Minimum wage hike would cut jobs and hamper economy

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  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    May 20, 2014 8:02 p.m.

    Article quote: "Despite the assertion that a hike would add jobs and increase pay, the economic reality is that a higher minimum wage doesn’t necessarily produce either of those things. Employers who see their labor costs arbitrarily increase as a result of government intervention end up hiring fewer people, which means fewer jobs."

    This is called "reality".

    Another article quote: "The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the president’s proposed wage increase would destroy at least 500,000 jobs, even as it lifts 900,000 people out of poverty. Under the best scenario, that’s a net gain of 400,000 lucky people, who would be offset by even more people newly unemployed."

    This is also called "reality".

    Those on the left don't deal well with reality.

    And though I love Mitt Romney, he's wrong on this.

    Higher wages = higher prices passed on to the customer. Higher prices passed on to the customer = FEWER customers walking into your business.

    It ain't rocket science....

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    May 18, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    Does any person commenting on this story actually make minimum wage, probably not. Minimum wage is usually paid for a reason that usually has to do with capacity rather than with skill.

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2014 9:23 p.m.

    Could The D.N. possibly be any more partisan? How utterly ridiculous. Apply this same logic in a major metropolitan city! Care to know what the minimum wage currently is in San Francisco or New York? Seems to be working in these cities quite well.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2014 9:18 p.m.

    The Real Maverick, you said it so well. More income will allow more purchases and that ripple effect will be much better than the uber-wealthy giving less than 1% of their income to charity!

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    A major problem for our economy is the increasingly desperate situation faced by low income people. The Family Dollar chain just announced it was closing 370 stores. Why? The declining real value of the minimum wage won't even support commerce at Family Dollar. Shame on you Deseret News. Your position is just plain mean.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 17, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    Well, you get an opinion, for sure. No one said it had to be correct.

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 10:29 p.m.

    I suspect that the real reason for the push for a higher minimum wage is that it means more tax revenue for the government.

  • BeagleDancer Duchesne, UT
    May 16, 2014 8:50 p.m.

    Social Security recipients, VA Benificiaries, Military Members, Federal Employees, etc. all receive an increase or Cost of Living Adjustment each year and it has not destroyed the nation. U.S. Senators and Congressman take regular raises measured in the thousands of dollars and yet the nation lives on. Likewise giving those on the bottom end of the economic spectrum more than the $7.25 per hour will not destroy the nation and it will help some of them off welfare and other aid and thus save the taxpayers money, boost buying power, boost the economy, and provide a better quality of life for those on the bottom or our economy.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 16, 2014 6:25 p.m.

    @ Redshirt

    Unlike you, I've studied economics and have graduated with a degree in economics.

    You focus on merely one aspect of the Ripple Effect.

    Other effects?

    Folks having more money to spend can then use it to buy more products. Buying more products causes a ripple effect for manufactures to produce more products. Producing and selling more products stimulates the economy thus creating more jobs and raising wages and benefits.

    Why do conservatives like you want all the wealth to be hoarded at the top? We will never get this economy going until we get the lower and middle classes the wealth necessary to spur real economic growth and create increased demand.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 4:56 p.m.

    Still holding to the jobs loss talking points of conservative pundits and politicians, even when the likes of billionaire Warren Buffett and politician Mitt Romney, who was going to be the great job creator if becoming president, both argue for a raise in the minimum wage? The DN seems to be getting more and more conservative with time. Just think of the good that would result from increased consumer spending, which would help grow the economy and create jobs down the road, if the 440,000 workers at MacDonald's made about two dollars more an hour. That can easily be absorbed by MacDonald's as their yearly net profits average $5 billion.

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    May 16, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    Yeah, raising the minimum wage means that hamburgers and pizzas will be outsourced to India. Riiiiight.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 3:55 p.m.

    @lost in DC
    "Even the Swiss government recognizes an increase the minimum wages kills jobs. "

    However, if wages are too low you need more jobs because you have more two worker households or people needing two jobs instead of one.

