Minimum wage debate rages on

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  • GmaxD Lehi, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 1:50 p.m.

    If minimum wage, or a guaranteed income, is such a wonderful thing, we ought to really go for it then and raise the minimum wage to $30/hr. And, Or, guarantee everyone a minimum income of $30,000 / year.

  • Itsjstmeagain Merritt Island, Fl
    Dec. 18, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    My issue is we are subsidizing McD and all of the other low wage employers. Many of the people with families are on some subsistance program. I have nothing against seeing people eat and not live in their car but are we also shareholders of these companies? I don't think so. Maybe the answer is to add up all of the payments we make to these people and tack a surcharge to the Corp. taxes.

    Henry Ford gave outrageous raises to his assembly line workers. Their standard of livng improved and other companies had to follow to keep employees. Ford sold more cars and other industries and retailers profited from this action. It worked then.

  • Bruce A. Frank San Jose, CA
    Dec. 17, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    Brent T,

    Did you ever think about the concept that it might not be advisable to have a family UNTIL you can support a family. My wife and I formed a two person family. After we had worked through educations and worked a lot of menial jobs did we earn enough, and have the adventures, before we arrived at a financial position at which we thought we could provide the necessities for children. Then we had our first child...when we were 40 years old.

    That child is now working on a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, because we delayed a family until AFTER we'd obtained the level many steps above minimum wage. If we'd had a kid while making minimum wage we'd have fallen into the trap of instant gratification likely self-sentencing ourselves and our children to a less than successful life.

    No matter how much minimum wage pays it will never be anything more than a minimum wage. The "rich" guy that you hold in such disdain, if limited by government, will start a second and third company, creating hundreds more opportunities for young workers to climb above the poverty level.

  • Bruce A. Frank San Jose, CA
    Dec. 17, 2013 7:29 a.m.

    Wish you guys would do some proper research rather than using the propaganda from the networks and the unions. Virtually NO fast food restaurant workers walked off the job in protest. The protesters were union paid demonstrators. It turns out that less than 1/10 of 1% were actual restaurant workers. Across the country those workers are glad to be employed and appreciate the opportune to receive the training and climb the company ladder.

    When government arbitrarily imposes minimum wages, employment goes down dramatically. Government has no concept of the value of a job and what an employee is worth to the employer. Even at the minimum wage level it costs the employer thousands and thousands to train new employees. Once they get training and experience, and show themselves a valuable employee, they usually get their first raise. Or, if the now trained and experienced employee wants to climb faster, they use that resume to go to another employer,leaving the last employer stuck with that training cost. Minimum wage jobs are starting points, not the climax job.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    Regardless of what someone thinks is "right" or how an increase is related to inflation, there are two significant factors that doom a what these activists are seeking:

    -The feds are supportive of the idea (death knell)

    -If the wage is raised high enough, those who will benefit from it won't be the current employees, it will be those are more qualified who will be attracted by the higher wage.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 16, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    To "Brent T. Aurora CO" that is an aweful idea. Lets look at it this way. If you ran a law firm or professional sports team, you will destroy the ability to attract the talented people that you would need if you wanted to hire the neighbor kid to come and empty garbage cans every week and vacume the floor.

    Can you imagine what would happen if a pro-basketball team had to pay the ball boy $50,000/yr? That may not sound like much, but is the work that they perform worth that much?

    The other thing that would happen would be that companies would stop hiring employees themselves. You would create an industry of "minimum wage" agencies. That way you can pay your executives whatever you want, and if you need more minimum wage workers, you pay the agency. That way they are not your employees, but are contractors for somebody else.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Dec. 16, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    more than doubling the minimum wage will alter prices a lot, who cares about how it will alter fast food. Of course they will get machines to do the job because it will be
    5% increase is not going to alter much? Except people will have 5% less disposable income.
    How many families can afford that?
    It is just like the numbers you put up for the Obamacare marriage penalty it was 1200 dollars more a year for a married couple, how many people can afford to have a house payment taken every year?
    Do you have a family or dreams? The more money I put into gas and food the less I have for a house and saving for my kids' education.
    Low skill workers need to develop skills and earn a better wage. Many of them have welfare programs to keep them healthy and sheltered while they can build skills.
    Over 3 million jobs open in this nation and a lot are not mimimum wage or even require a education. The key to success is hard work.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 3:28 p.m.


    In my opinion those Marines, Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors and their female counterparts, don’t work any harder than ordinary Americans in the service of the American people.

    Yet we give them free housing, food, health care and all the other necessities of life, along with their pay.

    I think all Americans should have the same benefits as military people.

    The words Life, Liberty and pursuit of happiness should assume the equal opportunity for their participation. All people should have free housing, food, health care and only have to work to pay for recreation, entertainment, luxury, advanced education, and other optional equipment.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    @Mom of 8
    "The price of goods will increase."

    Not significantly. It's been estimated that raising minimum wage to 15.00 an hour would make the dollar menu the 1.17 menu, and quite frankly minimum wage is not going up to 15 so prices aren't going to increase that much.

    "The amount of people hired will decrease."

    We've had many minimum wage increases at state and federal levels the past century, and there is no correlation that suggests this would occur.

    "Already our family can't afford to eat fast food, and if minimum wage goes up, no one will be patronizing those establishments."

    A 5% increase in prices is really not going to alter much.

  • fani wj, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    The solution to this issue is for the Union with their big money start up their own fast food chain and pay everyone they hire $15 or $30/hr. After they fail to remain in business in the first year, then the rest of the industry will follow their model

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Dec. 15, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    Mostly in response to Mom of 8 -- you are correct. Maybe with a family of 8 you don't find the opportunity or time to work (for income). Huge problem in society is the dependence upon, and the pricing of goods to reflect such, the two income household -- especially the many households short a second wage earner due to death, divorce or care giving.

