Comments about ‘Letter: Employ Americans’

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Published: Friday, Feb. 21 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Americans who expect to be paid more than their value to a business are a blight on our economy. Instead of making themselves valuable, they think that they can demand higher wages for less value. When did they ever pay more than necessary for milk, for gas, for cable TV? They understand the basic law of supply and demand when they shop, but they expect that law to be waived when they demand more money for doing less.

There is a very simple solution. Let the workers buy the businesses. Let the workers provide the capital. Let the workers take the risks. Let the workers try to sell overpriced products whose price has been inflated by overpaying labor and overpaying taxes. Let them lose, not only their jobs, but their businesses. Maybe then they'll understand that VALUE comes before wage increases.

Fitness Freak
Salt Lake City, UT

The high-tech industry learned from the "low-tech" industry - namely, its MUCH cheaper to send a bribe.........er.. "donation" to their elected representatives than to actually pay a decent wage. Then they get on the phone with Orrin (and others)and claim they "can't find enough workers" (cue the tears). Of course since the smarmy employer is "paid up" on his gratuities to his elected official, he has their full attention.

The more H1B visas that are given out, the more Americans will be unemployed. Its that simple.
When will our elected representatives start working for the betterment of actual LEGAL working Americans?

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Mike Richards: For the past thirty years, Corporate America has waged a ruthless campaign to crush the wages of America workers, and they have succeeded very well in their task. The only problem is that their very success is making it impossible for a great many Americans to make a decent living.

The problems is not that workers want too much, the problem is that the share of GDP going to workers is dwindling and dwindling, while the share going to corporate profits expands exponentially.

Corporate America has been the biggest booster of high immigration levels, both legal and illegal, it is one of their best weapons in the fight against workers. I am very disappointed that my fellow liberals cannot see through this scam.

high school fan
Huntington, UT

It is so easy to blame Corporate America when that doesn't mean anything. Identify who you mean since most jobs in this country are created and maintained by people just like the rest of us, people looking to make another buck.
I wish Liberals, in Roland's case, would quit generalizing and be specific. I believe most companies are fair but there is exceptions to this but they are the minority.

Mark l

If workers want to be paid more, they need to work and provide value to the business. Many people today would rather IM friends and Facebook, instead of work. Then they wonder why they are laid off.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It's sad, but true... most employers don't hire based on patriotism. They hire based on the bottom line.

What we need is more people who post here that they would only hire Americans, and pay them more than market value... to go out and open up companies and do just that (instead of telling someone ELSE to do it).

Once you invest all you have to open that company, and you are competing with other companies in the same industry that hire at the lowest wage they can (maybe even shipping their expensive jobs overseas)... and when you can't compete on price... just keep remembering... you're being patriotic, it's not about profits, or staying in business... it's about helping the country and doing your patriotic duty (while you watch the company fail).

Heck, you will get a lot of great employees while it lasts (because you're paying more than anybody else)... but when customers are buying your competitor's products or services instead of yours (because he can deliver them for less)... You will at least know you were doing your patriotic duty (as you hand out the pink slips to everybody).

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@high school fan: Okay, let me give you one specific example: The meat packing industry. Meat packing has always been a tough, dirty, dangerous job, and no one ever got rich being a meat packer. But they used to be union jobs and meat packers could support a lower middle class family. The corporations managed to bust all the unions, fire all their American employees, and now virtually all jobs in meat packing plants are held by illegal immigrants who work for minimum wage, or less.

The Clinton administration was raiding the plants and deporting the illegal employees. The corporations complained to the Republican congress and congress cut all funding for the program. That's why every time I hear Republicans talking about clamping down on illegal immigration, I know it's an out and out lie. They will do what Corporate America wants, and what it wants is cheap labor.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah


The auto industry started buying robots (for hundreds of thousands of dollars - each) to replace people who came to work unprepared, hungover, on drugs, and sleeping when the boss wasn't around. Was that the fault of business or was it the fault of workers (and unions) who thought that they deserved a job no matter what the cost was to the business?

