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Published: Wednesday, March 5 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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airnaut
Everett, 00

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah
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.

========

You're numbers are all wrong, because you claimed TWICE the amount.

Minimum wage is $7.25 and you used a false pretext of $15 and hour.

Re-run your math, and get back to us...

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

The letter writer gets it – MW should not be viewed as a living wage, but a starter wage. want to be paid more? make your labor WORTHY more.

Sentinel,
“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.”

That’s what you say, but the actions of the left could not contradict that more.

OMM
“Corportions (sic) will not be satisfied until America is equal to Communist China.
Republicans push this agenda.”
Now that is just downright funny! Please stop, my sides are killing me from laughter!

Gildas,
“He who is idle shall not eat the bread or wear the garment of the laborer” that hasn’t stopped the left from their redistribution efforts. And this really is not the forum for scripture bashing.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Stalwart Sentinel" if your progressive/liberal friends want to get more opportunity out there, why is it that they are just redistributing wealth? From the EIC, to the ACA, to the expanding SNAP programs, your ilk is just redistributing wealth, and cares little for opportunity. On top of all of those handout programs, your liberal leaders are imposing more regulations on business that destroys opportunity and kills incentive for existing businesses to expand.

To "Kent C. DeForrest" if somebody doesn't want to improve their life and learn skills that would bring them more income, who are you to tell them that they deserve more? Why should somebody with no motivation live like somebody who is working to pull themselves out of poverty?

To "Gildas" we also know that some will force others to support them. D&C 57:17 "Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!"

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Schnee" did you also see that the CBO figures that the increase in the minimum wage will result in job losses for about 500,000 people? IS it worth it to help a few, if you hurt even more?

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

Given that some folks are lazy, and others conceited, and that the Minimum Wage doesn't seem to be that effective, and private benevolence is best, yet please consider:

"... and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads.... and persecute your brethren because ye suppose ye are better than them....if ye persist in these things his judgments must speedily come unto you."
Jacob 2: 13-14

"... some were lifted up unto pride and great boastings because of their exceedkngly great riches, yea, even unto great persecutions; for there were many merchants in the land, and also many lawyers, and many officers. And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning..."
3 Nephi 6:10-12

"And now in the two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel.....and all manner of ... the fine things of the world.....And they began to be divided into classes...."

4 Nephi 24-26

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

I wonder, if we lower the minimum wage will the cost of living go down? No but it will pad the pocket books of the masters as if they need it. Every time the minimum wage has gone up it has assisted a boom to the economy. If you empower the workers, labor, you empower the economy. Period. On the contrary when the top 20% take home virtually 100% of the increase of wealth then there can be no improvement to the economy.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Gildas" I love this game. Lets look at some more scriptures about wealth redistribution:

1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

D&C 75:28 And again, verily I say unto you, that every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide, and he shall in nowise lose his crown; and let him labor in the church.

D&C 134:2 We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.---Why do you want to control the property that belongs to other people?

Luke 12:13-15
13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me....15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

Utah Dem
Ogden, UT

Redshirt - not sure your figures are accurate. Currently we have 144 million in the workforce, 1.1% make minimum wage; that equates to nearly 1.6 million.

We also have cheap and greedy business owners, yep some are small business owners that don't pay the $10.10 the Feds want or the $10.25 some of or state legislators want even for skilled, degree holding employees. I so like what ugottabkid wrote - we the minimum wage is lower the cost of living will not go down.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Utah Dem" why should we pay more?

According to the BLS, minimum wage earners are typically the following:

50% are under the age of 25.

Never married

Working food prep

62.2% live in middleclass families or better

Only 30% of minimum wage earners (0.33% of workforce or 43 million people) live in poverty.

You should read "Almost Everything You Have Been Told About The Minimum Wage Is False" in Forbes.

Neanderthal
Phoenix, AZ

"Wage is relative. When the minimum wage is raised, eventually everyone's wage is raised."

True. and prices of goods and services go up as well. It's like a dog chasing his tail.

I remember when five dollars per hour was a dang good wage.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Thid - Detroit was considered hence my qualifier of "[a]lmost with exception." However, as Mr. Kayser has pointed out, productivity in the United States can be charted by viewing whether the state is left-leaning or right-leaning nearly without exception. America's economic might does not come from the South or midwest, it comes from the North-east and West coast.

The states you note are essentially in a race-to-the-bottom when it comes to productivity because they are not creating lasting wealth, they are exploiting finite natural resources. The energy boom in North Dakota is not a long-term strategy for productivity - everyone knows this. It is a smash-and-grab, flash-in-the-pan economic policy.

Re: state debts - The liberal states you mention are net creditors in federal taxes paid, meaning they pay more in federal taxes than they receive. If it were 1:1, California would have a surplus of over $100B. Idaho received more than $21B in federal taxes than it paid over the past 30 years. Again, more proof that conservative states don't even carry their own weight.

Re: the ACA - Your comment is so off base it doesn't merit a response.

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

I have not read any of the comments, but I already know that the leftists have already dismissed your very sensible and coherent points.

They think printing more money makes us richer and giving more of it to everyone won't hurt the value of that money.

They just don't get it, and I don't think they want to get it.

Maybe when we are burning our money to keep warm, as Germans did after WWI, because it is so worthless that it won't buy any form of fuel, not even a solar panel, or heaven forbid, coal, they will finally understand.

wrz
Phoenix, AZ

@Lew Scannon:
We just don't have the will to institute a progressive tax system ..."

