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Will the real minimum-wage worker please stand up?

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  • Charlestonfarmer Charleston, ME
    March 12, 2013 7:09 p.m.

    Myfamily runs a small dairy farm in todays standards. ALL our emplyees earn more per hour than w do. Even the boys making only $6/ hr. The reason we survive is my husband and I combined put in between 120 to 160 hours per week on the farm and our combined income does not meet our needs at $4/hr. If we have to pay more per hour our income will not even cover the cost of our workers extra pay let alone the workers comp we would then have to pay into. WE would go out of business. Right now small farmers are exempt from minimum wage requirements which is what allows us to have the help we need. We try to be fair in wages we have the lowest wages per hour. My point is some markets will not sustain a rise in minimum wage. From what I have seen the only thing raising the minumum wage does is cause the rise in cost of goods. My sister lives in Germany a Kmart quality shirt cost 100dollars. Think about it. It is not having money but the better use of it that makes for better living.

  • SLC Grandma Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    If I were an employer, I would hire a basically untrained person at a lower hourly rate (call it "minimum wage") than a trained, reliable person and then as that untrained person gained skills and became a valuable employee and an asset to my company, I would raise his wages so he would stay working for me - that's just common sense. I don't know if such practical, straight-forward thinking has a chance in today's climate.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    March 9, 2013 2:13 a.m.

    Thinkin/ Man,

    Do you really think the proper way to treat people is to pay them the least we can? Just because anyone off the street could perform a service, do you really believe we should give them minimal pay? We should not grind the faces of the poor into the dust.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    March 9, 2013 1:56 a.m.

    Why Not Think,

    I was not raised with a silver spoon in my mouth. I was raised in a single parent home and worked through college and law school (though I also had scholarships and Pell grants, for which I am grateful). But not everyone will be able to get a high paying job. No matter how many people take advantage of the opportunity society, somebody still has to wait tables, clean motel rooms and work in convenience stores (and none of those jobs will be outsourced). If we are unwilling to pay the people who do those jobs a reasonable wage, we need to think about what kind of people we are. This isn't just about making the most money; it is about treating others as we would want to be treated.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    March 8, 2013 10:34 p.m.

    Minimum wage jobs are meant to be training jobs for teenagers and additional money for retired workers. They are not supposed to be long range family security. If you raise the minimum wage, the businesses will raise the prices, lay off workers and we are right back where we started. The idea here is, finish school, go to college or trade schools, train for something that will enable you to provide for a family. Yes, how did we get a president who is too stupid to know how to deal with the economy, world affairs, telling the truth, national security, financial management, and every other thing that crosses his desk...when he is actually there and not on vacation spending billions of our dollars?

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    March 8, 2013 9:49 p.m.

    Those who believe that the people who actually own a business should not profit, are total fools.
    If there is no profit in a business, why take the risk? Why deal with all the governmental regulations, taxes, insurances, employees issues, retail theift, law suits etc. ?
    As an employee, you don't deal with those issues, you get your wages, your workers comp, and you go home.
    You don't worry if you will make payroll after you pay quarterlies, don't worry if the new round of EPA regulations will put you out of business or cost you most of your take home. You don't worry if you insurance will raise or if your employees will actually show up for work. You don't get the joy of having a safety inspector show up, or the wage bureau or the state workers comp regulators.

  • MPeace Provo, Utah
    March 8, 2013 9:22 p.m.

    That Bureau of Labor Statistics 1.8 million needs to be rechecked again for the amount of people getting that wage. It may be a little bit low. There are a lot of fast food places out there. There is a whole lot of subsidized housing that requires incomes be low to live in it.
    There may be a whole lot more than 1.8 million out there. Of Course, then the Walmart payscale starts at $7.38 an hour -so just escapes minimum, so this could be right.

  • tom niles west, TX
    March 8, 2013 7:40 p.m.

    raising the mininum wage will result in 5.00 hamburgers at micky dees, what is needed is better paying jobs for the starting wage earners to move into. common sense 101 needs to be taught to our elected leaders.

  • SouthernBaptist Jackson, TN
    March 8, 2013 6:34 p.m.

    I love it when rich people talk about how poor people don't really need to make a semi-decent wage!

