Those without skills will always struggle, regardless of the minimum wage

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  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 5, 2013 1:44 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal

    "Aren't these same Republicans also against amnesty to those already making even BELOW even minimum wage?

    It like they can't force wages down fast enough, far enough on the 99%...
    and then shout Yahoo! and worship 1% multi billionaires."

    Do you attended professional athletic events, movies or go to concerts? If so you are supporting the 1%. Maybe we should cap those groups earnings then we could have enough money to give to the lower class in wages. People complain about the 1% just as long as it is not professional sports or entertainment. Then it is so quiet you can hear crickets chirp.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 5, 2013 7:04 a.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" that is the problem. How do you determine what somebody else should be paid? The moral and correct answer is that the CEO should be paid a salary that does not bankrupt the business.

    How much should the top athletes be paid? Why is it ok in society for professional athletes to be paid millions of dollars and not a CEO?

    If making 250 times what the average laborer makes in your company isn't right, what is? How do you set a wage?

    The bigger question is, why are there adults trying to support families working at jobs traditionally held by teens and college age kids?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:34 p.m.

    That's actually the question Redshirt, as someone else said earlier, those who own and create get more, which is correct, but there is not a universal law that says what more is. Like I said earlier Owners and CEO's use to make 20 times what the average laborer made now they make 250 to 500 times what the average laborer makes. So which is moral and correct? And I don't think what you can get by with is the right answer. What the protestors are saying is maybe 250 times what I make isn't right.

    That all being said I surely don't disagree with the principle of those who can should do all they can to improve their situation with education and experience. Personally I've gone through periods where I worked full time helped to raise 5 kids, had a high level church position (other life), attended graduate school, and ran 80 miles a week. However I recognize the advantages I had growing up in a middle class family that allowed me to do all those things. Advantages many don't have.

    Thanks for your thoughts though.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:23 p.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" so what you are saying is that there are those that are poor that are happy there, and have no desire to aspire to something more. I can respect that. If they want to be paid more, they should do something to merit being paid more. Simply showing up to a job that could be given to a High School aged kid is not enough.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 4, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    Once again, you have reverted to your either or paradigm. That's not the way the world is. Of course lots of folks have come from poverty to be successful, but to say to the masses who have not just been raised in poverty, but generational poverty, who have been subjected to sub standard educations, if any, but and are still willing to work and work hard despite barely getting by, hey you can't ask/demand a raise from your employer, you just need to go to school and improve your skills is arrogant and foolish.

    so to answer your question "If you say that it can't be done now, why not, what has changed?"..that's not what I said or would say. I would say however that becoming super rich doesn't even cross these peoples minds, nor does "starting their own business". It's not their aspiration, it's yours. They simply want a job where they can work and be paid a living wage. The question to you..what's wrong with that?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" but many people have taken the challenge of starting a business, and have ended up very wealthy.

    For example Jon Huntsman Sr. was raised in poverty. Now he is a billionaire.

    Take a look at "Twenty Billionaires Who Started With Nothing" at Bloomberg Business Week. They look at 20 people who started with nothing and became very wealthy.

    There are many stories of how people who were raised in poverty became super rich. What isn't told are the stories of the poor who started businesses and became middle class.

    If you say that it can't be done now, why not, what has changed?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    A couple of thoughts; "The capitalist system provides the most to those in charge. period.". Yes however there is no natural law that defines most. In the 1970's, an executive made 20 times what the laborer made, now they make 250 to 500 times the laborers wage so that's what the protestors are talking about.

    "This is more about entitlement and wanting something for nothing than fair wages. More fast food workers are adults now who are unwilling to put in the hard work it takes to get education and/or learn a skill that is marketable." Something for nothing..sir/madame, these are workers asking in a collective way for a raise. They have a marketable skill and I'm sorry but not everyone can or should go to college or be an electrician.

    Lastly the hubris of those with addresses like cottonwood heights, Springville, and salt lake city who tell someone from the heart of the inner city to just go to school or start your own business is stunning. Those standing in the parking lot are saying I'll work for you cottonwood heights person, just pay me enough to live.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    To "Truthseeker" the service jobs have been exported to India and other nations with many people that speak engligh, along with China. Since you don't read much in the news, take a look at "Security audit finds dev OUTSOURCED his JOB to China to goof off at work" in the UK Register. A man outsourced his own job to China so that he could goof off. According to the article he was working several jobs, all of which he outsourced to China.