As a youth, I moved sprinkler pipe on farms in Idaho. It was hard, back-breaking work that paid almost nothing. Now, when I travel through those same areas, the farmers have bought self-moving sprinkling systems that cost many thousands of dollars - because they couldn't hire people to do the work manually at any price.

I work in the computer industry. This morning at 2:30 a.m., my phone rang and I started running diagnostics on remotes systems. I am well trained. I am motivated. My customers trust me. They're willing to pay good money knowing that the value received is worth every penny.

Untrained, unskilled and unwilling workers demand more than they are worth. The rest of us are honest and we charge a fair price for fair value.

Salt Lake City, UT

Business owners say "Sure I'd pay my workers more, if only they were more productive." The problem is, as workers become more productive, the owners just repeat the same mantra without actually giving raises commensurate with the workers' output, and pocket the difference. And then, like Mike Richards, they argue that workers aren't paid more because they aren't providing more value. They treat employees as an expense rather than an investment.

Phoenix, AZ

"Pay Americans what they justly should be paid."

And who's supposed to decide what Americans should be paid? In our economy that decision is to be made by the law of supply and demand. Allow more immigrants (legal or otherwise) and wages will be depressed even further.

Artificially raise wages and immigrants will have increased incentive to come here for the higher pay. Plus, in today's global economy, higher wages will mean more jobs will migrate overseas. Just the facts of life.

"They'll be there, qualified, in adequate numbers..."

They'll be there as well if there were no government handouts such as food stamps and unemployment benefits. Who'd go to work toiling 8 hours a day when they can stay home and draw the equivalent 'wage' from the taxpayer?

"Put sensible limits on student and H1-B visas, then, instead of raising them."

Now yer talkin'. In fact, all American education should be reserved for Americans... not foreigners. What are we thinking, teaching foreigners how to compete with us? Crazy!

"There is an overwhelming focus on profit..."

Without the incentive for profit there'd be no capital to run our economy.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Roland Kayser,
Weren't the raids at the meat plant in Logan (and other meat plants around the country) during the Bush administration (not the Clinton administration)? I think they were... kinda blows your theory that only Democrats care, and Republicans don't. That plant had the same employees during the Clinton administration and nothing happened. Bush the INS raided the place and sent the illegal employees home, but it was during the Bush administration (which wasn't supposed to care about companies hiring illegal aliens). Hmmm... doesn't work, does it?

Same goes for the raid at the SLC Airport (and other airports that found so many illegal workers). Didn't happen during the wonderful Clinton Administration, but it did in the Bush Administration (But Republicans WANT illegals working). Yah.. right.

There were several other big raids during the Bush Administration (can't remember specifics). But contradicts your statement, "Republicans will do what Corporate America wants, and what it wants is cheap labor"?

spring street

how dare those workers want a wage that will actually keep a roof over their families head and a minimal amount of food on the table? those poor poor picked on billionaires at the top just cant get a fair shake these days.

Salt Lake City, UT

2 Bits:

Costco's performance (and stock value) is a good illustration that one can succeed in a highly competitive business and still pay higher than average wages. In fact, I and a lot of other people patronize Costco rather than Walmart or Sam's Club precisely because they treat their employees better.

Phoenix, AZ

Dear Roland, wages are 'crushed' as you call it, for basically two reasons... (1) uncontrolled immigration, and (2) the global economy. Remember, in a global economy America has to compete with wage levels paid in other countries.

Remember also, in our economic system the cost of wages (and the cost of everything else) is to be determined primarily by the law of supply and demand.

"The problems is not that workers want too much, the problem is that the share of GDP going to workers is dwindling and dwindling, while the share going to corporate profits expands exponentially."

If that's true, the answer is to stop importing labor from foreign countries. And stop subsidizing the unemployed American. I guarantee that, if unemployment benefits were cut, unemployed American would gobble up available jobs even if it meant competing with foreigners by taking their work picking apples or building houses.

"Corporate America has been the biggest booster of high immigration levels, both legal and illegal..."