    Instead of a minimum wage we need a "Federal Profit Sharing" law that forces companies to take 75% of the profits and split it up between the people actually creating the profit; the harder the work the more they make!

    It is NOT RIGHT that the top dog makes MILLIONS while the people CREATING THE PROFIT live on slave wages.

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    March 8, 2013 6:02 p.m.

    this will cause a considerable rise in unemployment. fast foods etc. can't afford big increases. they will hire fewer employees, and cost of their product will rise, causing both inflation and lower sales

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 8, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    Sasha Pachev

    The difference between business and a business operation is that business is a prerogative of the society wherein the business operation wants to operate. It’s the people who create the opportunity, the rules and regulations, and specify how and what the product must be and even how much the business operation must pay it’s employees.

    The businessman may own the buildings, assets and even some intangibles, but he doesn’t own the right to operate his business with out the OK, permission and regulations of the society.

    The problem with today’s businessmen is that they think they should get all the profit because they invested some money. In fact their investment in the business may be less that the investment from the society of people.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 8, 2013 4:45 p.m.

    KC Mormon

    As mentioned in the post, the cost is paid by a tax on business operations. Just like it always has before technology, automation and unfair labor practices took away the balance needed to keep the economy going.

    The profit is up to the skill of the businessman, just like before. However the rate of creating new millionaires may decline.

    Wages will tend to follow prices, it has to do with the supply and demand. Why would the businessman raise prices when his costs go up along with greater demand for his product. Working people tend to spend a greater share of the earnings as opposed to millionaires and racially motivated businessmen.

    Mostly the jobs they do would be the same kinds of jobs people are doing now and working with the same motivations and ethics, only more of what we want done will get done.

    If a businessman fires and employee, the employee and his family will not suffer, he can just walk across the street and work for the government.

    The employee would become a real human being freed from the tyranny of business slave masters.

  • WhyNotThink North, UT
    March 8, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    micawber,

    Perhaps you were raised with a silver spoon in your mouth. That may explain how it would be difficult for you to recognize or understand how a person can pull himself up by his bootstraps. I grew up sleeping on a concrete floor in a cinder block house. I have no complaints about that. I worked at multiple minimum wage jobs and decided that this would not work when it came to raising my family.

    I worked full time and went to school full time to improve my wife and two children’s lives. No government programs, no scholarship, no food stamps just hard teeth gritting work. I no longer have to work at low paying jobs. I still have to work hard but I am able to successfully compete in a tight job market.

    That’s why this country is called the land of opportunity. That is why we have so many people trying to get into this country.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    March 8, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    Marxist,
    Your econmoic points are based on the premise that communism works, it does for the top politicians and everyone else suffers in poverty!

    I go with the "shoe study".
    A group of scientists studied poverty across the earth. They looked for a way to see how wealthy a culture was, the one need that was universal around the planet. They choose shoes.
    How many pairs of shoes does each person have in each country and nation. They spent years compiling information.
    Since most people in the US have at least 6 pairs of shoes we are some of the wealthiest, most communist nations are among the poorest including Cuba, China, and North Korea, with one or no pairs of shoes.
    I happen to like shoes. You must too, because you are still here.

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    March 8, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    Workers are not paid for hard work, they are paid for VALUABLE work. If a job is something anyone off the street could do, or could do with experience, the pay SHOULD be minimal.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    Minimum wage is one reason why so many businesses are looking overseas for their workers. It is cheaper to ship from China than it is to pay for low skill labor in the United States. Why do factories in the US shut down? This is just another bowing down to a puppet China.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    March 8, 2013 1:56 p.m.

    A1994, You are so very right!
    Why does this government continue to make it harder and harder for anyone to find the American dream?
    All I have heard Obama encourage is, higher education and higher minimum wage?
    What the?

    No matter what education you have, if there is no way to make more then minimum wage, you have wasted your time and acquired school debt foolishly.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    March 8, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    If someone wants to run a business, why do we have the nerve to tell them how much they should pay their employees? Do you go into people's houses and tell them how they should arrange furniture, how often they should clean, etc?

    The government should be able to set minimum wage for government employees, but why is it telling a private business owner how much he should pay? To help the people, the government can train, educate, provide information about jobs to make the job market more competitive, but it should not grab a business owner by the throat and tell him "You have to pay this much or else..".