    " If he one iota of economic sense we would have been creating high paying, rather than low-paying jobs. Can any liberals spell “Keystone Pipeline”?"

    I stand corrected. You all do support a few infrastructure jobs between Keystone and border fence building.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 16, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    It really doesn't matter WHAT the minimum wage actually is -- it purely a number.

    When people make more, they spend more.
    THUS - fuellng the economy.

    What's happening is the uber-ealthey - who have 80% of wealth,
    already have everything money could ever buy.

    They add NOTHING to the economy,
    they are the real "takers".

    Time to bust down the income disparity.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 16, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    Even the Swiss government recognizes an increase the minimum wages kills jobs.

    BO talks about minimum wage because the vast majority of jobs created during his misadministration have been low-paying service sector jobs. If he one iota of economic sense we would have been creating high paying, rather than low-paying jobs. Can any liberals spell “Keystone Pipeline”?

    They cannot, that is why they do not try. They just obfuscate.

    Yeah, those jobs will still need doing, but more people will just do it themselves rather than pay the higher wages for someone else to do it.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    May 16, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    Welcome to McDonalds. That meal will be $64.95 please.

  • no comment New Orleans, LA
    May 16, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    Raising the minimum wage is great for the economy... the economy of India, where many of the jobs will go.

    It is also great for The Party of the unemployed, who can strengthen their voting base.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 16, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    To "Cincinnatus" what you and your ilk have failed to take into account is the Ripple Effect. So, that $20/hr job may become a $25/hr job.

    Read "“Ripple Effect” of a Minimum Wage Increase on American Workers" at brookings.

    CNN also confirmed that fact in "Minimum wage hike could mean a raise for all".

    You still haven't told us how this will make the US more competitive.

  • Fan Base Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 11:20 a.m.

    Minimum wage is the state telling employers how much to pay and employees how much they earn. Instead, why don't we focus on equipping employees with skills that employers would want? Then we should leave them alone to negotiate without state interference.

  • humbug Syracuse/Davis, UT
    May 16, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    Jobs will not be lost if the minimum wage is raised. Pizzas still need to be assembled, hamburgers flipped, lawns mowed, store shelves stocked, and so forth. I don't know a single employer who hires people just out of the goodness of his heart and pays them for doing nothing. They are paid for working. The work will still be there if wages go up. People will still be needed to do the work.

    There is also a moral issue. People who are working full-time should not be living in poverty. Period.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    May 16, 2014 11:02 a.m.


    You stated that productivity has gone down under Obama- but, you are using opinion, not fact.

    If you check the Productivity Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you'll actually notice that productivity has been rising all through President Obama's term. While a quarter here and there may go down (as it historically does), the moving average has been continually rising. Your arguments for decreased wages because of decreased productivity are, therefore, false.

    Those of you who are claiming that jobs would be lost due to a minimum wage increase need to provide proof of that by referring to previous minimum wage increases and showing that actual jobs were lost AND that they were never recovered.

    @Redshirt- Manufacturing jobs won't be hurt because most manufacturing jobs are already above the proposed minimum wage increase. In fact, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for manufacturing jobs in the U.S. is $19.58/hour. Again, facts are amazing things.

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    May 16, 2014 10:47 a.m.

    More right-wing scare tactics from the D-News.

  • AT Elk River, MN
    May 16, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    The state thinks it is all powerful and can set the minimum wage. Foolishness. The minimum wage is $0.00. It represents what someone earns who is priced out of the market. If the state sets the "minimum wage" at $10, someone who is only worth $9 is out of a job. Companies like McDonalds are investing in automated cashier kiosks - where you place your order with a machine. When was the last time you had a gas station attendant wash your windows? Yeah, like in the 70's. Those people trying to get an entry level job in the industry now no longer have that opportunity (or at least there are fewer opportunities). The high-school kid looking for a part-time job, good luck with that. The local farmer trying to get his crops picked, yep, he'll have to pay more and guess who will pay, not him. He's already working on a pretty thin margin. He'll raise his prices. Maybe go out of business - so all we'll have are the super large agra farms. There are all sorts of implications for the "minimum wage" - none of them good.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 16, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    I really wish the liberals can explain how this will make the US manufacturing more competitive. If it is going to cost more for labor, how does that encourage manufacturers to stay here? Why do you liberals want to push more businesses out of the US, do you really want unemployment to go up?

