Published: Wednesday, March 5 2014 12:00 a.m. MST
Ben, you are spot on but brace yourself for a barrage of criticism from the left
that believes wealth must be re-distributed not earned!
In short, you believe raising the minimum wage is inflationary. Sadly, no
evidence suggests such a conclusion. So, perhaps you should rethink your
@ E Sam. If raising the minimum wages are not inflationary, why would it always
be necessary to continue to raise them. If not inflationary, a one time increase
would last forever, right?
In fact, the opposite of what the letter writer says is true. Inflation occurs
w/out minimum wage increases so purchasing power for a minimum wage earner is
less today than it was a year ago. Neither Utah nor the US live in a bubble so
there are a multitude of externalities that affect the cost of goods, etc....Mountanman (sic) - Almost without exception, the most-productive cities
and states in the US are left-leaning while the poorest, least-productive cities
and states are conservative strongholds. Stop perpetuating falsehoods. Further, liberals do not want a redistribution of wealth, we want a
redistribution of opportunity. We want a return to a free market where people
are paid what they are worth. It is undeniable that since Reagan, worker
productivity has soared while worker pay has flatlined. America is working
harder for less money. We have allowed corporate lobbyists to highjack our
system and change the rules in their favor. We do not live in a free market due
to legislation that favors the wealthy over the working class. If you feel the
need to lie and misrepresent our side, shouldn't you consider your argument
to be patently incorrect?
Stalwart. You forget about Detroit as one of your most productive, left-leaning
cities. The most productive states in the nation are Texas, N. Dakota and N.
Carolina with the lowest unemployment, the best economies and the lowest taxes,
hardly left-leaning states. The most left-leaning states are those that carry
the highest burdens of debt, i.e. California, Illinois, Vermont and Washington
among others who incidentally have the highest taxes and some of the highest
unemployment!If liberals do not really want to re-distribute wealth that
is certainly news to them! Why did they give us Obamacare which is the largest
wealth re-distribution scam ever forced upon America?
Let's follow the logic of this letter. The buying power of the minimum wage
is 30% lower today than it was in the 1960's. So why aren't prices
lower? Also, if you examine inflation adjusted per capita GDP, you would find
that the U.S. is twice as wealthy today as we were in the 1960's. So why do
workers earn less now?
@E SamYes, measured against the whole economy, its inflationary
effects are negligible...as are its benefits. Raising the minimum wage is a
feel-good measure in an election year, nothing more. Its purpose is to divert
attention away from the slow-motion train wreck of Obamacare.
Roland Kayser, You have a strange way of measuring wealth. The national debt is
now about $17.3 trillion and growing. The GDP as of its last estimate was about
$16.2 trillion and growing by less than 1% per year. From that ratio, we are now
a debtor nation. We owe more than we can produce which is not twice as wealthy
as we were in the '60's. Sorry to bring you the bad news!
Increasing the minimum wage isn't going to remove the motivation from
anyone receiving it to look for opportunities to increase their earning
capability, if they want to. That's because any proposed minimum increase
will be modest. It will still be minimum wage. On the other hand,
businesses are exploiters. Left to their own, labour costs are what they will
exploit most, and we see that all the time. Fast food and big box retail can,
and should, pay more, or they simply devalue labour for everyone.
This letter is a thinly veiled advertisement for economic Darwinism. Even if a
few people lift themselves up by their bootstraps, get a better education, or
find more motivation, that will not decrease the total number of minimum-wage
jobs in the economy. In a macro sense, nothing changes.And Roland is
right again. The minimum wage, in real terms, hit its peak in 1968, when it was
worth $10.75 in 2014 dollars. Today it is $7.25, a full $3.50 per hour lower in
purchasing power. It took its biggest hit between 1980 and 1990, during the
Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations.Of course, even though this is a
systemic problem, conservatives still find a way to blame the poor for
circumstances beyond their control. The GOP's war on the poor is as
relentless as it is cold-hearted.
Mtnmn:You are the one twisting statistics. The government debt is
indeed higher, but the wealth we as a people produce, as measured by GDP, is
also much higher. Our debt, though, is still smaller, as a percentage of GDP,
than after World War II. We are a wealthy nation. We just don't have the
will to institute a progressive tax system like our parents and grandparents did
to bring their national debt under control. We certainly have enough wealth
accumulating in the coffers of the upper class to make our debt irrelevant, if
not nonexistent. They benefit most from the system. Shouldn't they pay to
keep it up and running. They will be the ones with the most to lose if they kill
the golden goose. But they can't see beyond their short-term profits to
understand that they are driving us off a cliff.
