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Comments about ‘Attempt to raise minimum wage in Utah doesn't gain traction’

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Published: Monday, March 3 2014 10:55 p.m. MST

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the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

I think it's just sad. God made this entire rich planet for all his children and 95% enter this world to poor parents and never have a dime to thier names in many countries.

This country is on the same road as the other 3rd world countries where a few have all the wealth and believe they earned it. Well be proud of creating a universe and a world all by your 5% selves. Clean a toilet once in a while while you are "earning" all that wealth.

It's not trickling down.

Joemamma
W Jordan, UT

Why is it that people do not understand simple economics 101?
Government should not be in the business of forcing wages. All that does is force inflation and take the unskilled young people out of the noncompetitive for jobs.
The free market should determine by supply and demand of workers what wages should be. If we inflate wages that will also cause the cost of goods to go up and it will also cause all wage levels to increase as well thus putting the people at the bottom of the wage ladder back in poverty wages regardless of making $10.25 an hour.
How dumb can people be??
If the government stopped illegals from entering this country and stop paying people for not working would be a step in the right direction instead of raising the minimum wage.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

"Attempt to raise minimum wage in Utah doesn't gain traction"

Your headline is misleading. Raising the minimum wage is _very_ popular in this state and has plenty of political traction. It's our increasingly out-of-touch legislature that's balking.

Dante
Salt Lake City, UT

Maybe not in Utah, but nationally, the push for raising the minimum wage is partly driven by the labor unions. When the minimum wage increases, laborers and their unions demand raises to keep their wages x percent higher than entry-level jobs paying minimum wage. As laborers' wages increase, their union dues increase, bringing more money into the unions' coffers, which they in turn give to Democrat candidates running for office.

Raising the minimum wage makes no economics sense, but it does make political sense for the Democrats. It's perverse and underhanded, but that's politics.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Joemamma - If that's your understanding of "economics 101" then clearly you slept through your economics courses. Or, if you were actually taught that in college, then I'd demand my money back if I were you b/c you've been fleeced.

It is nearly undeniable that the best jobs market in the country is the San Jose - San Francisco peninsula and most of our cities have passed ordinances raising the minimum wage within our city limits. The same "business" owners proclaimed that it'd have a chilling affect on hiring, etc... but it was all nonsense. We were the best place to find a job before raising the minimum wage and we're an even better place to find a job now.

We are proof positive that what Utah's lobbyists are saying is patently false. The DesNews could do some investigative work and provide actual data on the pros/cons of raising wages based on cities like San Francisco or San Jose rather than lazily relying on lobbyists for sounds bites.

Prodicus
Provo, UT

We need to do more about poverty. But those with actual data, rather than anecdotes, know that raising the minimum wage does more harm than good.

Stalwart, what are your economic credentials? Do you know more about economics than the nation's top professors and experts, the vast majority of whom advise against wage controls?

The Congressional Budget Office reported last month that a national increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 would "reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers" and that "just 19 percent of the [increase in wages] would accrue to families with earnings below the poverty threshold, whereas 29 percent would accrue to families earning more than three times the poverty threshold."

Things like the Earned Income Tax Credit are effective antipoverty measures, raising the income of the working poor using funds from broad-based revenue sources rather than raising the wages of tertiary wage earners in well-off families by punishing companies which hire low-to-mid skills workers. An increase in the minimum wage is effectively a punitive tax on anybody willing to offer low-skills workers a job.

Pablito
South Jordan, UT

"...there would be more money to feed into the economy with a higher wage."

Um...if the government increases how much you have to pay someone, a business owner has to shift money from one output to another. How is that feeding more money into the economy? Instead of allowing the business owner to grow the business and expand and deciding what to do with their profits (creating more jobs, helping out suppliers by buying their products), you are forcing them to give it to someone else and let them decide what to do with that money. You didn't create money! That's called Re-Distribution of Wealth. Something that people want so they don't have to work. My bad. That's what I get for working hard and EARNING what I have. My mind has become foggy on the concept I guess.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

Raising the minimum wage doesn't help poverty. Hasn't helped the previous 39 times we've done it, won't help this time.

It's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Opposition to raising the minimum wage proves that Utah isn't insane.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Brave Robin, may we see some documentation for your claim? There is very strong evidence that the opposite has been true.

Pablito, the effect of increased minimum wages has been shown to have very little effect on prices businesses much charge their customers. For example, for McDonald's to raise minimum pay for their workers to $15 per hour, they'd need to raise the cost of a Big Mac meal just 4 cents.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

"...This would have a chilling effect on us as employers...".

Chilling...

How do people expect employers to make pay for all their toys if they're giving their money to employees?

Harrison Bergeron
Holladay , UT

"In a comprehensive, 182-page summary of the research on this subject from the last two decades, economists David Neumark (UC-Irvine) and William Wascher (Federal Reserve Board) determined that 85 percent of the best research points to a loss of jobs following a minimum wage increase."

- Forbes

Harrison Bergeron
Holladay , UT

Twenty-eight states raised minimum wages in the four years prior to passage of the last federal minimum wage increase. Economists from Cornell and American Universities, writing in the Southern Economic Journal, found no associated reduction in poverty rates.

