Overtime and minimum wage: Different names for the same debate

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  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    March 22, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    If they don't work at Walmart for $7 or $8 an hour then where do they work? At least they have a job. If you are still working for minimum wage after very long then maybe one should improve their work ethic because most places, not all, pay more as you become more valuable to them. Get a job and then work on improving things.
    If Obama somehow could improve the whole economy instead of making it worse, then all these bites around the edge would be unnecessary. Overtime pay and minimum wage are distractions from the bigger picture.

  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    March 21, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    The question is simpler than higher education for all, risk taking for all. The question is how do we consumers get away with buying goods and services that are produced thru slave labor (a wage less than a livable wage)?
    If I want to continue eating a big mac and buying everything at walmart, where working poor get to "live" on $7-8 per hour, then I am supporting slavery. You all should try it. But I do share this burden with the managers, employers, stock holders, who all live very comfortably in our economy and social strata. And with those in this blog where who claim the rich have rights to taking more money from their company while the taxpayer supports their too low paid workers who actually make the company work day to day.
    Utah of all states should promote a livable wage, it's only Christian, c'mon neighbors, join this chorus about treating all of us fairly in the workplace. No more slave wages. No more sub living wages. Do I hear acclaim? agreement?

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    March 21, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    A Quaker:
    It's too bad you don't have a choice to work for some other company. With an expanding economy, companies would have to compete for fewer resources and would have to tailor their salary and working conditions accordingly. In this flagging economy, an excess of IT talent (supplemented by a surfeit of foreign labor) means you often must accept less pay and longer hours- two ways of saying basically the same thing- if you can even find a job. Many in the tech fields are unemployed. The solution? Get the government to do their job of defending our borders and leave the economy to us (consumers). We can make our own choices, given the opportunity.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    March 21, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    If you agree employers should take a "pay cut until the difference in income between their workers and themselves narrows," you must agree the employees should shoulder the same risks, take a pay cut in lean times, and work uncompensated overtime just like the employer. Now isn't that what this Royal decree is objecting to?
    The minimum wage should be tied to a minimum education and a government subsidy should be dependent upon completion of a course of qualification improvement. If a person takes no thought to improve their marketability, where is the social justice in subsidizing that course of action? The surfer dude from your home state is a prime example of such a shameless parasite. Sadly, I don't see much of a future for him as a musician, but then, I remember when musicians actually played music.

  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    March 21, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    I realize the minimum wage was not meant to be a livable wage.
    Today's minimum wage is slave labor. We speak out against slavery around the world. Looking at ourselves for a moment and finding that we're involved in paying less than living wages for goods and services, we must conclude that today's minimum wage is unethical. to say the least.
    So again I state that our politicians should get involved in something more important than routinely adjusting (or failing to adjust because of their own emotional lack of reasoning) the minimum wages paid in our economy. Link the minimum wage to inflation, link the minimum wage to a regional living wage, and get some of the poor out of poverty and off the backs of us taxpayers.
    To those employers and their friends who threaten unemployment, I say the employer needs to take their own pay cut until the difference in income between their workers and themselves (the employer / manager) narrows and allows he business to survive even flourish. we can't all be rich, nor should we all be poor.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    March 21, 2014 6:46 a.m.

    After the Civil War many manufacturers in the north were relocating to the southern states where labor was cheaper and heating costs were lower in the winter. They were also escaping high taxes they experienced in the industrialized north. The high taxing states wanted to end the bleeding. Their solution was a federal minimum wage. The north remained prosperous and the south remained impoverished.

    There are many problems with a wage floor.

    We have a big problem in this country. It is called unfunded mandates. The feds pass a law requiring states to spend their money in a certain way. They consider the state budget to be an extension of the federal budget (hint: it ain't their money). A minimum wage does the same thing. If a businessman offers too little money he will not be able to hire anyone. WalMart is paying from $12 to $15 per hour in North Dakota because the economy is booming (oil). There is a shortage of labor so the price is higher.

    We are importing 1 million unskilled immigrants each year that drive wages down. The entry wage would float to about $14 per hour if we shut that off.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    March 21, 2014 12:53 a.m.

    Avenue: If minimum wage is not a livable wage, then workers on minimum wage will qualify for government assistance. In the end, the taxpayer winds up subsidizing a company's workforce. So your argument of saying that it is meant to be an entry-level job doesn't match up with the realities of life.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    March 20, 2014 7:52 p.m.

    You want more jobs? Good paying jobs? The President's move may be one way to get them.

    I worked for 20 years as a tech person for Wall Street companies. It's not glamorous work. It pays well enough, but the hours are crushing. Eighty and 100-hour weeks are not unusual. And, as a programmer, analyst, or even a telephone support specialist, you're considered a salaried employee, and even though you have no supervisory responsibilities (no one reports to you), you're not entitled to treatment as an hourly worker. They regularly slap AVP titles on systems people who no one reports to. Hence, companies can fully exploit you, force you to work long hours for no extra pay, and thereby keep their payrolls small.

    It's quite common in some industries to regularly squeeze 60 to 90 hours out of their salaried non-supervisory employee each week. With the new rules, making it very expensive to do that, they'll need to employ more people.

  • Avenue Vernal, UT
    March 20, 2014 7:51 p.m.

    Minimum wage was not ment to be a livable wage. It is ment to be an entry level wage. Increasing the minimum wage will create more problems than it solves. If the minimum wage is increased, two things will happen. Employers will not be able to pay as many people, increasing the unemployment rate. Companies will have to increase their prices for their products in order to compensate for the extra money going out the door.

  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    March 20, 2014 5:12 p.m.

    the minimum wage should be a livable wage and should be tied to the same data that determines the poverty level of annual income. same logic for the overtime policy, it should be changed routinely based on inflation. that would be the end of the emotional non arguments made by the rich against these policies which benefit the poor and the middle class. that would be too easy though. that would leave the politicians to face up to their need to work on more important problems.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    March 20, 2014 4:43 p.m.

    The more the right wing continues to vilify the working poor and deny them fair pay, the more they will continue to lose elections.