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Comments about ‘Proposed higher minimum wage for federal contract workers affects us all’

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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11 2014 12:04 p.m. MST

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md
Cache, UT

I disagree that it affects us all. Many people don't pay their share of taxes...Once again, this disproportionately affects the few who pay the majority of the nation's taxes. Another backwards thought, that appeals to the masses on the public dole, brought to you by our socialist president b.o.

techpubs
Sioux City, IA

Obviously raising minimum wages will increase the overall costs of items.
A better choice would be to reduce the difference between the top compensation allowed and the lowest compensation allowed. In the 50's and 60's the top compensation was no more than 30x the bottom. Today the top is 300x the bottom.

MAYHEM MIKE
Salt Lake City, UT

The President and the states can raise the minimum wage to any level they wish, but one thing will always be paramount in the interraction between labor and business: Paraphrasing what Jeff Goldblum said in "Jurassic Park" ("Life will always find a way!"), in any business venture requiring financial risk and creativity to prosper, profit will always "find a way."

Workers can demand all the higher pay they want, even earning the support of politicians who want to close the financial gap between "haves and have-nots," but without the requisite skills required to make themselves valuable to employers, they may eventually find themselves with no job and a minimum wage of zero. As the article said,"minimum wages should reflect the supply and demand for workers and their skills," not some fiat from politicians pandering to stay elected.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

I agree with president Obama. Those who cook food for the troups ought to have decent pay, a living wage. To those who say let the market decide, you mean the same market wherein corporate execs get 500+ times what their average worker makes?

No thanks, the market as it exists has something wrong with it. Your economic theory sounds oh so good in isolation but where the rubber meets the road it doesn't always hold water.

itsjustme
Vernal, UT

Let's say that someone started working for me 3 years ago. I hired them at the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. They were unskilled and knew nothing about work. They now make $10.00 an hour with their new skills in hand.

All of a sudden, the minimum wage is raised to $10.00 per hour. That person is now making the same thing that a new, unskilled worker that knows nothing about work. How is this equitable?

You can say that I should also raise the wage of the skilled worker. If you know anything about business, there is only so much available from the budget to pay wages. Once I reach that point, I either raise my prices to cover the increased costs, (competition dictates that I cannot do that) or I terminate the employment of some of my people so I can stay on budget. Which do you think I would choose?

One other reason to not raise the minimum wage: That $10.00 you are earning now because of the increase in the minimum wage would purchase the same thing that $7.25 was used to purchase before the increase. How have you improved your situation?

Esquire
Springville, UT

Yes, raising the minimum wage for federal contractors affects us all. And that's a good thing. It's good for workers, and good for business. It's time many in the business community recognize the benefit of more disposible income for consumers. It means more economic activity and less pressure on government programs to assist the poor.

Oh, and I'm OK with not being like South Carolina and Alabama. We can do som much better than using these states as something to emulate. Yikes!

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

techpubs,

If I start a company and I add create 300X the value of an assembly line person putting stickers on boxes, I should be paid 300X more than the guy putting stickers on boxes.

Barack has no place in deciding how much I should be paid. Silly to suggest arbitrary levels that don't reflect the reality of discrepancies is value added activities.

Showing that the gap has changes doesn't prove or show anything. If the top performers today are more valuable than they were 30 years ago, they should be compensated for it.

GiuseppeG
Murray, Utah

I get the economic theory here and don't believe in punishing the successful.

However, I'm also aware that the $10 level simply squares up minimum wage to meet the CP index so that today's minimum wage matches up with the minimum wage from the 60s.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

Two questions for those who support raising the minimum wage:
1. The federal minimum wage has been raised 39 times in the history of this country. None of those have succeeded in reducing poverty or creating greater income equality. What makes you think doing it for the 40th time will make the outcome any different?
2. If raising the minimum wage is economic panacea, why not raise it more? Why not make it $50 or $100/hour?

I would love to hear some honest answers.

Wildfan
Ogden, UT

It's pretty blatant, Obama is buying more votes for Democrats with taxpayer money. There are still opportunities for growth. You can get a college degree largely for free in Utah if you make just the minimum wage through grants.

A huge, forced hike in minimum wage is going to cripple small businesses. These are not the people making millions per year that could afford the hike by reducing their bonuses.

Ben Mathews
Lehi, UT

All minimum wage does is freeze out the workers who aren't worth the required minimum and make jobs disappear when it doesn't produce enough profit to justify the pay. You can't make a business pay more than it will make a profit at.

Examples: Even a lazy, incompetent could find a job at a dollar per hour. At $10/hour, he is unemployed. A fast food restaurant is happy to hire counter workers at some rates. But eventually, it is cheaper to replace them with automated point of sale equipment.

RichardB
Murray, UT

Most Federal contractors are already paying over $10 an hour.

" minimum wages should reflect the supply and demand for workers and their skills. Leaving minimum wage decisions to each state better aligns local wages with local needs and the local supply of laborers."

