Comments about ‘Letter: Raising minimum wage’

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Published: Tuesday, April 1 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

So, here we have the Republican Swiss cheese argument for why we should keep the minimum wage far below where it was in 1968 when it hit its peak ($10.75 in 2014 dollars). Now it is at $7.25. Not surprisingly, it lost the most ground during the Reagan and Bush Sr years, rebounded a bit during the Clinton years, then nosedived again during Bush Jr's reign. Since 1968, profits have been up and down, but mostly up, hitting record levels in recent years. All statistics show that a greater share of the pie keeps going to those at the top, thereby reducing the ability of consumers to purchase all the stuff businesses need to sell to stay in business. We need a complete overhaul of the capitalist system before it collapses under the weight of its own excesses and shortsightedness. Raising the minimum wage is one small piece of that overhaul, but essential if we dare call ourselves a moral people. How anyone can make a case with a straight face for keeping the minimum wage at $7.25 is a mystery. But keep trying, conservatives. It's entertaining, but tragic.

Christopher B
Ogden, UT

If someone is worth more than they are making then another company will be more than happy to pay them more.

If someone can't find a job for more than they are currently making - its because they aren't worth it.

And whose "fault" is that?

its not any corporations fault.

Its the persons responsibility to gain more skills that will demand a higher wage.

Only a lazy person would suggest its rich people's responsibility to take care of them instead of focusing on how they can improve their own skill set.

Its not McDonalds responsibility to pay enough for a person to provide for a family.

Its only McDonalds responsibility to provide for the work being done.

Its the employees responsibility to ensure he/she has skills that will provide for a family.

Only a lazy person would suggest otherwise

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

The letter-writer seems to be saying if everyone's salary went up, prices would go up a comparable amount. If everyone's salary were lowered, prices would go down. In other words, we're no better off either way. Maybe we ought to pay people nothing. That way, everything would be free, and there'd be no taxes.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

One more point: "Businesses exist to make money."

Here is another conservative myth, which can easily be exposed. A consultant, years ago, was hired by a corporation to do what consultants do. In the process of his examination of the business, he asked the board of directors what the purpose of their business was. "To make money," they all exclaimed. "Then let me see the books on your prostitution and drug operations," he said. They were aghast. "Well, if your purpose is simply to make money," he said, "I figured you'd be involved in two of the most profitable forms of business possible." That got them thinking. They finally concluded that maybe their business had other purposes that were more important than making money.

Two of those, for any business, should be to offer a quality product to society and to provide good jobs for members of society. Remember, corporations are chartered by government. They are allowed to exist by the public. Shouldn't they serve some significant public purpose? The tail has been wagging the dog for too long in America.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

So Kyle hits on the central issue but then offers a solution that will do nothing to address it. He is right to claim that “raising the minimum wage” will do nothing to help the working class “be better off,” the problem is “increasing the capacity of the private sector to create jobs and equipping people with the skills necessary for those jobs.” Will do anything to address the fact that the current mindset is that “Businesses exist to make money, and those in the upper echelons of business like to make money for themselves and their companies,” without regard for the effects on their workers or society. Until we address this central issue and are able to get business to see that it is in their overall best interest to take slightly smaller profits and pay their workers a livable wage. we can pick around the edges and face raising cost of living with the raising the minimum wage or add to businesses profit margins with no benefit to the workers with Kyle’s suggestion. How do we know this? Because we have tried both and failed to gain any ground.

2 bit
Cottonwood Heights, UT

airnaut,

2 problems with your post.

1. Nobody said ANYTHING about "lazt free loaders"... That's just you talking for them. The Right wing doesn't actually endlessly harping about that. That's just YOUR impression of them, YOUR image of them, YOUR stereotype for their type. But if you read all the comments... you will see it's not there. It's just in your imagination.

2. We have totally different visions of the "proper role of Government". You say, "it's the Governments duty to step in and force the issue upon them". I don't think it's the Government's duty to force things they want upon us (if it is... they are analogous to Satan). They ENFORCE the law... but it's different. It's not their role to FORCE us to do everything they think is moral or correct. There's no "Law" that corporations be willing to raise employee wages... that's just YOUR morality... with Government force behind it.

I think Ezra Taft Benson (a Prophet in the Church you claim faith in)... had the role of Government correct. Google "The proper role of Government" and listen to his speech...

Very enlightening.

Sven
Morgan, UT

Good grief, is basic economics really that hard to understand? For people who’ve never worked a day in their life, or ran a business, like Obama, it most certainly is hard to understand.

