty dollars an hour, and we'll all be happy.

Far East USA, SC

I see the problem as this.

Our elected officials come from all walks of life. They have various training, education and experience. But does that make them experts in everything?

What makes Barack Obama or John Boehner experts on economics and the impact of various legislation.
The minimum wage is a complex issue.

Too often, our congressmen take the long standing ideological positions. Are those positions correct? I don't know, and I doubt they do either.

And when looking for answers to tough questions, both sides only look for answers that support their preconceived ideas. They cite partisan "experts" that agree with them while discrediting those who dont.

Not exactly the best way to actually dissect a complex issue and formulate legislation that is best for the country.

I wonder how many really good ideas are summarily dismissed because they clash with party ideology.

Taylorsville, UT

Raising minimum wage has never proven to be an economic boost for anyone but government by raising taxable incomes levels. Any one earning minimum wage at best just sustains poverty and being poor.

Any worker with a job earning thousand of dollars of credit debt are paid at least welfare income of $20/hr or more. The difference in welfare and jobs @ $60,000/yr is welfare is tax free and some one earning $100 taxable income (gross $13K) has to pay taxes. And they can't get welfare or Obama phone.

To get people into jobs they have to eliminate and reduce welfare benefits to levels below poverty incomes which sustains poverty and debt and poor health.

Te get the economy improving they need to block business outsourcing and moving offshore or ac cross borders by repealing the NAFTA treaty. Then declare company profit sharing and pay raises and benefits an entitlement of employees sacrifice of loyalty to business. We could even eliminate corporate taxes and turn it all over to the workers who know how to work the economy and make it grow. We need an expanding economy, not an expanding government selling entitlements to buy votes.

Bountiful, UT

"Hall calculates that increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 by 2015 would pump $18 billion into the economy and result in the creation of 100,000 jobs."

Pump $18 billion into the economy? Where is this money coming from? It doesn't just magically appear because President Obama has decreed it, any increase in minimum wage is paid for with money from somewhere.

Salt Lake City, UT

My first minimum wage job was in 1970. I was paid $1.60 per hour.

Adjusting for inflation to today's prices, that would be the equivalent of $9.47 per hour.

The restaurant that employed me then as a dish washer thrived, and is still doing well today. The convenience store that hired me a year later for the same pay is still in business.

The minimum wage today in several states is higher than the current federal minimum, and yet in every one of them unemployment is lower than the federal average.

There are simply no rational, evidence-based arguments for the current $7.25 per hour minimum wage, other than business owners' eternal desire for cheap labor.

Dixie Dan
Saint George, UT

When was the last time our legislature raised the minimum wage? It was 5 years ago they dismissed the idea as being too costly. Only when the Federal Government raised the minimum wage that Utah had to comply with the law. Since then, the subject never has come up again.

Hayden, ID

Fewer entry level jobs and higher unemployment for young,unskilled people and more demand for food stamps,government handouts and ever more people dependent on the government, which means more Democrat voters! Brilliant!

Springville, UT

Why not give Congress the choice of either raising the minimum wage or increasing the EIC? Both have advantages and both have disadvantages, but while Congress stalls and fails to take action in any direction, the problem still remains---poor people struggle. It looks like the GOP simply wants to block any measure which will help lower income families make ends meet. Instead, the GOP is obsessed with politics rather than policy. Congress a a whole seems more concerned with scoring points with their friends and SuperPac funds than creating positive change.

"Oh, there are poor people in the U.S.? Let's talk about gun control and who the President wants to be SecDef."

Yes those issues matter on one level or another, but the Preamble to the Constitution mandates a six part mission statement. Not one issue at a time.

It's an old chestnut, but Congress has yet to turn down a pay raise for itself. I know for a fact some congressmen vote against the pay raise simply because they know it will pass anyways. Heck, they all might even take turns so they can say so during election season.

Alpine, UT

It is not government's business to say what small businesses should pay their employees, especially from government officials who have never run a business.

Albert Maslar CPA (Retired)
Absecon, NJ

Republican President Calvin Coolidge served from 1923-1929 and led the country into the Great Depression of 1929. He was followed by registered Republican Herbert Hoover who ran as a Democrat, becoming America's 31st president. Hoover took office in 1929 as the economy plummeted but he failed to recognize its severity, and is considered as not having done enough to alleviate the problems. A principal mistake was his pressure of business leaders for higher wages, eerily similar to Obama’s SOTU plan to raise the Federal minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $9.00. Hoover was defeated in the 1932 presidential election by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt who also mismanaged the Depression until manufacturing needed for WWII bailed it out. As the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun.