    The only jobs that we can't outsource are those that require a physical prescense here. That means that plumbers, electricians, construction workers, store clerks, delivery people, and so forth can't be outsourced. I would hate to see an economy made of of those types of jobs.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 3, 2013 6:11 p.m.

    "Most liberals have proclaimed that US businesses are sending their manufacturing and phone center operations overseas where labor is cheaper. If you make our labor rates go up, what do you think businesses will do?"

    How are service jobs going to be exported to China?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    To the guy in the picture, If you want to make more money put down the bull-horn and go to school. You can't FORCE people to pay you more. It's better to work on your skills so that they WANT to pay you more.

    Some people will never get that. It's for people like that we have a minimum wage.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 1:44 p.m.

    There is really only one question that a poster needs to ask himself before he demands that the minimum wage whould be increased: Where does he shop? Does he buy products that are made in China for $0.20 an hour? Does he eat a McDonalds, or does he go to a "sit down" restaurant where he can tip the waiter 20% or more? How does he spend his money? Does he look for a shirt that costs 50% or 250% more because he wants to pay someone a living wage or does he see what's on sale at Shopko or Wal-Mart?

    Those who lecture us on minimum wage should have the decency to show us that they buy everything at shops that buy American Made products, shops taht pay a living wage to all the employees in the manufacturing process.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    Every person has skills some employer would like to have (even if they don't have a college degree). It could be their work ethic, or their personality, or their people skills.

    I would focus on getting a good education, or developing those skills listed above, instead of just standing in your employers parking lot with a blow-horn yelling at him that he needs to pay you more even if you DON'T have the skills to do the job (Because the Government says so).

    Or... start your own business and pay yourself whatever you think you are worth. But don't just sit there in the parking lot telling the employer what he must pay you.

    OR... develop skills that would make you so much in demand that a long list of employers would be willing to pay you MORE than minimum wage to work for him.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 11:07 a.m.

    IMO the problem is our letting the Government set the wage. When the Government sets the wage... it becomes political (which is not the way to determine what a "fair" wage is).

    If you want to determine what a "Fair" wage is... you should involve the employer (not the Government).

    I think employers pay their employees according to the skills and the value they bring to the business (not a government mandated wage).

    IF you don't have skills... you will have a hard time demanding a higher wage (that's just a fact of life). IF you have valuable skills... you will be able to demand the salary you want, and if your current employer won't pay it... there will be a line a mile long of people who WILL be willing to pay to get your skills (because your skills will help them make money, or prevent them from losing money).

    Wages based on a government mandated scale is NOT a trend I like to see grow in the United States.

    Even people with little or no education have people skills, or hard work ethic, that CAN make them very attractive to a prospective employer.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    Attention liberals, using your past arguments about the economy you cannot raise minimum wage.

    Most liberals have proclaimed that US businesses are sending their manufacturing and phone center operations overseas where labor is cheaper. If you make our labor rates go up, what do you think businesses will do?

    According to your own economics ideas, the US will lose even more jobs to foriegn nations. Is this what you want? Do you really want the US to lose what little competitive possibilities that it currently has?

    You can either help the economy by keeping wages low and job here, or you can help a few by raising the minimum wage. You can't do both, so tell us, which is more important to you.

  • JP71 Ogden, UT
    Sept. 3, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    This is more about entitlement and wanting something for nothing than fair wages. More fast food workers are adults now who are unwilling to put in the hard work it takes to get education and/or learn a skill that is marketable. Take notice America, we are now a spoiled socialist society that is in decline because we have lost the ability to work. The benefits of life go to those who take them.

  • Daddiooh Orem, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 10:56 p.m.

    Min wage may not be a fair "living wage" but even if the wages increase to $15 an hour once the healthcare mandate goes into effect in January of 2015, these same people will want $20 per hour to compensate for the lost 10 hours per week. At that wage a Big mac will have to be $10+. I guess I am done with fast food--and just about any other services out there. Minimum wage may not be a fair living wage, but if it goes up like this we are all in trouble. Things are totally screwed up right now.

  • Jory payson, utah
    Sept. 2, 2013 10:00 p.m.

    Everyone keeps complaining that the Businesses are not increasing wages to keep up with inflation. How about we stop inflating our money every year. The FED's goal is to have inflation of 2%. Businesses can't keep up with that anymore. Now we see the effect of how busiensses can't keep up with the inflation. Lets stop the inflation.

  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Sept. 2, 2013 5:49 p.m.