Eliot
Genola, UT

Oh Stalwart, perhaps it is you who missed a few homework assignments. Here is one for you to try tonight: check out the median home prices in San Francisco/San Jose and compare them to the median prices in Salt Lake City. Now that San Francisco has such a reasonable minimum wage there must not be any poor in the city and everyone has a nice home in Pacific Heights, right? As far as job markets go, the reports that I see indicate that San Jose and Salt Lake City have very strong job markets with a ratio of one job posting per unemployed person reported for both cities.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

@one old man

Sure, let me Google that for you.

Federal minimum wage has been raised 39 times in U.S. history (source: Congressional Budget Office).

Percentage of people living in poverty was at 15.1% in 2011, the last year for which data is available (source: U.S. Census Bureau). This is the highest percentage since before WWII (source: U.S. Census Bureau). In that time period, Federal minimum wage has been raised 19 times (source: Congressional Budget Office).

In terms of pure number of people, poverty is at all-time high of 46.2 million people in the U.S. (source: U.S. Census Bureau). This is even higher than it was during the Great Depression.

So as you can see, there is no evidence that raising the minimum wage improves poverty, and it is highly likely that it actually contributes to poverty by decreasing purchasing power. Not sure where you're getting your "evidence" but it's wrong.

Any other questions I can answer for you?

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Podicus - Wow, talk about cherry-picking your data. From the very same page you quote from on the CBO's website, it states that "heightened demand for goods and services that would result from the minimum-wage increase." And the final findings state that "[o]nce the increases and decreases in income for all workers are taken into account, overall real income would rise by $2 billion" which includes "moving about 900,000 people, on net, above the poverty threshold" and 16.5M people who would have higher wages. The only sector wherein real income decreases is for people earning 6x or more the poverty threshold. If you have to use half-truths to justify your position, what does that say about your argument, Podicus?

Eliot - Salt Lake is a great place for jobs but it is propped up by federal funds paid for by Californians and the LDS Church (think CityCreek). Like Podicus, you can cherry-pick a single data point but the more apt comparison are the jobs and quality of life in conservative, anti-worker states vs liberal, pro-worker states. When you do this comparison, there is only one outcome: liberal states are better, more productive.

lket
Bluffdale, UT

you cant have it both ways if you pay an adult a low wage they can not live on it, so they will need aid. most of the top earning companies have people making less than 10 dollars an hour. thus they need food stamps etc. if you paid them higher maybe they could do some king of upward mobility, but the the profit margin goes down. but more money would be in the econemy no matter what else anyone says.

kargirl
Sacramento, CA

Aren't the people who are really concerned here, the major shareholders, largest stockholders, the folks sitting on the board? But those who have more money, who can see why they ought to stay with Wyatt's Widgets, will be saving their company in not leaving for something better, because Mr. Wyatt is paying them something better. They are invested in Wyatt's Widgets, in its success. And less turnover costs Wyatt less in training, too. Just as importantly, his employees are spending money in their community, not likely to be using public assistance programs (now that money is helping truly needy folks) and the local economy is strenthened by companies like Wyatt's whose empoloyees are also supporting it. Those places will be hiring, folks--they have more customers, you see. Which reminds me...did you see anyone from the million-dollar side of town in your local shops lately? Spending money? Standing in line, next to the guy or gal from the local Big Box Store who works most days as a cashier there? Thought not!

Eliyahu
Pleasant Grove, UT

@Joemamma:
"The free market should determine by supply and demand of workers what wages should be. "
That's how it worked during the age of the Robber Barons, AKA "The Gilded Age" back in the 1800s. Employers could exploit the desperate and needy, giving them a take-it-or-leave-it wage offer as low as they wanted, and no one could do a thing about it. The working poor lived in hovels then and their children wore rags. Do we really want a return to those glorious days?

For all his failings, Henry Ford understood that minimum wage gets minimum work. When he raised wages to an unheard-of high, his workers were able to buy the products they made. It also gave him loyal employees and allowed him to select from the best applicants available.

Job creation isn't a factor of pay scales. Companies hire people according to the work they need done in order to maintain sales and productivity. No one is going to close his company because he has to pay living wages. He'll adjust prices accordingly as will his competitors.

Prodicus
Provo, UT

Stalwart, I'm sorry you never learned to spell. I'm disappointed you dodged my question about your economic credentials. And I'm sorry you didn't look further into the CBO's analysis.

The gains you quote are only predicted for the short term - the first year the minimum wage increase would take full effect. Raising the minimum wage is a way to try to temporarily boost demand. "In the short term, that increase in demand raises the nation's output and income slightly, which means that the income losses of some people are slightly smaller than the income gains of others." Like most such Keynesian moves, these boost a few economic indicators temporarily but are harmful over the long run. "In the long term, that reduction in the workforce lowers the nation's output and income."

Other measures are out there which can address poverty while actually assisting with long term economic growth. Political opportunism is the only possible reason to spurn these and favor what is in essence an economically unwise and morally unjust punitive tax on those willing to employ low skill workers.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Who would pay Chevrolet prices for a Yugo? Who would pay Lexus prices for a Chevy Cruze? Who would pay filet mignon prices for hamburger? Who would pay Payton Manning money for Jordan Wynn? (sorry, Jordan, hope your shoulders fully recover).

No one, yet those in favor of hiking the minimum wage are requiring we do just that. There needs to be VALUE associated with wages, make your labor more valuable and you will command higher wages

Prodicus,
Don’t confuse liberals with facts that contradict their deeply held beliefs, especially when they are being so charitable with other people’s money.

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