    To "references" they also say that Switzerland has to increase their wages because the cost of living is so high. So, eventhough they have a high minimum wage they still can't afford to buy what they need. The reports out of there also point out that they are concerned that more jobs will be lost there as they increase the minimum wage.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    "Obama is obsessed with minimum wages when he should be working to create high paying jobs."

    I thought the conservative mantra was that gov't doesn't create jobs...

    Gov't can create high paying jobs by doing things like expanding research and investing in infrastru...oh right conservatives filibustered Obama's jobs bills. Way to go Obama...

    Businesses will create jobs just fine if there's sufficient demand. There isn't. And what do you all want to do about the lack of demand? Cut off unemployment, keep the minimum wage low, cut off food stamps and other assistance. All of those would harm things. Oh right, tax cuts. You want tax cuts because deficits are super duper important... unless you can get something out of it (like a tax cut), then it doesn't matter at all.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 10:21 a.m.

    Re: Mountanman "Minimum wages do not create prosperity, productivity does. "

    But labor has not been rewarded for its steadily increasing productivity for well over 30 years! The benefit of all that added sweat has gone to the top.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    The good news is that the minimum wage _will_ be raised, the economy will do just fine, and Republicans will have only reinforced their reputation as irrational adversaries of the working poor and the middle class.

    If the Republicans somehow succeed in blocking even a modest minimum wage increase, they'll only have infrared gerrymandered congressional districts to call "home," they'll never again occupy the White House, and they'll most likely lose control of congress.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    May 16, 2014 9:52 a.m.

    Very sloppy editorial by the DN as pointed out by many of the previous posters. A good example of how the "mainstream" media is bias. If you're trusting the DN, Fox, MSNBC for your lone source of information your cheating yourself from knowing the full story.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    IF illegal immigration laws were (ever)to be enforced, you would see a "natural" rise in wages from the reduction in the labor force.

    Obama COULD raise the minimum wage if he would simply ENFORCE illegal immigration laws.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    May 16, 2014 9:40 a.m.


    "Minimum wages do not create prosperity, productivity does."

    Prosperity for whom, though? When productivity rises, what this means is that (1) workers can produce more product in the same amount of time, or (2) workers can produce the same amount of product in less time. Either way, if demand does not increase, then increasing productivity means businesses need fewer workers. Rising productivity generally translates into lower labor costs, one way or the other, and the excess goes to whom? Generally not to the workers. It goes to the owners and executives, who have actually not increased their productivity. So those who are being more productive are penalized, while those who are not being more productive are rewarded. This partially explains why we have such rapidly increasing inequality in this country. The solution, of course, is not to increase the minimum wage, although this would help restore some balance. A better solution would be for business executives to study the system developed by James Lincoln at Lincoln Electric during the Great Depression. He understood a few simple principles most of today's business leaders do not grasp. His business prospered, and his workers were among the best paid in the country.

  • Ford DeTreese Provo, UT
    May 16, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    In 1986, the Economist created the Big Mac Index, to show how minimum wage stacks up around the world, the Big Mac being, of course, the most stable international currency. It turns out that an Australian has to work only 18 minutes at minimum wage to buy a Big Mac. The French have to work 22 minutes, the Japanese 31 minutes, and the Americans 35 minutes. Indians have it tough. Their minimum-wage laborers have to work 347 minutes to earn enough to buy all those calories.

