Comments about ‘Will the real minimum-wage worker please stand up?’

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Published: Monday, March 4 2013 4:55 p.m. MST

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Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Pleasant Hill, TN

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.

South Jordan, Utah

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.

Don Ira
St George, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Murray, UT

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.

Moab, UT

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.

KC Mormon
Edgerton, KS

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.


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.

Iowa, Iowa


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.

Clearfield, Utah

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.

American Fork, UT

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.

Saint Louis, MO

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.

North, UT

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.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

Deep Space 9, Ut

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.

Olympia, WA

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.

South Jordan, UT

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

KC Mormon
Edgerton, KS

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

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

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