    For business it makes no sense to shrink their market by pricing their goods as they do -- which if you read or see ads with any awareness or regularity one can plainly see that people earning less than $8/hour or even homes where two people somehow combine meager wages beyond costs (more cars, insurance, fuel, childcare...) cannot afford... the system is broke.

    Who are these people with with more than 30k in household annual income? Because there are a lot of people below that needing goods and services, working their butts off making goods and serving others. On the other end, exactly why does anyone need to make 100's of thousands, even millions or more annually -- consuming goods and services provided by masses at minimum wage.

  • TMR Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 15, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    Pipes - you may disagree with raising the minimum wage, but it does not help to disparage those on the "left" who favor raising the limit. Many of us on the "left" understand and practice the "concepts" you espouse while favoring raising the limit. I personally favor it for economic and moral reasons.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    A minimum wage for the least paid workers in our economy is not enough to fix the crisis in our failing capitalist economic system.

    Continued existence of a civilized society requires a system for the sharing of talent and the benefits for all members of the society; that is fair, dependable and flexible society’s needs.

    Our stagnant system of today, built on centuries of capitalism, needs to be updated to compensate for the conditions of the present day. The rules of capitalist game needs to be updated just like the rules for football. These changes are needed to compensate for new advantages and protection against new dangers.

    The diminished value of human labor of all, at every level, must be compensated for to keep our system running.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 15, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    I agree with DN Subscriber 2, we should do everything we can to keep wages low for all workers expect for upper management. George Bailey In its a Wonderful Life had it all wrong when he said that those people who do "most of the living and dying" in Bedford Falls deserve a decent house and a few nice things. Those who own and manage businesses do all the work and deserve all the profits. Unions are evil, labors are lazy and undeserving of a living wage. They provide very little value to a company. Our country and world will be a better place once all the wealth is held by the 1% not just 80% of it.

    The upside for you DN Subscriber 2 is that we are moving rapidly toward your dream of America, an elite upper class, and the remainder of society will be made up of lower class uneducated workers.

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    My husband has a degree and ten years' experience in his field, and used to make $17/hour, managing employees who made $9. Their company could barely make ends meet with those modest wages.

    Increasing the minimum wage is, for anyone with any ability to do math, flirting with disaster.
    The price of goods will increase.
    The amount of people hired will decrease.
    Nothing will change.
    Already our family can't afford to eat fast food, and if minimum wage goes up, no one will be patronizing those establishments.

    Maybe what everyone in the country needs is a math lesson?

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    DN Subscriber 2
    There you go using logic and reason again. The left only understands emotion."Right Now" and entitlement. They want equality for everyone regardless of the effort put in. They don't understand the concept of education, hard work and planning for your future.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    The Republican/tea party will be sure to get on the wrong side of this issue and lose the house. Rush Limbaugh will help them again.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 15, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    Hutterite. If life in Canada is so wonderful, why are you living in Utah?

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    Only the market can determine the value of tasks.
    Don't expect Washington to do it. The money from corporate is stronger than the money from the unions. The very reason this amnesty debate is kept in play is for CHEAPER wages.
    But these protests get the Occupy crowd out of their parents' basements.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Dec. 15, 2013 1:05 a.m.

    Let's go to the rule of 20... which just means that no one in a company can make more than 20 times what the lowest paid person in the company makes. In other words, if McDonalds' CEO makes 20 million dollars a year, the guy flipping burgers makes a million per year. there is still capitalism and the incentive to work hard to make 20 times more and to make the company profitable... it's just that everyone working there benefits from the collective work.

    As to the more realistic action taking place here, we need to have a two minimum wages -- one applicable to minors and those without a HS diploma or GED, and another for adults that represents what ONE wage earner in a household needs to make to support a family of four.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 12:42 a.m.


    I presume you are in favor of fully developing our oil and shale resources. Alberta gets nearly $4 billion in royalties from exploiting its oil sands (which would be nearly 25% of Utah's state budget). Of course, a lot of our natural resources are locked inside of federally controlled land.

    Raising the minimum wage will be great if you still have a job. If you do not, then it is not such a great idea. Look at countries with a much higher minimum wage (i.e. most of Europe) and look at the rate of youth unemployment (18-25 years old).

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 10:56 p.m.

    The "minimum wage" and "income inequality" issues are being pushed by people who either do not understand, or do not care about basic economics. They are also being aggressively pushed right now to distract from the total disaster that has been the result of every one of Obama's economic policies.

    But, talking about these distracts voters attention from the failures of Obamacare, the failures of his energy policy and his EPA's war on coal; and the staggering and nearly unchanged unemployment problem, and his bloated wasteful (and totally ineffective) spending programs.

    When people contribute more than $15/hour worth of value added from their efforts, they will get paid more. As it is, many minimum wage workers are marginally useful at best.

    Any increases in the minimum wage will create demands for all other wages to be increased, which is why unions are such strong supporters. Increased wages will result in inflation, destroying any of the imaginary gains made from increasing wages at all.

  • Dadof5sons Montesano, WA
    Dec. 14, 2013 9:33 p.m.

    OK lets realy look at it. min skills min work equates min wage. sorry 15 and hour to flip burgers get real! The Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, and Saliors that protect this nation make less then 3 dollars a hour. So get real! 99% of what McDonalds does can be automated and elimanate those jobs.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 8:56 p.m.

    I just spent a few days in Alberta, getting some good 'ol fashioned socialised medical care. Minimum wage there is $9.95 CDN/hr., and unemployment is less than 5%. And yes, you get health care, too.
    I think we can do it in Utah.