Robert J. Samuelson: To the Obama administration: make jobs, not propaganda

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  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    "Yep. NOW the government is supposed to create jobs. Uh huh."

    No. It's supposed to stop throwing up impediments to job creation. I'm talking about Obamacare, Porkulus, delay of Keystone pipeline, Obamacare, EPA carbon regulations, offshore drilling moratorium, and Obamacare.


    If you mean admission, it's an admission that job creators want government to get out of their way.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:53 p.m.

    Yep. NOW the government is supposed to create jobs. Uh huh.

    Well, we tried giving the "job creators" free reign and lowered their taxes. Obama made the Bush tax cuts permanent.

    Id this call for the government to create jobs the long awaited admittance that the job creators have no idea what they are talking about?

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:17 p.m.

    @marxist " it must be fair."

    I didn't offer a judgement as to whether or not it's fair. What I said was that it's a matter to be decided by the worker and the employer. They are engaging in trade. Each has something the other wants. Both are free to associate, and both are free to leave. They are the best judges of what is right for them. They don't need my opinion about what's fair.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:05 p.m.

    Isn't anyone here tired of the delusion between the Democrats and the Republicans! How ignorant can anyone be? No one here recognizes the absolute undeniable facts of the past 50 years that is indisputable that neither the Republicans or the Democrats have done anything to help the poor? What is that keeps people from looking in the mirror and seeing the truth! Far from being ignorant, however, are the leaders in both parties that will lie to their constituents in the very real acknowledgement that nothing they have done has helped and the only thing it has done is kept them in power, which is their primary motive! How sad that otherwise intelligent people can be thus deluded! Something is amiss!

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:08 p.m.

    "...Robert J. Samuelson: To the Obama administration: make jobs, not propaganda..."

    For years Republicans have told Americans that government does not create jobs...only the private sector creates jobs.

    To Robert J. Samuelson:

    Why the paradigm shift?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 4:37 p.m.

    @RedShirt "To "marxist" speaking as a person who has to deal with many minimum wage workers. I think that far too many of them are over compensated at the current minimum wage."

    No doubt some are overpaid at the minimum wage. No question. But on average? I don't think so. I know, also from experience, that many minimum wage workers are hard working and underpaid relative to the service they provide. They are the rule, not the exception.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:59 p.m.

    @Nate "This is a question that should be decided between the worker and the employer." So we have a clerk at McDonalds negotiating with McDoanlds. Not an even match.

    The whole minimum wage issue points up the differences between neoclassical economics and Marxist economics. The neoclassical says the wage at McD's is determined by supply and demand so it must be fair.

    The Marxist sees that the supply of labor for McD's is high because of a reserve army of the unemployed and that since McD's are millionaire generators for franchisees that their labor is being low-balled big time, relative to the value labor adds.

    One side needs to talk to the other.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 2:01 p.m.


    I fully expect the Obama regime to force a "fair" gas price and force a "fair" food price and force a "fair" restaurant compensation and the list goes on. It's called Socialism and America elected a socialist twice so what do we really expect? If America wants to return to freedom again then they are going to have to wise up a hurry...and boot as many Democrat's out of the Senate and the White house as possible.

  • grouchyoldman Arden, NC
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    Has anyone read Adam Smith? Wealth of Nations? Does anyone read at all? Or have we become a nation of political soundbites and half truths?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:31 p.m.

    Businesses don't set immigration policy. Politicians legislate. No business owner can legislate. Some of the blame for expanding immigration (legal immigration) has to be owned by the politicians who legislate the policy.

    Business lobbyists are part of the problem, but so are politicians. Especially when the Federal Government has proven they will sue any State that even thinks about enforcing our immigration laws.

    It's not just politics. Usually when new people arrive (increased birth rate, immigration, etc) more people means more of everything is needed (more factories, stores, restaurants, banks, gas stations, etc... means more jobs). But since we don't make anything in the United States any more, that just means more people in the USA and more jobs in China, Mexico, Pakistan, etc. And what little IS made in the United States is increasingly made by automation and with increased efficiency... no new jobs are created. So we would have a problem even if we didn't have a flood of immigration.