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    March 8, 2013 1:32 p.m.

    Kathy,

    If it were politically possible, I would raise the minimum wage to more than $9 per hour. It is not politically possible, so I would take the best deal I could get. Obviously, highly skilled workers demand higher salaries than those lacking skills. But adults working at minimum wage are unlikely to be computer programmers or doctors.

    I'm uncomfortable with the idea that "they should pull themselves up by their bootstraps." Some people can't do that. We are always going to have people working in fast food or retail. And many of them work hard. (I doubt any of the people who conduct the studies on minimum wage would be willing to give up their jobs in academia or think tanks to be shift supervisors at McDonald's. Being a shift supervisor is much harder work.) So, when we say "go get a better job" or "what you do is not worth more than $7.25 per hour", I don't think we are being fair to the hard-working people doing those jobs. That's what I mean by fair in this context.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2013 1:05 p.m.

    Of course, the missing piece in all discussion of wages is the refusal of economists to recognize the existence of Marx's surplus value. This must be part of the discussion, but never is because it is taboo. Marx asked an interesting question: in a market system which sees mostly the exchange of equivalents, where do profits come from? The answer is surplus value, the increment of value added by labor for which it is not compensated. Without this inclusion the debate over wages is an exercise in futility.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    March 8, 2013 11:31 a.m.

    Ultra Bob,
    Question, where does the money come from to pay the wages for all those people? It comes from taxes. So 100% of their income must be taxed from someone to pay the wage. Now you say lets tax the companies. Another question, are going to allow them to still make a profit? If yes than I have yet another question are going to get rid of the personal income tax? Here is where this is all leading with everything the government is required to do you tax companies to pay the salaries of all these new government employees you are going to raise the cost of their products. That will make the new government wage not enough to live on. Further more what are all these new government workers going to do? What is their job going to be? How hard will it be to fire them? can they spend 2 hours every day on Facebook? What people need to start doing is thinking ideas through to the next stage rather than stopping at everything is just happy go lucky

  • I-am-I South Jordan, UT
    March 8, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    Schwa, a basic macro economics class will tell you that minimum wage decreases the number of jobs.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    March 8, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    Don't fear the higher minimum wage. As an example, Washington State, has a min wage of $9.19 and we have a good standard of living, and more money turning over in the local economy. The person who brings me my breakfast each day, makes tips plus 9.19 an hour, and I can afford the food. The owner of the business is still making money, and gets more of it because other min wage earners have disposable income that makes a Sunday morning breakfast date possible. If the wage were cut in half, would we expect businesses to double the number of employees they have? That makes no sense. Raise the min wage.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 8, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    The ironic thing in this argument is the fact that the same people who complain about US jobs being shipped overseas because of cheap labor are the same ones who are arguing that the labor in the US needs to cost more.

    Come on liberals tell us what will happen if we make the labor in the US cost more by increasing the minimum wage? Will that lead to more jobs here, or more jobs outside the US?

    What do you want? You can't have both.

    To "RichardB" if a worker's labors only bring in $8 worth of value, why should they be paid $9? How is that fair to an employer that is risking their money on an employee that doesn't bring in enough to cover the cost of their employment?

    Fair is arbitrary and has no meaning. If a worker doesn't want to earn $7.25/hr they should look elsewhere or else get a skill that demands more money.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 8, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    I say forget the Minimum wage.

    Our government should, after due study and deliberation, determine the wages necessary to live the minimum American dream and hire all available workers into government service at that wage. Thus ending the best tool of the oppressors, namely “unemployment”.

    The cost of which would be recovered by a tax on business. Any business who didn’t want to participate in the American civilization can just go fish.

    Zero unemployment would be a boon to private enterprise as well a stabilizing effect on the economy. It could eliminate recessions and depressions while allowing growth. An individual could follow his dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without the fear of something outside his own efforts destroying him.

  • WhyNotThink North, UT
    March 8, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    An employer will hire an employee to help him make a profit unless the employer is government based or a non-profit organization. If you eliminate the profit the employer will eventually run into the red and have no means to correct the deficit.