Alexandria, VA

Likewise we could start to pay people for work actually completed, (rather than sitting around in a non-productive mode) regardless of the minimum wage that is settled on.

Far East USA, SC

Google Corporate profits vs worker compensation.

Looking back a mere 12 years, Corporate profits have steadily outpaces worker compensation.

Wanna talk war on the middle class? That stat may be telling.

Combine that with the idea that CEO pay is skyrocketing while workers are being more productive while being paid less.

Whether you lean left or right, any honest look at what is happening would point to an unsustainable, unhealthy trend in the US.

"Chief executive pay jumped by more than 725 percent between 1978 and 2011, according to a new report from the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute, compared to just 5.7 percent growth in worker compensation during the same period. "

It is amazing that so many will blindly support and defend this disparity.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

The minimum wage increase may be a just bandaid, but it will slow the bleeding. It needs to be expanded to protect restaurant workers who work for tips. I wonder how many of you know that most of these workers have wages often far below the existing minimum wage. That it seems to me is a crime allowing the large restaurant chains to exploit their wait staff with impunity.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Why I don't believe anything barack says:

During his first term he promised 2 things that are very important to Americas

1. "I will cut the deficit in half during my first term"

FAIL. It Increased

2. "We need to act quickly in passing this stimulus package(FIRST of many) of 787 billion to prevent unemployment from reaching 8%"

FAIL. It reached over 11%

Forgive me if I judge barack on his past promises.

Wayne Rout
El Paso, TX

This proposal was hatched by the unions to gove them a bargaining chip for the future. Minimum wage is an invalid concept that goes against the free market. It will drive more inflation for everyone and those making this wage will be worse off in the end. Liberal logic never considers the facts of life only feel good solution always ignoring the real solutions.

Mcallen, TX

Wages are determined by a persons skill.

What is Obama saying? It's not fair for a school drop out to make less money then an honor roll student.

A job that requires an hour to learn, should pay a compatible wage with one which takes years?

It's not fair, for a skilled worker to be paid more,--and it's greed?

If one car salesman sells fifty cars a month, and another ten,--shouldn't one get paid more?

Salt Lake City, UT

Wayne Rout, minimum wage increases both wages and employment -- for union workers.

And you are right, the minimum wage increases earnings and DECREASES purchasing power due to inflation.

Want to earn more money? Get qualified. Be productive.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA


There are so many logical fallacies in your argument that it's difficult to know where to start.

The minimum-wage job you had in 1970 paid you today's equivalent of $9.47. That means a minimum-wage job in 1970 had more buying power than a minimum-wage job today. You've just proven why raising the minimum wage does nothing but increase poverty: Increased pay for the same work makes businesses raise prices, which means things get more expensive, which means your new, higher pay is worthless.

State-by-state unemployment is not correlated to the minimum wage. Just as many states with higher minimum wages have above-average unemployment. You are ignoring half the data. State-by-state unemployment is almost perfectly correlated with tax rates on businesses.

There is no evidence that the current minimum wage is perpetuated by businesses' desire for cheap labor. If that were the case, minimum wage would still be $1.50. More likely, the idea of raising it is perpetuated by the desire of greedy employees to receive more pay for the same amount of work.

Kaysville, UT

This President got through college and universities at government's expense. He is now a millionaire and is powerful. I bet he never had to contend with a wage problem. Just like Obamacare, employers cut back to less than 29 hours so they don't have to kick in money to that program. Whatever government does impacts on everyone and for those that don't have skills to use such as professional, trade, care or even people type skills, which many don't have, they are destined to government programs and will vote in that line forever. Who gives government handouts? They may not have skills to get more than minimum wage but they do learn that government will take care of them if they vote for a certain political party.

The 47 percent is still out there, even after the election and whatever you want to call them, they usually don't pay taxes but partake in the power abilities of the President to take from the rich and give to the poor. When government makes rules that impinge on businesses, owners skirt around the laws to protect their interests. Businesses pay high taxes to states, local/federal many times over.

Somewhere in Time, UT

Minimum wage sounds great, but it really does more harm than good. The net effect is to increase unemployment among young people trying to get a start and poor people trying to make it. For these reasons, it is rare to find an economist that supports minimum wage--unless they work for a union in which case they are sellouts. Unions support minimum wage because it protects their members from lower priced labor.

It's a lot better to let the market determine what wages should be. That way workers end up having a much better chance to be employed and are also given many more choices as to where they can find work. History proves it.

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