    What you call "unskilled" actually often times takes a great deal of skill. What pays well is not high skills per se but less common skills.

    Scientists that are trying to match the human brain to artificial intelligence will tell you the human brain is too amazing to match. With today's technology is would take the power of a nuclear power-plant, a billion processors and all the memory on the current internet. And there's still no way to program it or actually achieve.

    They still can't make a humanoid robot that can qualify for a minimum wage job. And if they could, it would't take minimum wage.

    The only reason you can pay so little to even have this argument is that human life isn't in short supply. Thank you Lord? Now a few can be rich? The capitalist system provides the most to those in charge. period.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 5:35 p.m.


    Aren't these same Republicans also against amnesty to those already making even BELOW even minimum wage?

    It like they can't force wages down fast enough, far enough on the 99%...
    and then shout Yahoo! and worship 1% multi billionaires.

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    Sept. 2, 2013 4:38 p.m.

    Get the government out of the way of the economy and it will grow and the natural wages will increase. Adding another government regulation dictating how much employers need to pay and you slow the economy a little more and induce higher unemployment. The reason employers pay what they do is because they can attract enough people at that wage to fulfill their needs.

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    Sept. 2, 2013 1:55 p.m.

    The cure for a livable wage is not increasing the minimum wage. This was already tried back in the 70s and it just means that the price of everyday things becomes more unaffordable take a look at South Dakota where wages have increased rapidly due to higher paying jobs coming into the state. A gallon of milk is $6.30.

    The cure for the livable wage is increasing domestic production which means we need to strike a balance with free trade and we need to stop playing money games with our dollar through the Federal reserve. Every time you make access to capital easier for the wealthy people there is a small boost that eventually translates to the lower class but mostly it just helps wall street corporations make a quick buck at the expense of the middle class who bare the burden of higher costs in everyday expenses.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    This article sounds like an excuse, an assuage to the conscience that wants to do nothing.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 12:21 p.m.

    To clear the air, one way to resolve this debate would be to do Marxian surplus value calculations for various service type industries. But that would require us to look at the world through the eyes of Marx, and neither conservatives nor liberals dare do that!

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 11:57 a.m.

    America's Republicans want people to work and earn a decent living.

    America's Corporations don't.

    So -
    Why do Republicans think so highly and worship Corporate America?

    Happy LABOR day.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Sept. 2, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    Oregon's minimum wage has been among the highest in the nation for as long as I've been working (I attended Ricks College in the early '90s and remember blowing away my classmates when I told them I earned $5.25 an hour at my summer job.) We've been subject to the same economic up and downs as the rest of the country, but our burgers still get flipped and our shelves still stay stocked. Our minimum wage went up to $8.95 at the beginning of the year, and we haven't fallen into the ocean yet.

    The idea that raising minimum wage hurts anything is a Heritage Foundation myth designed to make business owners feel better about making their employees eat cake. Unless the CEO of McDonald's is willing to start working a cash register himself, "low-skill" workers are absolutely necessary for "job creators" to grow their wealth. Maybe there was a time when minimum wage workers were mainly teenagers saving to buy their first car, but times change and the minimum wage needs to change along with them.

    Hate to break it to you, DN, but we can't all be Mitt Romney...

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    Re: "... if you raise wages without raising productivity someone has to pay."

    The minimum wage hasn't kept pace with productivity.

    According to a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (March 2012):

    "If the minimum wage had continued to move with average productivity after 1968, it would have reached $21.72 per hour in 2012."

    Senator Elizabeth Warren asked Dr. Arindrajit Dube, "a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who has studied the economic impacts of minimum wage":

    "'So my question is Mr. Dube, with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, what happened to the other $14.75? It sure didn't go to the worker.'

    "Dube went on to note that if minimum wage incomes had grown over that period at the same pace as it had for the top 1 percent of income earners, the minimum wage would actually be closer to $33 an hour than the current $7.25" (Huffington Post, March 18, 2013).

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    The Deseret News observes that more than half of those receiving minimum wage or less are age 25 and younger. Fair enough. But let's be more specific about who are the people who are age 25 and younger in Utah: They are young marrieds, college graduates, returned missionaries, members of the armed services, young construction workers, etc. Is it really OK to pay these people $7.25 an hour or less?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    The only way for America to survive the onslaught of internal trauma such as poverty and economic oppression is to find a new way to distribute the wealth created by the people. The old way of just robbing the people by commerce is not working. People all over the world having reached the bottom of the barrel are faced with the choice of fight for change or die of starvation.