    To improve the health of the company the employer must do one of the following: 1)reduce the cost of manufacturing the product or service provided 2)increasing the value of the product or service so they can raise prices without increasing costs, 3)Sale more product (this assumes that increased profit will overcome fixed costs).

    For a business that is operating at close to or at non-profit status increasing minimum wages could increase fixed cost causing the business to fold. That means loss of jobs. Pay should be based upon value of work not some arbitrary wage.

    As stated by other astute commenters $9/hr is not enough to support a family. Let’s be honest with each other this unfair arbitrary number does nothing but put another feather in some politicians' hat.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    March 8, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    The U.S. economy has turned into one of service jobs such as hospitals. Factories have moved out of the country. It would appear that the Republicans want to continue the job drain. The answer for the Democrats is to take minimum wage jobs and turn them into jobs which can support a family. The original purpose of minimum wage jobs was to hire teenagers part time in order to get them by on the way to a permanent high paying job while going to school. There are major cracks in the U.S. economy. Neither party has any semblance of an answer.

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    March 8, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    Real Maverick,

    As the article showed, both sides of this argument start with different assumptions, neither of them necessarily faulty. So when you refer to 'credible studies', I think you mean studies you agree with.

  • whatnext Clearfield, Utah
    March 8, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    This article talks alot about the individuals working for minium wage. What about taking into account those individuals that are working for a little over minimum wage or maybe $8 an hour. That is not a livable wage for a family of 4 either. What would their data show then. I would dare say they would find a larger percentage of people that are struggling to make ends me instead of just those who are making the minimum wage.

  • Kathy. Iowa, Iowa
    March 8, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    micawber

    Please define fair? Fair for the employer or the employee?
    It is like justice and mercy as it must meet the demands of both.
    Wages are equal to the skills that you bring to the employer and ease with which you can be replaced. If you can be trained for a job in a couple of hours then anyone that applies that is willing to work can replace you. If however you are highly educated and cannot be replaced because no one else can do the job then you are paid a lot for your skills.

    My family has been on both sides of the discussion. My grand father was a coal miner in Scotland and my sons are software engineers. Grandfather came to American so his family could have the opportunity for education.

  • aghast SYRACUSE, UT
    March 8, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    When I heard President Obama say in a news-bite that it was time to increase the minimum wage to $9.00/hr to make it a "livable minimum wage". I clenched my teeth so hard I think I shattered all my molars. I would like to see him, any politician, or any bureaucrat exist on $9.00 an hour. Bizarre beyond belief to find out that people in power are so out of touch. I am personally aware of people who make twice that that are on food stamps, free lunch and other assistance and their employers tout their wages as "livable".

    It is time to address poverty - not by adjusting the minimum wage, but by fixing the economy and promoting higher pay among those who actually work.

    By-the-way. Most of those people "living" on twice the minimum wage are teachers, police and other government employees. Start where the problem starts politicians.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    March 8, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    RichardB,
    The problem is higher minimum wage only has a short term effect on lifting peoples ability to spend. Here is what happens, every employee who makes under $9.00 an hour now must be given a raise because they are under the minimum. That makes them equal with people who have been working at the same place for say 5 years gradually building their salary. Now those people are angry that people who just started are making the same amount as them so they must be given a raise as well. They now make close to what their supervisors make and supervisors must make more than the people under them or they will not listen to them. Now lets say this company is a burger joint, they operate on a fairly low profit margin so they now must raise prices to compensate for the higher wages. Multiply this throughout all companies that pay minimum wage because that is why they pay that wage to start with. You now have inflation. Now the buying power of that $9.00 an hour job is the same as the $7.25 an hour job, you are back to square one.

  • Moabmom Moab, UT
    March 8, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    As the article shows, there are lies, there are dang lies, and then, there are statistics. Both sides use the numbers to try and sway the argument in their favor. Common sense will tell you that raising the minimum wage is not the answer. Raise it and you will have fewer jobs. Businesses will adjust to keep their profit by either hiring fewer workers, eliminating the low level positions all together, or by raising the cost of their product or service thus passing the cost on to the consumer (us), so it's a lose/lose situation anyway you look at it. The government needs to get out of the social engineering business and let the free market work. The more they tinker with it, the worse it gets for all of us.