    Of course, if the Swiss approve the highest minimum wage in the world, which is on the ballot this year, they would be paying $24.80 per hour. They could buy lots of Big Macs for that hour's work. Of course, 90 percent of Swiss workers already earn more than that, so comparing the Swiss economy to the American economy is like comparing, well, prime rib and a Big Mac.

  • references Sandy, UT
    May 16, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    @Cats -

    Many people in Switzerland are under a collective bargaining agreement. Most of those agreements stipulate a minimum wage. This month Switzerland is also going to be voting on creating a minimum wage. If it passes it will be one of the highest minimum wages of any country in the world.

    According to The World Factbook at cia DOT gov the 2013 estimated unemployment rate in Switzerland is 3.2%.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    May 16, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    So, DesNews, are you saying you want to leave the minimum wage at slightly below where it was in 1950, when it was $7.29 in 2014 dollars? The fact is that minimum wage has not kept pace with the cost of living. We have many instances where individual states have raised the minimum wage. Have we heard them screaming about all the lost jobs? No. And don't expect to see hundreds of thousands of jobs lost if the minimum wage is increased. It will actually put more money into the hands of people who will go out and spend it, which will increase demand, something that doesn't happen when excessive profits go into the pockets of the upper class.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 16, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    Or course this is what the DNews thinks. Just once I'd like to see the DNews do some actual research and come to their own conclusion about something. It seems all they ever do is look up a subject, look up what the ultra conservative position is, and then parrot that position.

  • references Sandy, UT
    May 16, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    "it may not be popular to stick to facts"

    First of all, the link to the CBO report is not a link to the CBO report is just links to a washingtonpost DOT com article. And even that link is broken because you included a ) at the end that should not be there. But even that article does not link to the original CBO report.

    It appears the CBO report you are trying to reference is at www DOT cbo DOT gov /publication/44995 ( DN, how about we start allowing URLs? )

    Since the "facts" are what this article was initially claiming to talk about I imagine that you read all 43 pages of the actual CBO report PDF before writing this.

    In addition to the CBO there other studies that have been done around the minimum wage. One is "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania" by David Card and Alan B Krueger in 1992.

    So if you want to "stick to facts" it would be really helpful if your article cited and linked to those facts instead of trying to "influence reality" through "popularity".

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 16, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    Minimum wage only hurts the people it claims to help as it only leads to higher unemployment. It looks great for the Democrats who claim to be helping working people when, in reality, it only helps the unions prop up their wages (their wages are based on a scale with minimum wage) and protects them from lower priced competition.

    Let the market make these decisions and allow young people and those trying to break into the market have a chance at a job. If kids can't get a job, they have no chance to learn skills and work their way up.

    Switzerland has no minimum wage. Their unemployment rate is 2%.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 16, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    I actually think there should be a minimum wage hike to at least $9.50 per hour. Minimum wage is for a certain segment of society - collge kids and new married couples trying to get through college. Kids under age 19 have a different minimum - say the current minimum wage - but for the rest it should be raised. With the price of everything going up including rent there needs to be an adjustment.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    May 16, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    If you read the actual CBO report, it does not say that an increase in the minimum wage would result in a half million job losses. It merely says that there might be job losses. It says there may be no job losses at all. Get your facts straight.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 16, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    Jobs are created when people want to buy something and have the money to buy it.

    It doesn't really matter where they get the money, only that they spend it. Welfare dollars spend just as well as wages, but the best effect on the economy comes when wages provide the money.

    Rich people receiving new money may sometimes spend it. Ordinary people don't have the options of rich people so they tend to spend all that they have.

    Increased spending creates jobs. Increased wages creates increased spending.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    May 16, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    It has been a long time since the minimum wage has been raised. Its seems completely reasonable to raise it at least modestly, say $1 or $1.50, which won't put the wage above historical levels so I think the arguments against this are weak.

    Some countries also have a lower minimum wage for teens say in the 15-18 age range. I think that could benefit the teens and businesses as well.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 16, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    It appears the D-News Editorial Board is stuck in 1979. In that year, 90% of labor economists agreed that raising the minimum wage would have the negative effects predicted by this piece.

