Comments about ‘My view: Can’t build a strong economy on weak minimum wage’

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Published: Wednesday, April 2 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

Cause: Bush tax cuts.


'Study: Rich get a lot richer, outpace middle class' - By Andrew Taylor - AP - Reported by the Deseret News - 10/26/11

'The study comes from the Congressional Budget Office and is based on IRS and Census Bureau data.
It finds that after-tax income for the top 1 percent of U.S. households almost TRIPLED, up 275 percent, from 1979 to 2007.

For people in the middle of the economic scale, after-tax income grew by JUST 40 percent.'

Salt Lake City, UT

But of course this is impossible, according to the pathologically greedy employers among us.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

A REAL world business story
[as opposed to AM radio Midway Parrots],
supporting a wage increase.

The Rich do not spend, they don't need to - they already have everything they need, want.
They horde and squirrel away -- which stiffles the economy.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Just what does $10 per hour buy the breadwinner? If the worker got to take home 100% of his wage (which is impossible), he would earn $20,000 a year, or $1,666 per month. If the worker wants to own a home could he afford $1,000 a month for a very modest home (including property taxes and insurance)? Is he going to walk to work? If not, can he afford to buy a car, even for $150 a month, buy two tanks of gas for $100 a month, pay $250 a month minimum for electricity, heating and local-area-only telephone? If he did, Can he feed his family and buy their clothes for $166 a month? If he pays tithing, he's $40 in the hole before he feeds his family and buys clothing. What about medical? Does his employer pay 100% of all medical bills? Does his employer even provide insurance? Where is he going to find even the co-pay?

Minimum wage was not meant to be a living wage. It allows unskilled workers to get in the job market without bankrupting good-hearted employers.

Brigham City, UT

"Americans understand that some people will earn more money than others, and we don't resent those who, by virtue of their efforts, achieve incredible success. That's what America's all about." President Barack Obama

Still a lot of resentment going on, despite the words of our President.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Did you read the article?

This was not me.

This was written by a small business owner, who completely disagrees with your opinion --
and has given good solid evidence to the contrary.

I know the America you want,
and we don't want to live in Somalia.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Being from Baltimore... I can see why they would assume the solution must be a government mandated minimum wage. But from the letter... I can tell they know the REAL solution.

They CHOSE to pay their employees more than the minimum wage. They didn't wait for the government to mandate it. THAT is the solution.


VERY few jobs deserve the "minimum" wage. Only jobs a trained monkey could do.

People running your hardware store, and dealing with your customers deserve more than minimum wage. IMO they deserve more than $10.00/hour. And you can give them more than $10.00/hour... without a government mandate. You don't have to pay your employees the "Minimum" wage!


More employers should do as they did... pay your employees more than the "minimum" wage! Pay them what they are worth to you! You would have only one small store, run just by you, without them!


The "minimum" wage doesn't drive the economy.

No job requiring skills and hard work should be paid the "minimum" wage.


The solution is...
Don't work for people who only pay the minimum... they will fail and be replaced with businesses that do...

GK Willington
Salt Lake City, UT

per Mike Richards

"Minimum wage was not meant to be a living wage. It allows unskilled workers to get in the job market without bankrupting good-hearted employers."

You might get employees who were more diligent with better wages, but, concur with Mike. Most people IMO earning minimum wage are people entering the job market and/or kids working their thru school.

Moab, UT

Two questions. If the minimum wage is raised to 10.25 what will you then pay your workers? If you pay them 13.00 an hour so they are not working for minimum wage, were will you get the extra moneys to cover the wage increase?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I almost forgot... the real solution doesn't work in America anymore.

Because if Americans refuse to do these jobs (because they don't pay enough)... there are 11 million people in this country to do the "jobs American's won't do"... just waiting in line for those jobs.

Maybe we do need the government mandate. Because we KNOW the government aint going to do anything about the 11 million people here making the real solution impossible.


Now that I think about it... Some employers aren't going to pay above the minimum unless they have to. And they don't have to... as long as they have a long line of people willing to do the job for the minimum (or less).

Salt Lake City, Utah


You asked "Just what does $10 per hour buy the breadwinner"? I will help you, 25% more than $7.25 and hour buys them. No it may not get them to the American dream, but I am pretty sure the owner of the Ace Hardware stores who wrote this article doesn't leave her employees at $10.10 and hour for their entire career. She understands happy employees who feel respected by the boss are better employees and more productive which is especially important to her in the customer service business.

A country that has a small wealthy elite class and a large poor class will not survive. The tax policies of the federal government of the last almost 40 years have benefited the rich and created a society with a disproportionate amount of wealth is held by a small group. If this continues, this country will not survive, plain and simple. You can blame, rationalize and make all the excuses you want, but history tells us that we will be in a civil war at some point, because those on the bottom have nothing more to lose.

provo, Utah

I think we should lower the minimum wage to $5 for a couple months.