While it sounds compassionate and caring, arbitrarily raising the minimum wage will the hurt the very people it was intended to help. But as with all liberal programs, this is par for the course. When you tell an employer, as Obama did during his SOTU address, that they need to (through heavy handed legislation) raise what they pay their low-skilled workforce (increase in minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 per hour), they will find a way to recoup that cost. The logical choice for most employers is to simply cut their workforce. How does not working help these people?

Okay, if prosperity can be created by raising the minimum wage (as indicated by Obama), why only stop at $9.00 per hour? Why not mandate employers pay their low-skilled employees $30.00 per hour? Wow, this would create all kinds of prosperity!

Sven
Morgan, UT

Marxist said:

"Nobody at the Deseret News thinks Marx has any relevance. In time you will see that he does."

The only thing Marxists/Communists have ever given the world is brutality, lack of freedom/individualism, and an equal share of misery.

Yep, the people of the former Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Romania (under the Ceausescu's reign), Venezuela, and other Marxist nations lived just grand lives in their respective totalitarian economic utopias.

It's easy to be a "Marxist" in the United States, where you live a comfortable life under the Capitalism you decry. My guess is, you wouldn't survive a month with people who suffer under the Marxist ideology you seem to love so much. If it's so great, why aren't you flocking to Cuba...or Venezuela...or China? Easy to be a "radical" when you don't have to live in those totalitarian systems.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Mike Richards - Actually, what I said is not false and you fully admitted that when you stated that the products Silicon Valley creates "have become cheaper" while we've steadily increased the minimum wage. So, I appreciate you making my point that while our wages have continually risen in Silicon Valley we have found a way for our products to become cheaper. Thus, dispelling the conservative notion that a higher wage means a higher cost of good. Thanks, Mike.

Regarding the cost of living, nothing against Barstow but Silicon Valley is a far more desirable place to live so it will inherently be more expensive. One main reason is the fact that we have higher paying jobs here. Once again proving that a higher collective wage creates more wealth. Thanks again, Mike.

Finally, inflation is caused by various factors but raising minimum wage is not an immediate indicator. For recent examples, federal minimum wages were increased in 2007 and 2009 yet we saw a drop in inflation both years. Further, the states with highest minimum wages are not the states with the highest inflation. Sorry, your McDonalds experience is not a good indicator of the world/national/state economies.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Let's understand that raising the minimum wage is not a fix for our problems. It won't change the top heavy distribution of wealth in this country. It will however make life a little more tolerable for a significant number of people. BTW, if the likes of McDonalds can pass along all of the increased wage in higher prices, why do they fight raising it?

We need to understand that we already have socialism. Government regulates the money supply. Government rescued the big banks and insurance companies with sums in the trillions. And government continues to support them with near zero interest rate money. We have socialism!

If things continue as at present, the United States will be a collection of ownerships and financial services - money changers - with little manufacturing and an impoverished working class (most of us). We will be a shell. Can the United States persist that way? I don't think so.

Our socialism serves only the top 1%. I call for socialism which works for all of us. Stay tuned.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

It sounds like all the conservatives commenting here are not only against raising the minimum wage, they are against any minimum wage. Just another aspect of the capitalistic quest to keep government out of business at all costs. And we have learned by sad experience that uncontrolled, unregulated business practices lead to the kind of excesses and maldistribution of income that we are seeing today. It's too bad that you didn't learn anything from the greedy robber baron, sweat-shop, child-labor, environment-be-damned era of a century ago. Why do you think Congress enacted a minimum wage law in the first place?

If you were willing to concede that a minimum wage at some level is appropriate, then we could have a rational discussion on what that level should be, and whether it's a positive or a negative thing that the minimum wage has actually declined in real dollars over the last three decades. But your laissez-faire arguments against any government interference in the marketplace have never worked, and will not work now.

Sven
Morgan, UT

Curmudgeon said:

"If you were willing to concede that a minimum wage at some level is appropriate..."

Please, we're breathlessly waiting for you anti-Capitalists to tell us what a "fair" minimum wage is...? If $9.00 is good, then $30...maybe $75 per hour would be even better...right? Tell us how you come up with your arbitrary numbers?

If minimum wage for low-skilled jobs can be adjusted arbitrarily, there will be consequences. The workforce will be reduced, and the cost of the goods or services will go up. Either way, this hurts the people liberals always claim they want to help. Liberals have destroyed the Black Family with failed cradle to grave welfare programs. But liberals must never be held to account for their results, only their "good intentions."