    A benevolent government of the people would calculate the true cost of the American dream and propose a minimum wage to achieve that goal.

    A smart and proper government would not impose the minimum wage to be paid by private business but would lead the nation by example.

    The government would simply hire every citizen who wanted a job, at the minimum wage. There’s plenty of work to be done in keeping our society alive and up to date. The probable result of a zero unemployment and proper wages would be a thriving economy with great benefit to business operations and persons of skill.

    Business would fulfill its true mission to society and still provide opportunities for business and people to prosper from their own efforts.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 9:58 a.m.

    It would be nice if everyone made more. However, if you raise wages without raising productivityn someone has to pay. Some business owners are making plenty and can easily afford to pay more. Others are struggling to keep thier doots open. If you have 10 emploees, a $2/hr raise is $40, 000 a year. That will put some companies under. So some will benefit making $9+/hr and some will lose their jobs.

    A better approach is to get the economy going again. Demand raises pay but not artificially like the minimum wage. High demand increases productivity and everyone wins. Of course this requires undoing most of the current and former administrations' policies.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 9:56 a.m.


    More of the promoting of the same myths about min wage despite being debunked time after time after time.

    Raise the min wage.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    It seems like the local police always side with the business operators when there is a conflict with people, especially workers. Could it be that local police are predisposed to favor the people who control their pay.

    The really big falsehood in this case is that there is such a thing as a free market in employment by business operations. A market that is ripe with obstacles to fair competition such as skills that can only be gained by the rules of businessmen, and a population of workers beyond the territory of the business operation cannot be called a free market.

    Further, even the voices of business operations say that a person on welfare has greater wages and benefits than the current minimum wage. Why should a person take a lower pay when a greater pay is available.

  • Roger Terry Happy Valley, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    "government-imposed wage levels lead to unintended consequences."

    Are you saying that the government-imposed $7.25 minimum wage leads to unintended consequences, or that a government-imposed $9.00 minimum wage would lead to unintended consequences? What consequences? And how do they differ? Or are you implying that allowing the market to dictate wages would lead to intended consequences? Intended by whom? By those who already rake in the lion's share of the wealth?

    "Either the price of fast food would rise substantially, or restaurants would find ways to cut costs through automation or other means."

    But fast food prices have risen substantially while the minimum wage has remained constant. Perhaps those "other means" might include not paying CEOs far more than they are worth. McDonald's, for instance, just tripled the pay of its CEO in spite of falling sales. But they can't afford to pay their workers an extra buck an hour? Or two? Right.

    And telling low-skill workers to get a better education and improve their marketability is disingenuous. There aren't enough high-skill, high-paying jobs to go around. But there are quite a few low-skill, low-paying jobs.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Sept. 2, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    Yes DMN, and the "poor will always be with you"... Was that a prophecy or an indictment? The minimum wage is not in line with todays costs. And, the economic mobility that used to he a hallmark of the American economy is almost a fond memory. So, what do we do DMN, let them eat cake?

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    Yet there are other inflationary forces at work that are not so readily regarded.

    While we need a certain number of accountants, teachers etc whose productivity does not directly create any material product, any superflous job, any extraneous employee, any topheavy administration, unproductive or counter-productive worker does have an inflationary effect on the economy. Whether it's idle hands in a factory or a superflous bureaucrat (a certain number are of course necessary), a mishievous lawyer, or any other category of economic superfluity or hindrance. We must produce profitably and have a basic minimum of support personnel. The wages and salaries of superflous persons produce extra wages but no valuable contribution is made to the economy.

    Anticipating a possible argument that the retired are in the category of "superflous" we must always remember, and retain in remembrance, that on retirement they receive back their own, with interest to protect the value of their contribution, through employer and government programs, that they might otherwise have received in higher wages in their working lives.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    Actually it is by doubling the money supply that we cut the dollar in half. an increase of $2 in the minimum wage would not double the amount of money in circulation, but would likely raise it by a more modest amount.

    Then there are possible unintended consequences: people who cheerfully thought they were at least getting a couple of dollars an hour in excess of the minimum wage, suddenly find out they are minimum wage employees. Then they think they had better get a raise or go elsewhere for work. Wages would go up in other jobs then, and that raises inflation another notch.