    11 million illegal immigrants (most of them growing families) and who knows how many legal immigrants, doesn't help the way it did in the old days.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    2 bits:

    So, can I assume that you also favor the government propping up other elements of our free market economy? For example, gas prices are largely affected by supply/demand cycles. Should the government decide that every gas producer in this country has a constitutional right to a "fair price" for every gallon of gas? It could set the minimum price of gas at $5.00 per gallon and force every gas station in the country to charge at least that much even if there were gas refineries all over the country who were willing to sell their gas for less.

    Still think it is a good idea? What makes a gallon of gas any different than an hour of work?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    To "marxist" speaking as a person who has to deal with many minimum wage workers. I think that far too many of them are over compensated at the current minimum wage.

    To "UTAH Bill" what has Obama done to encourage businesses to hire more? As head of the Executive branch he has overseen his branch of government enact so many new regulations that it costs businesses billions of dollars in lost revenue just to comply with government mandates.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    2 bits.

    The past 30 years the business lobbyists have pushed for double the legal immigration before 1976. We are seeing the greatest wave of immigration this country has ever seen. Before 1976 we averaged 500,000 per year, since 1976 it's been 1.1 million per year. Add in 11.5 million illegal workers and there is nothing natural about it. We are seeing a labor surplus manipulated by business lobbyists.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    Utah Bill
    Seriously, name what Obama has been doing to help create more jobs. His policies have enabled many more to stay unemployed with government assistance. And history and human nature have shown over and over that when the freebees run out, then people will run out and find work. Obamas performance as a job creator is one of Presidential histories worst. And, recent news has it that we will have a lot more unemployed ex military folks and related private sector folks due to the cuts proposed. So, when the Republicans in Congress, and hopefully, some Democrats begin to argue against these cuts, that will be an example of an action Congress is doing to stop unemployment.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    Hutterite is right. There are way more people than they are jobs today (jobs Americans will do, I mean). It's a buyer's market. The person hiring has many people who can and will do the job to choose from, so naturally the wage will tend to go down.

    That's what would happen naturally. I don't know if we can overrule nature. Whenever we try, it seems to work out short term, but we can't sustain it long term (and the situation is even worse than letting the market take it's natural course).

    I remember the days when employers had to do anything they could to attract good candidates to come to them (and wages went up). But those days are gone. I assume for good.

    Maybe the government needs to intervene and make it all better. Propping things up is always better (until you can't prop it up anymore and it totally collapses because you wouldn't let nature take it's course).

  • UTAH Bill Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    This article would be more relevant if it were directed at Congress, not the White House. Seriously, try and name examples of actions our current Congress has taken to improve our economic situation. At least Obama has taken some action and seems to be trying.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    The only DIRECT way any President or Congress can actually create jobs is to hire more government workers, and or give government contracts (like military) to private businesses, like Boeing, or Northrup Grumman. However, with the recent proposed cuts to the military, there will be more unemployed former government workers, and related private sector workers, in the coming years. As for creating jobs in the private sector, the only INFLUENCE a President and Congress can have is to do things that promote hiring like tax cuts and reducing some regulations and requirements. Obamacare by the way is just the opposite of that. So, I don't see any major change in our 6% unemployment rate coming in the near future regardless of whether this raise in the minimum wage has a positive or negative effect on employment. My feeling is that is will be negative.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    Left exclusively to the employer and employee, the bargaining power in our current economy is all on one side and wages will only go down.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    The Obama Administration was claiming they CREATED millions of new jobs even in months when the official unemployment numbers went UP!

    Now when you can spin that and sell it to the people, and not even get a question asked by the people or the media... you got a propaganda machine goin.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    Speaking of propaganda, the raise would be closer to 25%, not 40%.

    I've heard raising the minimum would cause job loss for decades, but never seen it happen. To believe otherwise is to believe that business hires more employees than they need.

    That's not true, if the demand is there, they hire the number of people that are needed for the business to meet demand.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    @marxist "...are current recipients of the minimum wage being compensated enough relative to the value they add to a product or service?"

    This is a question that should be decided between the worker and the employer. Not some bureaucrat at the Kremlin.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:07 a.m.

    It seems to me that the only relevant question is this: are current recipients of the minimum wage being compensated enough relative to the value they add to a product or service? Samuelson doesn't answer.