  • MeganMary Murray, UT
    March 8, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    Just a few thoughts, first, I don't always like how teenagers are shown when it comes to the minimum wage debate. When I was a teen I was working at a minimum wage job in order to pay for college, not to pay for designer jeans or electronics. It was hard enough to save for school and now college expenses are rising, but wages are staying the same.

    Second, I've heard people say that if you are making minimum wage that you should simply go and find something better or go back to school in order to provide for your family. It's not always as easy as it sounds to simply up and find a new job, and if your barely making enough to provide for your family you are not going to have enough to go back to school.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    I have to admit to being amused every time the topic of a "proper" minimum wage is brought up.

    The humorous part being that there is so little ever discussed about the "proper" part of it. That is, who should decide what is proper and upon what basis should they decide it?

    I mean, if this person or people are so smart as to know what they price for minimum labor should be, why don't they apply the same reasoning to the price for milk, or gasoline, or the department of Defense/Education/Interior/Labor/etc., etc.?

    For those people who are so certain there is some magic figure that will be the --proper-- minimum wage, whether $7.50 or $9.00 or $20 or $100 per hour, why would they hesitate at having the same price fixing scheme for anything/everything else?

    The real problem with this debate is that there are so few people honest/smart enough to realize just how dumb it is.

  • Don Ira St George, UT
    March 8, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    Here we go again! Are the unions going to stay at their current wages if it costs more for goods and services? Will people working for $9.00 per hour be satisfied to continue working for $9.00 per hour, since their cost of living is going to increase? Since it will involve more taxes, fee and other costs, as I see it the low income workers the increase is meant to benefit will be loosing buying power. The only people to benefit are the politicians that are painting an allusion of prosperity for the sake of buying votes.

    Just a thought in passing: Several years ago, the question was ask of a government official; what is going to happen when we all are working for the government? His reply was; we are all working for the government, it's just someone else signing your paychecks.

    I am to old to be effected by the current happenings, however I think of my children and their children and their children. Ops, I am dating myself, children are human, kids are goats.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    March 8, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    The poor by definition do not have investment income (like the rich). Consequently, the lower the wages, the higher the costs for taxpayer paid welfare programs.

  • smokyhiker Pleasant Hill, TN
    March 8, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    We live in a new glbal competitive world. Raising the cost of producing a product places it at a disadvantage in the world market. (Ever see the label, "Made in China?"). We must REDUCE the cost of products that we export. So, place a tariff on imported goods to increase their sale price?
    Then, the world markets will stop, or reduce, buying our Boeing passenger planes, a chief source of our foreign exchange. Boeing, at present, has a backlog of orders for 4,000 planes. You better not mess with that.
    I am 91 years old Tennessean. In the 1930's our "Walmart" was F.W. Woolworth, the "Five and Dime" They were everywhere. Behind every counter was, usally a woman, stood someone to help you pick your new comb or hairbrush or whatever.
    In 1939 I worked at J.C.Penney full time, paid $10 a week, trolly cost 10 cents Social Security 15 cents a week. In the evenings I attended Univ. of Chattanooga. Went to the Pacific in 1943, then went on to college and medical school by G.I. Bill. Don't tell me about bad Obama or Washington. Our government has been good to me, but worked for it.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    Or instead of raising the minimum wage. We can cut taxes (which automatically increases the cash to the worker) and remove the requirement from an employer to give health care if you work 30 hours or more. Then minimum wage employees can work at one employer for 40+ hours and not have to juggle two jobs, two schedules plus fitting in education to make ends meet.

    Then again, barack came from privelage and never had to deal with the real world. Just another rich millionaire lecturing us on how to put more money into his pocket.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 8, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    First let me say thank you DN for a pretty fair presentation of a contentious subject. That hasn't always been your strong suit, but this was well done in a short space. You gave us information from both sides to have a discussion with. What's disapointing is the responders who still are talking anecdotes (even economic anecdotes), using personal circumstances to generalize for an entire citizenry, and those with plain no empathy (you should be ashamed, get up off the couch and improve yourself etc.). If life has taught me one thing it's I have no idea what someone elses shoes feel like. Stick to the facts and maybe we can have a productive discussion.

