Comments about ‘Robert Bennett: Raising minimum wage won't help poor’

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Published: Saturday, March 2 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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one old man
Ogden, UT

Raising the minimum wage may not help get people out of poverty, but it sure won't hurt them, either.

As for some claims that only entry level workers are getting minimum wage, that's simply false now. I know several well educated, very experienced and skilled workers whose jobs were killed by the Cheney/Bush depression. Despite months of looking and looking very hard for work, these workers have been forced to accept jobs at minimum or near minimum wages -- probably because of their age.

I wonder how quickly the tone of many comments here would abruptly change if the people who write them suddenly found themselves to be "obsolete?"

Pheonix, AZ

@one old man:
"Raising the minimum wage may not help get people out of poverty, but it sure won't hurt them, either."

It's not too smart to raise wages in the middle of a recession. The net result is to either raise the unemployment numbers or send more jobs overseas... or both. Count on it.

Matter of fact, the government should not be in the business of deciding what employees should be paid. That's the job of the economy. But, trust Democrats to get their fingers into everything.


"Matter of fact, the government should not be in the business of deciding what employees should be paid. That's the job of the economy. But, trust Democrats to get their fingers into everything."

I suppose if we disregard world economic history and US political history, your assertion makes some sense. However, as an example, unregulated capitalism (or the "economy" as you put it) has shown quite a strong demand for 6 year-old children working 80 hours a week for minimal wages. Child labor laws, the number of hours in a work week, minimum wages, and countless other regulations have been enacted by Democrats AND Republicans over the years to help the "economy" do its job in a manner that respects individual rights and liberties. If you believe Democrats are solely responsible for this, then you can thank Democrats for making this country a great place for you to live and raise your family.


Sen. Bennett points out that a "low wage family can file a tax return and get a check from the government, which encourages work even at entry level, low paying jobs." I agree, but simple human psychology tells us that prospect of receiving a reward (i.e., a tax refund) up to 14 months in the future is not going to affect behavior (getting and keeping a job) remotely as effectively as making the same investment in higher wages today. All animal trainers (and we are animals) know the proximity of the reward to the behavior is essential. Therfore, the same money (spent on the EITC) channeled to hiring employers to offset a higher minimum wage law would be much more effective than Sen. Bennett's proposal.

Sen. Bennett makes the easy intellectual argument that $20/hr is the wrong (too high) minimum wage, but provides absolutely no evidence that the increase proposed by the president is wrong or that the current minimum wage is correct. Absent all of this discussion, his piece is not compelling.

Ogden, UT

Have we all lost our minds? Do we forget how we manage our own finances? Why do we keep asking someone for something that is not practicable? It's like a small child asking that Santa come live with them so they can have any toy they desire. Sure it would be great if we all made more than enough money. Americans have confused wants with needs. Each of us have made life decisions that have had a consequence as to our ability to make money. Do we really believe in the Wizard of Oz? There is some magical solution to correct our decisions? Put away the electronic devices and get out there and find a different path. Stop asking for the Wizard to fix what we should be able to fizz for ourselves . I remember being told-why should I dot for you what you can do for yourself? Unions and unfunded pension plans have promised more than we can give.

Eden, UT

If we, as Republicans, expect to win elections beyond Utah, we need to come up with ideas. Throwing rocks at Democratic ideas is not very creative. It is not a new idea, and it is not good politics. It demonstrates a lack of cooperation and a lack of compromise. This negative attitude permeates Utah politics and is hurting all Republicans. If we expect potential candidates, like John Huntsman, to have a successful future in the Republican Party, we need to stop throwing rocks at the ideas of others and present good idea for the future of America.

Pheonix, AZ

Oh, I get it. The illustrious former Senator wants the taxpayer to foot the bill for pay raises via the EITC. Spoken like a true politician... hide the raise in a tax return so the taxpaying public won't see it.

The EITC was a bad idea from the start and should be canceled post-haste.

Hyrum, Ut


"After all, you apparently don't realize that there are fewer government employees now than there were before President Obama took office, and only marginally more federal employees."

Just curious where you got your figures. I was in a meeting with Mr. Bishop who said the good news was that the stimulus had created 130,000 new jobs - the bad news was that they were all in govt.

Please qualify your remarkes.

South Jordan, Utah

The necessities of life can only come from two sources, pay checks from the private sector or welfare programs paid by the taxpayers. The lower the wage, the higher the cost to the taxpayer.

Durham, NC

"The idea of a federal minimum wage arose when many Americans worked as unskilled laborers on farms, in factories, or retail stores or as household help and were often paid less than their work was worth. That situation has changed as most of those jobs have disappeared in the age of technology."

Retail jobs have been eliminated by technology? Really? What part of your average Wallmart expereince has been replaced by technology? What part of technology has made farm workers redundant?

I generally enjoy Mr. Bennetts thoughts.... but really?

There isn't a week that goes by that the Deseret News doesn't have some piece extolling the values of stay at home moms. And yet, the only way for minimum wage workers to raise a family is to have multiple incomes in the same household.

I do think obsurdly high minumum wages are simply bandaides.... but still. He does get a bit oversimplistic here.

one old man
Ogden, UT

IJ -- you say your source was Rob Bishop?

That explains why it is not the truth.

Salt Lake City, UT

Raising wages hurts jobs so I told my employer "no, I would not like a raise this year" - said no one ever.

Everett, 00

A rising tide lifts ALL boats -- Ronald Reagan

Q: Why is it a GOOD thing when Pres. Reagan propossed it,
but a BAD thing when Pres. Obama propoesses the exact same thing?

A: petty politics


Yes, a rising tide lifts all boats. The problem is that we are dealing with a falling tide, which grounds the boats in the shallowest water first.

Standard of living is inextricably linked to energy costs. The Obama administration is intentionally pushing up energy prices, and many are calling for carbon taxes that will drive energy prices even higher. So what should happen when our standard of living goes down?

When standard of living goes up, there is a general migration of workers away from agriculture and manual labor into other areas. It seems logical there should be a reverse migration when the standard of living goes down. However, practically all laid-off workers are content to accept welfare rather than migrate to manual labor, so illegal immigrants are taking all those jobs.

The focus on "soaking the rich" is a red herring that distracts us from the real problem. The entire wealth of all the rich wouldn't run our government for very long. Then what? Low-cost energy is what we need, and that won't happen with wind and solar. We need nuclear power.

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