Then, as those workers can't pay rent, don't buy cloths, don't buy food and other things we;ll see the same business community crying for a raise in the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

LDS Liberal,

I, too, am a small business owner. Back in 1978, I paid my employees $18.00 an hour. They did technical work. They were expected to know what they were doing. They had to be well qualified. By the way, if you don't remember, back then a very good wage was $4.50 an hour. I know that because that is the wage that I left when I started my own business. At $18 an hour, they had real buying power. Because of the efficiencies that the computer equipment that I designed and programmed, I also made a good living. I would not hire anyone who was not fully qualified to do the job required. I would not hire anyone who didn't show up every day on time and put in a full day's work for a full day's pay. They expected the same from me.

Those who were willing to work for "minimum wage" were not qualified. They were satisfied with doing the minimum. I didn't need them.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

Excellent "My View" piece from a business owner. The only thing that would be better than paying employees a living wage would be to give them a share of the ownership, since they certainly have earned it. That would put even more money in the hands of those who make the economy go: consumers.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

LDS Liberal,

Nobody in my field who is qualified would be satisfied with an hourly wage of $69.62 an hour. That is far below "entry level" wages for systems admins. People in my field are well paid because they perform a service that is valuable. We administer millions of dollars worth of hardware and software. We have been trained. We have become qualified. We are not satisfied with doing as little as possible to get through life, but to be able to do whatever is required of us.

When we hire people, we hire people who have the same attitude as we have. We will not take a chance on someone who cannot do the job on the day that he is hired.

Minimum wage or near-minimum wages are paid to people who have not qualified themselves for higher wages.

There are two ways for a person to earn more. He can risk his own money and hope that he knows what he is doing or he can be well trained. Waiting for "minimum wage" to lift him will never help.

Salt Lake City, UT

"The solution is...
Don't work for people who only pay the minimum"

The problem with that is that the people who need to scrape together whatever they can just to get by don't generally have the flexibility to stage that sort of boycott.

Springville, UT

At the end of the day, between this and other stories in the media, I don't understand why conservative hate other people, especially the weaker and poor, so much.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

LDS Liberal,

Thank you for telling me about too prideful. My religious leaders do not share your opinion. They were appointed to their office by those having authority. We visit regularly. Did anyone with authority appoint you to be my priesthood leader? (I'm politely trying to tell you that are acting as a judge in Israel without having been appointed to that position.)

If you have advice to those who think that they are owed a better wage without providing greater value, we're all waiting to read your opinion; but, if you're only concerned with telling those of us who have worked 80 hour weeks for thirty years that we're being overpaid for our expertise, then you're wasting your time.

Let me tell you a little secret. It takes a lot of money to raise eight children and one foster child. It takes a lot of money to send five children on missions. It takes a lot of money to house them, clothe them and to feed them.

The Lord has been generous, but He expected me to prepare myself and to work hard six days a week.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I think the fundamental assumption of this article is flawed.

The MINIMUM wage doesn't drive the economy. And no strong economy has ever been built on a MINIMUM wage (high or low).

You can't build a strong economy on a weak minimum wage. And you can't build a strong economy on a strong minimum wage. Economies aren't driven by the minimum wage.


STRONG economies are build on OPPORTUNITY.... (not minimum wage laws). Opportunity to increase your wage WAY above the Minimum-wage.


To have a strong economy... we need more opportunity... Which means more people willing to develop their skills, and more businesses willing to pay more and take the place of the businesses that fail because they are only willing to pay the minimum, so they couldn't attract the best employees.


If you think people aren't paid enough... start your own business and pay yourself what you think you are worth, and pay your help what they are worth. Don't expect the government to force others to do what YOU want. Just do like the people in the article... start your business and pay your help more than minimum!

Be the solution!

USS Enterprise, UT

To "Pagan" obviously following your advice won't work. We have now had Obama in office for the past 6 years, leading the economy. Lets see how well liberal policies work.

From Investors "Household Incomes Fall In August, Down 8.2% Under Obama " apparently the average household is earning less under liberal policies than under conservativeish policies.

From the Huffington Post "Income Inequality Worse Under Obama Than George W. Bush". I think that says it all.

Why listen to people who have a track record of killing incomes for the average worker and boosting their wealthy supporters?

For you liberals out there, explain why a person needs to earn more now than in 1950, adjusting for inflation? The article stated that the minimum wage is roughly the same as it was in 1950, that means you have the same buying power as you would have had back then. Why do you need more buying power now, what has changed except for greedy workers that want more "stuff"?

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