No so. The biggest booster is our federal government who has failed miserably at determining our need for immigrant labor and enforcing current immigration laws on our books.

Mapleton, UT

@ Mike Richards

They’re shiftless slackers. They receive benefits they don’t deserve. They live on easy street at our expense. Obama is to blame.

Why this preoccupation to judge and belittle others, the constant attempt to meddle in their lives and the need to blame them for every ill? It’s like road rage in politics. To think that others are responsible for our problems and must be punished or “taught a good lesson” is delusionary.

Maybe it’s time we grow up and focus more on our accountability and less on what we fancy--usually from personal feelings of inadequacy or vulnerability--to be the shortcomings of others.

Phoenix, AZ

@spring street:
"how dare those workers want a wage that will actually keep a roof over their families head and a minimal amount of food on the table?"

Roof? Food on the table? Did you forget cell phones, ipads, 47 inch TVs in every room in the house, annual vacations to Disney Land, eating out several times a week, etc? I tell ya, life is tough.

"those poor poor picked on billionaires at the top just cant get a fair shake these days."

You mean like Bill Gates who has created perhaps millions of high paying jobs?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I know there are companies and industries where this works (hiring Americans, and paying top salary). And that's great. But there are also industries where it doesn't work. Coincidentally... these are mostly jobs we are told Americans won't do.

Try opening a roofing company, and hire Americans at the wages they expect. Number one, you won't get any applicants (Americans don't want to work on a hot roof when they can just stay home in the air conditioned apartment with a government pay-check, government insurance, government food, and whatever else they need).

But even if you did find some people who would take the job, and you promise to pay top wage. You would get no business, because you would win no bids. Unless you can find a way to roof a house for less than your neighbor's company that hires people willing to work in the heat, and to work for far less than your employees.

There are many industries like this (fast food, construction, harvesting, etc). But there are other industries where it pays to offer top wages and benefits to hire the best candidates possible (like you pointed out).

Salt Lake City, UT

@Mike Richards
"Americans who expect to be paid more than their value to a business are a blight on our economy"

The people in charge of the company have full determination of this "value", regardless of how much or how little of the business profits they want to pass on to employees through wages. There's no inherent fairness to it at all.

Brer Rabbit
Spanish Fork, UT

Mike Richards claims that he believes in the laws of supply and demand setting prices which defines the worth of a product. However he then refuses to accept wages as a product of supply and demand. I wonder how he would feel if his work(livelihood) were flooded with cheap foreign labor or product. Globalist Libertarians would flood not only the unskilled labor market but the STEM jobs as well for the purpose of depressing wages. Globalists and Libertarians are generally investors and employers, who feel that they are above the unwashed working class Americans. These people would often like to go back to slavery and indentured servitude.

By flooding the labor market with cheap legal and illegal labor wages are being depressed in almost all labor markets. Over 2 million immigrants per year is a flood, especially when many jobs are being lost to mechanization, automation, and off shoring factories to cheap labor countries. Yes, if there were a lot fewer immigrant workers, the labor market would tighten, wages would rise, and prices increase. Using immigrants to depress wages and prices is a distortion in the economy, which at sometime will cause economic and political problems.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Mike Richards

The "blight on our economy" is businessmen thinking that to pay a worker what he actually deserves and has earned is to "overpay."

How fascinating that In-N-Out Burger, for example, pays their people much more than do similar businesses, AND its retail prices are lower, AND its ingredients are higher in quality and thus more expensive undoubtedly, and yet it hasn't crashed. To the contrary, it has been thriving for decades, and currently employs 18,000.

What's the difference?

The Christian owners of In-N-Out actually take their Christianity seriously, that's what. They are not driven by Greed -- by the pursuit of growth and profit to the exclusion of basic moral considerations.

If a business isn't able to survive -- in fact thrive, as In-N-Out has -- while paying its workers a FAIR wage, perhaps there is something wrong with its business model.

Just as the Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people (John Adams), so also does "free market" not work in a society where one takes the advantage of another because of his words, digs a pit for his neighbor, or oppresses the hireling in his wages.

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