    From 2012, labor economists are split roughly into thirds, with one third asserting raising the minimum wage hurts low end employment, one third claiming it actually would help low end employment and the economy overall, and one third saying it just doesn't make much of a difference at all.

    How did we go from an overwhelming consensus on a fairly simple economics issue to such fractured opinions? Because the mountains of data that should prove the historic claim simply don't.

    Even Mitt Romney agrees the minimum wage needs to be raised. He knows a thing or two about business, right?

    D-News: 1979 was 35 years ago. Come up to speed on more contemporary research.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 16, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    You are so completely wrong about the effects of raising the minimum wage. Imagine, a newspaper parroting partisan talking points. This paper isn't even serving its own economic interests by taking this position.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    May 16, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    Obama is obsessed with minimum wages when he should be working to create high paying jobs. Minimum wages do not create prosperity, productivity does. Since Obama has taken control of our economy, wages have decreased because private sector productivity in America has decreased! High taxes, over regulation and Obamacare have curtained private sector productivity. Poor leadership all the way around!

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    May 16, 2014 7:32 a.m.


    Lowering the minimum wage would increase jobs and improve the economy.


    Eliminating the minimum wage would increase jobs and improve the economy even faster.


    The next step in the trickle-down-economy model...

    Eliminate wages altogether...


  • RichardB Murray, UT
    May 16, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    Heard the same thing in the past, and it turned out incorrect.

    Money is one of the biggest causes of divorce, paying a person a living wage could help keep many families together. Right now it's better economically for a husband and wife to split, and the wife go on welfare, especially if their are quite a few children involved.

    Is the Deseret News still owned by the LDS church?

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    May 16, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    I tend to agree with the premise that increasing the minimum wage has drawbacks that will cost jobs and further stifle economic growth. At this point (6 years) into a failing administration I say let's just do it. The resulting economic downturn will only bolster the Republican chances of greater success in both 2014 and 2016. In the long run, short term pain for long term gain.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    May 16, 2014 6:52 a.m.

    There are two huge benefits to raising the minimum wage.

    The first is that low wages are de facto subsidies of low paying employers, like Wal-Mart, many of whose employees are using government benefits like food stamps.

    In addition paying more to low income workers stimulates the economy because they tend to pump their wages straight back into food and other basics.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 16, 2014 4:41 a.m.

    For a piece that claims it wants to talk about facts, rather than emotion, the entire piece is devoid of facts other than the CBO report. Look, this would not be our first time to this rodeo. We have raised the minimum wage in this country several times. There is more than enough history here to be able to use real life numbers.

    So one can only conclude the numbers didn't support the authors opinion, or the author was too lazy to do the research. Either way, for a piece that claims the discussion needs to be moved to fact based discourse, it don't do so itself.

    Maybe raising the minimum wage would hurt the job market - we just wouldn't be able to tell by what we read here. Come on DN, step it up a bit.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 16, 2014 12:48 a.m.

    Several economists have studied the effects of previous minimum wage hikes on employment numbers and have found virtually no correlation. This time will prove to be no different.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 12:32 a.m.

    "The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the president’s proposed wage increase would destroy at least 500,000 jobs, even as it lifts 900,000 people out of poverty. Under the best scenario, that’s a net gain of 400,000 lucky people"

    16 million people would be getting a pay raise. Even if it's not enough to lift them out of poverty it'd certainly help those people too.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    May 16, 2014 12:20 a.m.

    All talk because federal contract workers have never been paid minimum wage. When I had a summer job years and years ago, our pay even then was much more than the minimum. If you bid on federal government work today there is published the rate you have to pay and it is not cheap.
    This is much ado about nothing. If Obama is serious about wages then he will start paying his female employees the same as his male employees.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 12:14 a.m.

    I'm sure you know that the current real (what wages will buy) minimum wage is 12 percent below its 1967 level. Can you justify this?