    I find it hard to either support or oppose a national minimum wage. It is a pity that any full-time working person is living at or below the poverty line, not having enough to support his family. At the same time there is some inflationary effect which hurts everyone not on minimum wage. Then again minimum wage may be sufficient for people in some regions, more than sufficient in other parts, and inadequate in areas with a high cost of living which then leads to a higher (state) minimum.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 2, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    What did we read in the news the other day? Unemployment among teenagers is about 75% in America, an all time record high! And some of you can't figure out why? Well, let me help you. Minimum wage jobs are for entry level people will no demonstrable job skills, like teenagers and every time the minimum wages are forced up, the unemployment numbers for teenagers goes right up with it! Duhhh! Where will your teenager get any work experience?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    The middle class jobs of the 1940's, 50's, 60's, 70's etc. were not high skilled jobs. They were routine jobs that paid enough for one average high school educated man to earn enough to buy a house, and support a family on one income alone. They paid that much because our political and business leaders had determined that having the U.S. be a middle-class nation was the best way to avoid the fates of Germany, Italy, Russia, China, etc. People who are economically desperate will follow any demagogue who offers them a better life. Prosperous middle class people will support their moderate democratic government.

    We are losing our middle class which puts us at risk for all of those dangers that the post war generation of leaders tried so hard to avoid.

  • KDave Moab, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    If we double the minimum wage, in reality we just cut the value of the dollar in half. We would need twice as many dollars to buy everything from a hamburger to a gallon of gas.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    Of course those without skills are going to suffer economically. But our economy needs some unskilled laborers. Someone has to perform those tasks. The [working] poor will always be with us. We should treat them better than we do.

    Also, the editorial recognizes that there are economists on both sides of this issue, yet on its key premise, cites only James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation.

    There probably are better ways to help the working poor. Let's carefully explore them. But until we figure that out, let's pay our unskilled workers a little better.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 2, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    Here we go again with the same old, you can't raise the minimum wage or you'll either wreck the economy or destroy millions of jobs, argument. Somewhere today you'll see the "well why stop at $15, why not $30, or $100". Yet over time the minimum wage has been raised either in response to labor pressure or some other agreement such as inflation, and yes there have been some individual specific adjustments by particular businesses or industries, but here we are in 2013 and there are still millions of minimum wage jobs, and an economy that hasn't been destroyed because a fast food worker makes $6 an hour. In fact we have an economy that now thrives on most getting nothing (sort of) and others getting it all (sort of). What an increase in the minimum wage actually harms is that paradigm, and it actually seems like a good thing. Conservatives long everything in the good old days except an economy where the wealth was shared.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 2, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    "Those without marketable job skills will always struggle no matter the minimum wage"! If the opposite were true, it would do no good to obtain an education, learn any skills, put forth any effort for self improvement or strive for a better life because those who do not will get the same rewards as those who do and our society, our economy and our nation would collapse. Can't produce wealth from the government printing presses forever! Someone has to produce something of value! N. Korea, Cuba, Somalia, Detroit, et are examples!

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 2, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    Overall, I agree. Increasing skills is the way to go. But some have few options because of intransigent issues. Do we raise wages for them but not the others? If we give it to all, do we really feel that most not in such a predicament (the teenagers and such) are really worth $15/hr.?

    One point from the article "Congress, which can't seem to agree on any economic issue, is in no danger of acting on this any time soon." There is an understatement.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 12:24 a.m.

    This editorial is way off the mark.

    There is zero evidence to support the belief that adjusting the minimum wage to give it the same buying power in real dollars that it did in the 1970's would dramatically raise the price of a Big Mac or a Whopper. What objective research there is does conclude that those items might cost an extra 15 to 25 cents with a $10 minimum wage.

    What is missing from your editorial is any mention of the impact that low wages are having on the health of our economy. They force more people to rely on food stamps and other forms of government assistance. Your super-cheap goods at Walmart are in effect being subsidized by tax dollars. I'd just as soon pay the extra buck and know that my desire for a low price isn't driving the working poor even farther into poverty than they already are.

    I urge you to Google an August 19th Washington Post Business article, "The U.S. has a $7.25 minimum wage. Australia’s is $16.88" and read-up on this subject for yourself.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 2, 2013 12:21 a.m.

    "...$7.25 an hour to $15. President Obama has proposed raising it to $9 an hour. The president's opponent in his re-election campaign, Mitt Romney, said he would support having the wage keep pace with inflation. Had we done that, the wage would now be about $11 an hour."


    So, why are the Romney supporters against ANY raise in the minimum wage.
    When Romney proposed $2 and hour higher than Obama's?