Comments about ‘35 states that offer more in welfare than minimum wage earnings’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 26 2013 1:45 a.m. MDT

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Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

This is part of the Cloward-Piven strategy. Increase the number of welfare recipients to such a degree as to collapse the system. This is a forerunner of socialism. Obama is following it point by point.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It should be noted that CATO is a libertarian think tank that is opposed to virtually all government programs of any kind.

Right wing billionaires have spent decades trying to convince the middle class that most of their taxes go to lazy people, usually minorities, who simply refuse to work. Only about 5% of the federal budget goes to the non-working poor.

A bigger problem is companies like Wal-Mart and McDonalds who pay their employees so little that they qualify for food stamps and Medicaid. In other words, our taxes are subsidizing the profits of these gigantic corporations.

Bluffdale, UT

Everyone looks forward to the vision of retirement and being able to do what one wants to do and not have a boss. A lot of the time those losing a job and going on unemployment think they are in a retirement mode and start to enjoy not having to get up early and answering to a boss at work. I have seen several friends have initiative drained out of them with unemployment benefits. I can see why businesses do not like to hire people out of work but instead like to hire talent away from other companies.

pleasant grove, UT

"Does welfare rob Americans of their incentive to work?"


salt lake city, utah

Look at the article closely, nearly 60% of "welfare" recipients do work and they fall into the category Roland is talking about folks working for billionaires who won't pay a living wage. The other 40% probably contains some who'd rather receive than work, but, it also contains mothers with small children, the disabled, and those who have temporarily lost decent paying jobs who are actively looking. This is more of the same old Regan welfare queen nonsense.

The bigger problem is the situation described where the 60% as they get ahead go through a period where they lose their support benefits but still don't make enough to get by. That's a disincentive not the nonsense about paying people not to work.

Pleasant Grove, UT

The Cato Institute loves to imagine that there are simple solutions to complex problems. For example, single mothers who want to work have to deal with finding and affording child care, which can eat up much of what they make by working. People without a car are often limited in where they can work due to lack of public transportation. Those in small towns have a limited number of places to apply and can't afford to move elsewhere. Other places have such massive unemployment that there are few jobs for which they qualify, and there are literally hundreds of applicants for the jobs where they do qualify. If there's one job and a hundred applicants, simple math tells us that there will still be ninety-nine unemployed people left when that job is filled.

None of these problems are insoluble, but the solutions are more complex and challenging than the simplistic ideas put forward by the extremest positions that Cato holds.

Hayden, ID

Easy welfare destroys people, families, cities and nations. Detroit is an excellent example. Black on black crime, while liberals refuse to talk about it, is a direct result of destruction of the family. Don't need a father in the home because welfare eliminates the necessity, i.e. welfare replaces the father in the family as breadwinner and 70% of babies born have no father. Social consequences of easy welfare are enormous.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

My assumption is that Utah pays welfare benefits less than the minimum wage.

The problem I have with this information is that it is comparing an hourly rate to what must be an annual amount. What are the particulars of each?

If the minimum hourly wage applies only to start up employees, as businessmen tell us and start up employees seldom work full time, what is the annual salary that should be used for the comparison.

About the annual salary used, does it apply to a single person, a family, or a child? What is in the “benefits” and what is their estimated value? What are the welfare benefits that might apply to the minimum wage worker?

I think this article is well below the standard we should expect from the media.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Looks like a good solid case for raising the minimum wage.

Brigham City, UT

Where do the "47%" fall?

Woods Cross, UT

Perhaps there is an easy solution to this: ALL Employers should pay a living wage for a fair day's work. Don't expect government or charities to come in and subsidize your labor costs. And shop around and find healthcare plans for your employees. If you don't do both of these, don't whine to me when government steps in and forces you to do it. Socialism is a last resort when amoral capitalism runs amuck.

Charlotte, NC

Does welfare rob Americans of their incentive to work?

Absolutely! This happens all the time. But they cannot be faulted. If you can make more on welfare, this is a rational decision.

Hayden, ID

Salaries and wages must be governed by free market competition. If you don't possess the job skills that demand more than minimum wages, whose fault is that? Some of you want to blame the employer but ask yourself how an employer can survive and compete in the real world by paying high wages for minimal contributions? Its why brain surgeons and engineers make more money than janitors or hamburger flippers! If you want to earn more money, improve your jobs skills!

salt lake city, utah

So Max, why do 60% of welfare recipients work if they've been robbed of their incentive to work? Welfare robs incentive to work is pure baloney. As the article itself says few qualify for all welfare programs so they have to work, conversely welfare is not set up to rob someone of their incentive to work. Once again Republicans/conservatives just making up the world the way they want to see it. It's why they haven't had a decent solution for anything for over 60 years.

terra nova
Park City, UT

Ironic that many who berate Wal-Mart and McDonalds (and all other "billionaires" cashing in on the blood of the working class), actually own stock in those same corporations. Stocks are widely distributed and part of many indexes commonly part of 401k, IRA, insurance, annuity or other investment vehicles.

And if you don't have an investment in them you have almost certainly shopped at WMT or eaten at MCD (and are therefore still complicit in exploiting the proletariat).

Ironically, it is Capitalism that has distributed ownership and voting rights to the masses through stocks and open markets while socialism ends up concentrating power in the hands of the political elite.

Las Vegas, NV

Mountanman your statement works both ways, how does an employer such as owner of Papa Johns make the money he does and not pay decent wages or medical. If employees are showing up for work everyday and you make a substantial profit shouldn't the employer give some back to his employees. The only reason employers don't pay better is because of GREED and the rich want to get richer.

Moab, UT

Welfare....slowly destroying personal dignity, work ethics, and the family since the 1960's when the "safety net" of the 1930's turned into the conformable hammock we see today. Raising the min wage to $15 an hour is pure stupidity. It will be like putting a screen door on a submarine and will have the same effect. Businesses are already cutting to the bone, both hours and wages, to deal with O care,higher energy costs and transportation of product due to higher gas prices.. Raise the min wage on them and you will get more jobs lost and more out-sourcing, not less. Contrary to what this "I'm more equal than you,everybody gets a trophy generation" thinks, flipping burgers at McDonald's is not a "career skill" that is worth $15 an hour

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

want to make more than minimum wage? Make your labor worth more than minimum wage.

In too many cases the labor provided is not even worth minimum wage.

Labor is a commodity - differentiate the value of your labor; make it worth more

blaming billionaires who already pay 80-95% of the income taxes is just an excuse.

salt lake city, utah

It's this whole black and white, either or, capitalism versus socialism, if you don't like your wage go to college despite coming from generations of poverty, I did it so everyone should be able to, lack of reality inside the bubble attitude that turned many of us here who are personally very successful, and fiscally pretty conservative away from the Republican party decades ago. It's also the reason the Republicans are getting hammered nationally. Republicans can only succeed where they can create and maintain the bubble. The world doesn't look like or function like you want it to. Try as you may you can't change that.


Mountainman and Terra Nova:
Maybe you should learn a little more about Capitalism. You might try "Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith. When a few oligarchs control the means of production (today the top 20% own 93% of the nations wealth and the masses less than 1%) there is no serious competition and workers simply take the crumbs the giants of industry give them. Someone can work for Walmart, or in City Creek for 30 years and still not receive sufficient wage to live on. Maybe you should read a little about Rockefeller, Carnegie, of JP Morgan. The oligarchs of today (Microsoft, HP, Toyota) are no different, they just have better PR departments.

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