Comments about ‘Study examines public cost of fast-food wages’

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Published: Thursday, Oct. 17 2013 5:35 p.m. MDT

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Wasatch Front, UT

What a ridiculous premise for a study and a story. Fast food jobs DO NOT cost taxpayers a dime. They provide income for low skill workers who otherwise would be earning even less (otherwise these workers would not be willing to work in these jobs).

The real issues are 1) The lack of education and skills of many workers in our advanced, knowledge-based economy, and 2) poor economic conditions and slack in the job market.

Requiring higher wages for "fast food" workers would only drive food inflation higher, reducing demand for fast food, and thus fewer jobs. The unintended consequence of wage price-setting would be to concentrate more money into the fewer hands that would get the jobs, exactly the opposite of what the left is trying to accomplish in "spreading the wealth".

We need more education! (for both the writers of stories such as this, and for those who are stuck in low-skill jobs)

Taylorsville, 00

Minimum wage now is about 1/3 of the real value it was in the 1960s. There's a reason it's much harder now to use it to live. Pure market supply and demand without social intervention leads to situations like Bangladesh, where people work 12 hour days and starve anyway.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

The first requirement for a study from Berkeley is to determine what you want the outcome to be (liberal or radical liberal), then find data to support the predetermined outcome.

If people want to get paid more, they need to make their time and services worth more. Too much emphasis is placed on how much less the get paid than what others get paid, and not enough emphasis is placed on the VALUE they provide for their time.

If enough of these no-skill employees developed skills and found better compensated work elsewhere, the jobs would revert to entry level, part-time jobs for teenagers, OR the drop off in worker supply would force the employers to raise wages. (more likely the former).

The public safety net facilitates low-income jobs. If people could not get by with fast-food wages and public assistance, they would improve their skills and get better jobs. Laws of self-preservation are powerful things.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Single parents trying to raise kids on minimum wage are mostly women. Maybe they should get a commitment, like a ring on the left hand and a marriage license creating obligations BEFORE they engage in activities that create babies. Maybe the ally cats who impregnate these women should shoulder the responsibility of their actions. Personal responsibility! AAAGGGHHHH! That is anathema to liberals.

Maybe if we didn’t facilitate them, but shamed them a little more, there would not be as many poor! Facilitating them damages them more than a short time shame (kick in the pants to get them going)

actually in the 90s when there was a better economy, service jobs made up a smaller percentage of the available jobs, so the answer to your 1st question is a resounding YES!

Phoenix, AZ

"What a ridiculous premise for a study and a story. Fast food jobs DO NOT cost taxpayers a dime."

I think what the article is saying is that low wage earners, such as fast-food employees are eligible for food stamps and other government handouts. That's the cost to the government being addressed in the article.

And this is what happens when the government gets its sticky fingers into economics... we move closer to socialism where the government is in the business of transferring money from the rich who prepared themselves well in their youth to the poor who diddled away their preparation years.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Allow supply and demand to remedy the situation without government interference. If government assistance wasn't supplementing the income of fast food workers, restaurants would have to increase wages or else they wouldn't have any workers. "

Nope. There'd just be more people needing multiple jobs to get by and that means even higher demand for jobs so businesses can continue paying low amounts. This is pretty much how it works in every single third world nation.

"You raise the minimum wage and these restaurants will no longer be able to afford them as workers, then what? "

Actually it's been estimated that to raise McDonalds' wages to 15 an hour all they'd have to do is raise the cost of food 17%. Raising the minimum wage one dollar rather than 7 dollars (to get to 15) would mearly require increasing prices around 2-3% to pay for it.

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

I say set the minimum wage at $50/hour. This would drive most fast food places out of business , the average diet will improve thus reducing the incidence of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, and we will save billions in healthcare. Yes, and also set the minimum wage at $100/hour in all places that produce or sell alcohol or tobacco.

Cambridge, MA

To "bradz03" there is an even easier solution. Cut off the welfare to the people that think they can make a career out of a minimum wage job. Once the net is removed, they will seek out better paying employment or they will go hungry.

The big question is why should we support people who choose to not develop skills that demand higher wages?

If we cut off welfare for people trying to make careers out of minimum wage jobs, the Fast Food industry could return to its roots. Hiring Highschool kids and college kids.

Castle Rock, CO

Instead of saying, "Hey, good for these folks for making an effort to work and be personally responsible," now we're criticizing them because they don't have good enough jobs, aren't going to school, aren't ambitious enough, etc. etc.?

At what point do we stop judging others and just try helping them out?

I am disgusted by the tone of most comments. There but for the Grace of God go most of us. I worked minimum jobs too when I was young, but I had the benefit of a great family who helped me go to school. I also had scholarships and took out loans to go to grad school. But university was a lot cheaper when I went to school and I got a job as soon as I graduated. Things are different today. And I wouldn't dare pass judgment on those from different backgrounds and without the blessings I had. I think it would behoove us all to show a bit more charity.

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