Sorry to inform, but we do have a progressive taxing system. The higher your taxable income the higher the tax rate.

They (wealthy) benefit most from the system. Shouldn't they pay to keep it up and running."

They do pay. The wealthy ten percent pay approx 71 percent of the taxes.

@RedShirt:
"...did you also see that the CBO figures that the increase in the minimum wage will result in job losses for about 500,000 people? IS it worth it to help a few, if you hurt even more?"

The truth of the matter is that Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to entice low income folks to vote Democrat in the coming elections. Of course there will be many folks who will lose their jobs with a minimum wage increase. But these folks aren't learned enough to know why they're losing their jobs and will likely vote for Democrats anyway.

Cincinnatus
Kearns, UT

Oh Mike, quit twisting things for your own aggrandizement.

Many Utahn's make $15/hour after taxes? What's many? 25%? 35%? 50% So, what about the rest? Or don't they matter?

Besides, $15/hour isn't minimum wage- you inflated that by double and then compared it to minimum wage from way back when. That's just dishonest.

Here's a little something to chew on for all you folks who say, "Don't like minimum wage? Go to school, better yourself." Let's assume that EVERYONE in society goes to school and gets a minimum of a bachelor's degree. Will they all be able to get higher paying jobs? No. Someone still has to do the minimal labor. And before you spout off about teens doing it- there aren't enough teens to fill all the jobs that are paid at minimum wage.

Capitalism, which many of you hold to be some kind of God given economic religion, is a system that by its nature, requires there to be "poor" if there is going to be "rich."

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Airnaut,

You, not me, talked about minimum wage. I have never worked for "minimum wage". I have always given my employer more value than he expected. Anyone who depends on the government to determine what he is "worth" probably works for the government and probably complains that he is being paid half of what he is worth.

My comment showed that the average wage buys the same things today as it did in the 1960s.

If you want to work for minimum wage and let the government tell you what you are "worth" then sell yourself for minimum wage. The government will be happy to pay you what it thinks you deserve.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

@Redshirt et all

I did not, nor do I, dispute the scriptures you quote; I have promoted the VOLUNTARY redistribution of wealth which latter-day saints embrace.

I agree with all of these scriptures, and all those too. There is no contradiction in them.

We have been given the Book of Mormon as a warning to OUR day. The propher Mormon talked of "the Gentiles" that would inherit this land as loving their money and substance more than the poor and needy, sick and afflicted (Mormon 8:37).

When I talked of WORKfare, did you notice? When I talked of supplying WORK for skilled, unemployed neighbors, did you see? So why suggest, by your quote, I uphold indolence? When I talked AGAINST idleness were you aware? I will not be your straw man!

I truly hope that the poor and wealthy, and those in between, can respect one another and that those who can will provide opportunities that others may thrive with you. To heck with your Class War. I never upheld it! God bless the honest poor, the honest rich, and let the honest poor be exalted in that the rich is made low - by his own permission.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Current rate for a Masters Degreed, 20 years experience Substitute Teacher in Utah = $8.25
Current rate for a High School student 9ie.e, NO dgree at all), aged 16 in Utah = $7.25

Read all the books, quote all the newspapers and magazines you want.

I live in the real world, with real people, and real experiences...not hiding behind some New York spin-doctor sitting behind a computer sells books and articles to a biased outlet for a living.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@Redshirt
"did you also see that the CBO figures that the increase in the minimum wage will result in job losses for about 500,000 people?"

I was addressing the issue of whether or not the minimum wage increase would cause inflation, since that's what the letter was about.

As for the 500k... 16.5 million according to the CBO would see wages go up. If we assume this is roughly a dollar per person, that is 16.5 million dollars worth per hour of increase whereas 500k * 8 dollars an hour in lost jobs is 4 million dollars worth per hour of loss.

So for the working poor it's +16.5 million - 4 million = +12.5 million per hour. There's a net economic benefit to the poor through increasing the minimum wage.

@Badgerbadger
"I already know that the leftists have already dismissed your very sensible and coherent points."

Oh I very much addressed them... by showing the math doesn't add up to the assertion that raising the minimum wage, even by this large an amount, would have a dramatic effect on prices.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Gildas,

I agree with you. Wage negotiations are between the business owner and the employee. I talked with many employers in my life. Each time I've asked them what they needed so that I could get the wage that I needed. Each of them helped me understand that I needed to increase my value before they could give me the raise that I needed. Those negotiations were between the employer and me. The government was not involved. In each case I increased my value and the employer increased my wage. It was always a mutual agreement. The employer had needs. I filled those needs. He voluntarily increased my pay. I voluntarily increased my value to that company. We all benefitted. There was no force. I knew that the company needed to make a profit from my labor. I knew that I had to give value.

Government was not involved. Honest people negotiated value and wages.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

So, Red, if we reduce the minimum wage to $4.25 per hour, will that increase the number of jobs in the country by 500,000? And would this be better for us as a society?

If you want to quote scripture, try this one:

"And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine.

"But it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low. . . .

"Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment" (D&C 104:15, 16, 18).

Or this one:

"But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin" (D&C 49:20).

He doesn't say here that this only applies to voluntary donations. He labels economic inequality a sin. Hmm. God must not be a capitalist.

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