Yes, wealth must be redistrubuted but it must be voluntary.In the
Millenium:"One man will not be able to lord it over another and
take possession of more than he needs; but all will have a fullness.George Q Cannon: Gospel Truth: Chapter Eight, The Millenium.
@Thid Barker: According to a study of labor productivity conducted by the
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland which measured labor productivity by state,
the five most productive states are: Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, and New Jersey. The five least productive are: Alaska, West
Virginia, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Kentucky. Productive = Blue, Unproductive =
Red.If you examine unemployment rates you find no real correlation
between Democratic vs. Republican states. Some Democratic states are doing
great, some are not, same with Republican states.
Corportions will not be satisfied until America is equal to Communist China.Republicans push this agenda.Who's responsible for
re-distributing America's wealth to Communist China?
When I was a teenager, earning $1 per hour after taxes, it took about one-half
hour of work to buy a burger, fries and a soda at Dee's. Today with many
Utahns earning about $15 per hour after taxes, it still takes about one-half
hour or work to buy a burger, fries and a soda at McDonalds. When I
was first married, rent cost $75 per month. I made $1.75 per hour, so rent was
roughly 25% of my income. Today the same apartment is renting for $750 per
month, which still takes about 25% of a typical workers wage. Government causes inflation. When the value of the dollar drops, it takes
more dollars to buy the same item. Only government can affect the value of the
dollar. When it prints billions of dollars per month to prop up the economy, it
is devaluing the dollar as it runs those printing presses.The only
way to get a bigger slice of the pie is to give more value and to be paid more
for that increased value. Minimum wage hikes only push people into the next
higher tax bracket.
"Yes, wealth must be redistrubuted but it must be voluntary."Perhaps that would work in a world where everyone is selfless. But we happen
to live in the real world. We redistribute wealth all the time. In the past 30
years, since the Reagan revolution, we have redistributed wealth from the lower
and middle classes to the upper class. I pay taxes voluntarily. If I don't,
I go to jail. That is the consequence if voluntarily choose to disobey the law.
We can adjust laws so that our voluntary contributions to the general welfare
are more consistent with our desire to create a just, equitable, and stable
society. Currently, with a system of business and taxation that
funnels almost all the wealth to the top tier, we are promoting an economy that
is sustainable in the intermediate term. We can choose to change this. If we do
not equalize the initial distribution of wealth (and, I might add, ownership),
our society will disintegrate, as it is beginning to do right now. So,
conservatives, you can have it your way in the short term, but in the
intermediate term, you have no leg to stand on.
" But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above
another, wherefre the world lieth in sin." Doctrine and
Covenants 49:20We know that some are lazy and we also know that some
will not impart of their substance to the poor and needy. The ingenuity of man,
politically, is able to come up with systems that would distribute based on true
principles with adequate safeguards against abuse but the corruption of man
prevents it. We could build up and protect our own industries by tariffs; we
could have a system of "Workfare" in place. Somehow nothing ever seems
to get done.We had a system of Co-operation here but the people did
not support it in sufficient numbers.Every individual is able to help his
neighbour to the extent he pleases. Government doesn't do it well and
individuals don't seem ready to step in, in sufficient numbers. Those in
work could hire unemployed neighbours who have skills and offer a fair
remuneration - or do our various public administrations erect obstacles to such
Let's say the average American wage is 50k a year. Let's also say
there's 125 million workers. Do the math and that's 6.25 trillion. Now, the CBO says that the increase in the minimum wage will increase
wages of 16.5 million workers. This would be anyone working for between the
current minimum wage and 10.10 (and some above it). So let's say the
average increase is 2 dollars an hour for these people. Multiply that by 16.5
million people, 35 hours a week (after all most are part time), and 52 weeks a
year. You get 2x16.5milx35x52 = 46.2 billion. So what percentage
increase of wages is this that we can might think (but not necessarily) go to
inflation? 46.2 billion / 6250 billion = .007 or 0.7%. So, .7%
inflation is what we might see from this (give or take a couple tenths of a
percent) so basically .5%-1% inflation. This would be a one time thing and the
minimum wage would presumably be good for another half a dozen years.Do you think inflation will only be 1% combined the next 6 years? No, so
something else contributes most inflation.
Now, let's take that .7% increase in labor costs and assume all of it is
passed on to consumers. Now what you're saying is that you're opposed
to people getting around a 20% increase in wages... because you're
concerned about a 1% increase in costs paid for by consumers. So that argument
that the poor don't benefit from a minimum wage increase because
they'd have to then pay more on products... that's not an issue.
"History has shown us that the best societies are those in which wealth is
most evenly distributed."---Brigham Young
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