Liberals are going to once again destroy the people they are claiming to help. They will ensure an equal share of misery for everyone.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@2 bit
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I think Ezra Taft Benson (a Prophet in the Church you claim faith in)... had the role of Government correct. Google "The proper role of Government" and listen to his speech...

Very enlightening.

9:52 a.m. April 1, 2014

===========

Just as I thought.
an avid Pres. Ezra Taft Benson fan.
Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

Did you read his talk, "Beware of Pride" , April 1989

Very enlightening.

Our nation is being destroyed by the Rich and Powerful,
not the poor, sick and the needy.

You took you eye completely off of the ball.

The poor, sick, elderly and the needy are NOT what we need to beware of.
Just the opposite.

Keep worshipping the gold an d riches of Babylon and her mammon.

ECR
Burke, VA

And just one more thought - back in the mid-90's a friend of ours served as the Relief Society President in her ward in New London, Connecticut. Her husband was in the Navy and was stationed in New London. She stated that most of the married, enlisted personnel with children (2 or 3) were receiving assistance from the church because their salaries could not support even a small family living a modest lifestyle. Even soldiers protecting our country can't afford to live in our society. I'm thinking we need to re-think our priorities.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

Here is your challenge liberals. How does creating more unemployed people help.

According to the BLS there are currently 144 million workers in the US. Of those 1.1% earn minimum wage. That means that there is approximately 1.5 million people earning minimum wage. Of those about 1/3 are Highschool age. According to the CBO, raising the minimum wage will result in a loss of 500,000 jobs, which is about 1/3 of all minimum wage jobs.

That means that 500,000 people will not get job experience that can lead to better paying jobs, and that there are more people that not only have no job skills, but cannot develop job skills.

Why do you think it is good to hurt the future of 500,000 people just to give a few people more money?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

FYI --

Our Men and Woman in Uniform make even LESS than minimum wage.
Go figure.

Republicans love the Military Industrial Complex [filling corporations pockets with $],
and LOATHE the actual "People" serving in it.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Sentinel,

How many "minimum" wage workers own homes in Silicon Valley? How many work at high tech businesses (except as janitors)? How many work at high tech businesses, such as IMFlash or Adobe? How many can afford to eat a good meal in Silicon Valley? How many people in the vast Central Valley can afford to live in Silicon Valley?

Minimum wage workers did not create the products of Silicon Valley. They don't make the products. They can't afford to live there. They can't afford to eat there. They can't afford the product designed there. I visited Silicon Valley for twenty years while servicing customers in the San Francisco area. I knew many of the major developers and visited in their homes. They paid their highly qualified workers huge wages with stock options. They did not hire unskilled, unprepared workers. They had no need for anyone who didn't think enough of themselves and their families to prepare themselves for the responsibilities of life.

Your example has nothing to do with minimum wage workers in Silicon Valley.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "LDS Liberal" you are half right. There are the wealthy that are trying to destroy the US. People like George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, and others that want to transform the US into a socialist utopia where they rule. You also have the poor that keep voting for politicians because they are promised more free stuff.

You forget the scripture D&C 56:17 "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!" You see, greed is not limited to certain income brackets.

Lets also look at Jacob 2:19 "And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good;to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted." So, riches are a blessing if used to help others. Why not seek after wealth?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Curmudgeon
RE: "If you were willing to concede that a minimum wage at some level is appropriate"...

I think the wage should be based on the skill you have, the scarcity of that skill, and the value that skill brings to the business (not an arbitrary number set by some Government bureaucrat).

So... If we could agree on some minimum still level... maybe we could agree on a minimum wage...

=====

@LDS Liberal,

You seem to think that knowing I agree with Benson's "Proper role of Government" reveals everything about me. You frequently hear one thing... and think that tells you everything you need to know about a person, and you can assume that ALL your numerous stereotypes you have attached to that "type" of person... now automatically become true about that person. I call that "judging" people. Something President Benson taught us is wrong.

As for President Benson's views on Pride. I agree with those views too. Contrary to your assumptions... they are NOT mutually exclusive (if you agree with one you cant agree with the other).

BTW.. I thought you were out of posts... what's up with that?

I am out of posts...

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

Sven says: "Why not mandate employers pay their low-skilled employees $30.00 per hour?"

Using an extreme exaggeration of a modest proposal does not make a persuasive argument. Its like saying "Utah can't have a 5% income tax, because just imagine how we destructive a 100% tax would be", or saying "we shouldn't have any speed limits because the logical conclusion of regulating speed, is a speed limit of zero".

A modest increase in the minimum wage is probably a good thing, huge increases would be very bad, no one is arguing for a huge increase.

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