  • The Reader Layton, UT
    March 8, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    I don't buy the argument that if the minimum wage is passed employers would hire less workers. A place of business needs a certain amount of workers to stay in business. The employer will hire the workers needed to do the work. If the wage goes up the employer will still hire the same amount of workers. The cost of the product might have to be adjusted. This happens in every workplace or place of business. It is like crying wolf to say wages go up and number of workers goes down. It just is not true.

    What is true is wages go up and the standard of living goes up. For those on the bottom of the wage scale it is very hard for a person to feed a family with the minimum wage as low as it now is.

    The questions are these: Who benefits most by wages being raised?? Who benefits most by leaving wages low? What is best for the overall good of society?

    I believe society benefits most by raising the minimum wage.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    March 8, 2013 7:27 a.m.

    Minimum wage raises will cause prices to go higher. Why should a business be forced to pay someone 10 dollars for 5 dollars work. Are you willing to pay higher prices with minimum wage increases?

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    The thing is adults - especially those with families - shouldn't attempt to support their kdis on min. wage. It's basic economics that if your current job doesn't pay you enough, look for a new one! It's not hard!

    Funny thing is the more wages go up, the more everything else increases in price too.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    March 8, 2013 7:06 a.m.

    Some of these comments surprise me. Somebody has to work at McDonalds and the Gap and be the server at the diner in Cleveland or the cashier at the grocery store in Bakersfield. They may not have the ambition you think they should, but we should still treat them fairly. It does no good to say they should get a better job. I imagine that if they could get a better job, they would. And if they did, somebody else would have to fill their dead-end job. How we treat people who don't have the skills to get better jobs says a lot about who we are. This is about us, not them.

    And A1994, the economic conclusions you hold to be self-evident are actually much disputed.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    March 8, 2013 6:55 a.m.

    Why don't we just set $20.00 as the new minimum wage? That should solve all of our problems. Of course, in a year or two, $20.00 will buy the same amount or less than $7.75 does today. To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 8, 2013 6:50 a.m.

    Until someone can repeal the law of supply and demand, all of this is social engineering feel good nonsense.

    If a worker is really good, they will be paid more, or find a better paying job. If an employer needs more workers, they will pay more.

    Government mandates that a warm body must be paid $[x.xx] per hour may temporarily raise wages for some workers, but other laws of economics mandate that the costs of those higher wages will be reflected in higher costs for the products they make, and the net benefit is zero.

    A lousy economy is what you get when you have lawyers and social workers (and outright socialists) meddling in business instead of letting the free market work.

    "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us" was the mantra of the Communist countries and we see how well that worked out.

    Minimum wage laws should be repealed, not revised.

  • AGF Taylorsville, UT
    March 8, 2013 6:48 a.m.

    Re. Kathy at Iowa:

    You raise a good point: higher wages lead to greater efficiency, and vise versa. And this may hold true whether due to a natural labor shortage or one artificially induced through legislation. High unemployment is a byproduct of an upwardly mobile economy. Through economic stagnation Soviet Russia was able to eliminate unemployment, while Cuba was not.
    --AGF

  • Say What? Bountiful, UT
    March 8, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    Flat Tax is the Answer

    The best way to increase the income of the lower class is not to raise minimum wage, but to raise taxes on those earning minimum wage and close to it, and at the same time lower taxes on the top 1%. This is called a flat tax. This will make the poor so miserable and being super rich so sweet, the poor will then aspire to become super rich themselves.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    March 8, 2013 6:33 a.m.

    Just raise it already. No credible study has showed that it hurts the economy. While there are several credible studies done which have actually showed the opposite.

  • Barb Wire USA, UT
    March 8, 2013 6:21 a.m.

    The minimum wage worker here in Utah is the high school teen working for extra money, but it is also a dad or mom working 2 jobs on minimum wage to support their family. They have to work two jobs because the business owners keep their hours down as to not have to pay benefits. Alot of the people in the small town that I live in (more than half) also receive financial support from the LDS church. So everything is not hunky dory as we are lead to believe...I think Utah business owners believe that a family can survive on minimum wage and the LDS Church.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    March 8, 2013 6:19 a.m.

    Busboys, chamber maids, laborers, lawn mowers...will all tell you a minimum wage law won't help as long as people are willing to hire someone without papers and pay them under the table.
    Not that such a scenario would ever happen here in the United States. No sir. Homeland Security will tell you that doesn't happen. Too much enforcement for such a thing to take place here.
    Besides, low-skilled Americans wouldn't stoop to do those jobs.
    Blinders on - narrative firmly in place.