Do we really want to go there? US businesses have manipulated the supply and demand for decades using illegal workers, visas and legal immigration. The low income worker has seen depressed wages for decades. Switzerland is defying the EU open borders by restricting people coming their from other EU countries for work. They are also forcing business to hire locals first. The tide is turning.

This great country thinks less of the poor than Australia ($15) and several other countries paying over $10 an hour, including Japan.

CJH
Alpine, UT

"The minimum wage law requires employers to discriminate against persons with low skills. No one describes it that way. But that is in fact what it is. Take a poorly educated teenage with little skill whose services are worth, say, only $2.00 an hour. He or she might be eager to work for that wage in order to acquire greater skills that would permit a better job. The law says that such a person may be hired only if the employer is willing to pay him or her $2.90 an hour. Unless an employer is willing to add 90 cents in charity to the $2.00 that the person’s services are worth, the teenager will not be employed. It has always been a mystery to us why a young person is better off unemployed from a job that would pay $2.90 an hour than employed at a job that does pay $2.00 an hour. The high rate of unemployment among teenagers, and especially black teenagers, is both a scandal and a serious source of social unrest." Milton Friedman's quote in 1979 applies today.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "cjb" yes, let the market decide. For example, the In-and-Out Burger place in Centerville was recently looking to add more employees. They advertised a starting wage of $10/hr. Nobody forced them to offer that wage.

Another great example is Costco. They pay their employees well, and have the idea that it saves them money in the long run because they don't have to train employes often and their customers get to know the employees. Contrast that with Walmart. It is rare to see the same person there for more than 3 months.

The walmart employees get in, get experience, then get out as quickly as possible. In the end, it costs the company money. However, since so many people shop there, they can afford the loss.

Also consider the entire group that works for minimum wage. Tell me, why should a teenage kid with no work experience or skills be paid $10/hr or more. What do they need with that amount of money?

mcdugall
Murray, UT

The cost to taxpayers for this increase is marginal compared to expense of continued corporate-welfare policies.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

This is such great news! I'm so excited! How refreshing! This president gets stuff done for workers rather than merely letting the country go down the toilet and start 2 Unfunded wars and tax breaks to his richie buddies!

I'm so glad that finally workers will be paid their dues! It's nice to see that working people, people who actually produce things, are rewarded. I was beginning to think that only the rich could be rewarded in this country anymore. I mean, for decades now workers haven't seen wage increases even though CEOs have seen record profits!

Glad that we finally have a president who looks out for us! Is there a way we could give him a 3rd term?

techpubs
Sioux City, IA

Chris B:
Unfortunately most times the person that is drawing those wages has not added 300x the value to the company by himself. If 3 different workers in 3 different areas of that company come up with ideas where the production is increased by changing a process or purchasing a different tool to help them work at a faster rate while maintaining quality output may increase 300x. But the one at the top will not tell the Board of Directors that Joe, Pete, and Bill increased productivity.
He will instead productivity has increased 300x under my management so I deserve more pay.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@Brave Sir Robin
"1. The federal minimum wage has been raised 39 times in the history of this country. None of those have succeeded in reducing poverty or creating greater income equality. What makes you think doing it for the 40th time will make the outcome any different?"

It's sort of the reverse to me. I think not raising it, if left unchanged long enough, makes things worse, and that the occasional increase to keep it in line with inflation prevents harm.

"2. If raising the minimum wage is economic panacea, why not raise it more? Why not make it $50 or $100/hour?"

Conservatives are correct when they say that there exists a level of minimum wage high enough that it causes more harm than good. We just disagree as to where that level is. Over the past 50 years the minimum wage has oscillated between around 6 and 10.50 in current dollars adjusted for inflation so I wouldn't personally support anything that really goes beyond the upper end of that range (with the exception perhaps of localized towns like in New York City neighborhoods where cost of living is sky high).

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

Question, Why is it ok to attack minimum wage workers for being unskilled, but give a complete pass to companies like Wal Mart and McDonalds for making their billions on the back of the American taxpayer? Don't think that's true? Then chew on this for a minute. Be realistic, can someone making $1200 a month before taxes(federal min wage@ 40 hours a week) actually survive? No, so they take food stamps, section 8 housing and Medicaid. McDonalds literally had a help line that encouraged employee's to sign up for food stamps, and gave them instructions on how to do it. In 2012 7 billion was spent on benefits for fast food employees. This is why i'm against welfare for working people, Wal Mart can afford to pay a wage where we(taxpayers) don't subsidize their labor costs. People who actually work should be paid enough to eat that month, and if a company can't do that then they should close the doors.

the truth
Holladay, UT

@techpubs

If I create or provide you a good job with benefits, what is my value to you?

The Gap proves nothing.

The only question that needs be answered is are you paid a fair wage for your labor or services?

Considering what some one else makes is irrelevant and is all about greed.

Yes, poor and middle class are just as greedy as the upper class, they Justas human, and are people too.

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