  • Albert Maslar CPA (Retired) Absecon, NJ
    March 8, 2013 6:10 a.m.

    As to differing groups looking at statistics with differing assumptions, figures don't lie but liars figure to make their case. The point is that if more jobs were available, the market would correct itself upward or downward without undue government interference. A low paying job beats no job. I paid my way through college by first working and saving for two years 1947-1949, and then worked on various jobs while in school and took mainly labor intensive summer jobs from a previous employer to keep the ball rolling. My tuition and board came to about $2,000 a year, with no debt. Today's annual college costs for the same thing could reach $40,000 a year, requiring college loans that without jobs might never be paid off. This circumstance is too debilitating to our young. College courses by computer while working may be something to take more seriously.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2013 2:31 a.m.

    It is always interesting, in discussions on this topic, to observe the wide range of rationalizations used by employers who are determined to constantly tap-dance around the real issue: their own Greed. "Minimum wage is only meant for teenagers," they dumbly assert. "If you're a teenager, and you're working at or near minimum wage, it's because you are lacking in ambition." Bla Bla Bla. The fact is, there are more college graduates working at or near minimum wage than ever; more than half of those working minimum wage are adults, and more than half of these are older than 25. Those numbers may not agree with Mark's Wilson's statistic, but that may be because they don't have children -- how could they, at minimum wage?

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    March 8, 2013 2:31 a.m.

    The myth that businesses will hire fewer workers is just untrue. Businesses will hire as many workers as they need to meet the demand of their product or service. No more, no less. And if they have to pay them more, they are still going to hire them, because that is what it takes to meet their demand. Maybe that means less profit at the top. Maybe it means higher prices for consumers. But one way or the other, the demand will get met. Because some profit is still better than no profit.

    All honest work deserves a living wage. And I don't care if it is a teenager wanting some extra cash for designer jeans and electronics. Those things boost the economy, too! Raising the minimum wage is a good thing for everyone who is in the economy.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    March 8, 2013 12:34 a.m.

    What's better, pay a man/woman a fair wage, or let the taxpayer pay them through the earned income credit. A higher minimum wage helps to increase everyone's wages. The only way wages will come into line is through a raise in minimum wage. We have to much surplus labor for a labor shortage to force wages higher.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    March 7, 2013 10:43 p.m.

    It's really simple. Raise the minimum wage, businesses hire fewer workers. How can the President of the United States of America know so little about economics??? Does he think that businesses have a vault with cash in the back room that they are just selfishly hoarding? Honestly!

    On a much larger scale, the President and the American Left constantly aim so low. Does the server at the diner in Cleveland or the cashier at the grocery store in Bakersfield really want to be secure in THAT job? Or do we still aim for something better in America? Does the server maybe want to own their own diner one day or the cashier their own grocery store?? How about focusing on creating opportunity instead of trying to keep people hemmed into jobs that will never make the financially free?

  • Kathy. Iowa, Iowa
    March 7, 2013 10:40 p.m.

    Whenever you increase the cost of employees you increase the incentive to automate and get rid of employees.
    Think of the auto industry--robots everywhere because of the labor costs. Make it too expensive to have people and they will invent more machines to get rid of them.
    That does not even begin to address Obamacare and limiting hours so they don't have to offer healthcare.

  • crawfordzoo Barstow, CA
    March 7, 2013 10:32 p.m.

    @dwayne: you wrote "Employing two employees at 10 hours each instead of one employee at 21 hours costs them more money."

    I have always believed that, however, my daughter's employer keeps hiring more people and gives them less than 20 hours. The reason we found in the employees handbook: when an employee works more than 20 hours, they accrue vacation time and sick leave. Hiring multiple employees and giving them less than 20 hours saves them money. They know they can get away with it because people will take the job. A lousy job is still better than no job.

  • crawfordzoo Barstow, CA
    March 7, 2013 10:24 p.m.

    What about the High School graduate who wants to go to college, but doesn't want to do it by going into debt and who isn't given more than 15 hours a week? There are so many different scenarios...