Op-ed: A call for representatives who understand that opportunity is the bedrock of a free society

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  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 16, 2017 6:32 p.m.


    “And equating "employers and employees" to "masters and slaves" is ridiculous.

    What’s the difference?

    The employer specifies how, when, where the work is to be done, and claims ownership.
    The employee reports for work at the appointed time, works the specified hours, and receives financial benefits to be used to pay for all the employees expenses of living. Is allowed to live if found satisfactory, fired if not and replaced immediately by the surplus of employees seeking work.

    The Master purchased the slave for a onetime cost but had to provide all the costs of living. Plus, the costs of managing the life of the slave.

    The slave was allowed to live, if his work was profitable.

    Which is better?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 16, 2017 4:43 p.m.

    To "Spangs" actually, you are wrong.

    According to the Census Bureau during the 1980's under Reagan, 95% of the US had their income go up by about 18%. Under Obama the top 40% have had their income stagnate, and the bottom 60% have had their wages DECREASE.

    But that is the Census Bureau. Are you saying that the Government lies or reports inaccurate data?

    Actually, most reputable economists that are not pushing a political agenda agree that what Reagan and JFK did works.

  • Husker1 Northern Utah County, UT
    May 16, 2017 2:38 p.m.

    Wages (including minimum wage) should be determined by states and even at the local level because the cost of living varies so greatly around the country. $15 hr. is too high in rural Alabama and not enough in San Francisco.

    And equating "employers and employees" to "masters and slaves" is ridiculous.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2017 1:34 p.m.

    "To "Spangs" actually "trickle down" economics worked because the spending power of the US workers increased during Reagan's time. Under Obama's "Trickle up" economics the average salary decreased by over $5000."

    No reputable economist agrees with you. This has been refuted time and time again. You are cherry picking stats. Want a real example of how "trickle down" has worked? Look at Kansas under Governor Brownback.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 16, 2017 1:09 p.m.

    To "Hutterite" how does a single payer system "give us freedom"? It increases our taxes and lowers our ability to pursue economic endeavors that would allow us to better support our families. In addition to that, in most countries where they have a single payer system, there is also a system of private hospitals and providers that provide better care but it run strictly out of pocket. Is that really what you want, a two tier system, one for the commoners and the other for the elites?

    To "marxist " but the unskilled worker isn't getting "shafted". They are being paid the current market price for their labor. Tell us why should a worker be paid more than the current market price? Did you see what is happening to unskilled labor in the Fast Food industry? It is being replaced by robots and kiosks.

    Since you believe in Marxism/socialism please tell us where that has ever worked? I don't want to hear about the countries that maintain capitalism, but I want to hear about the countries that have tried to achieve Marx's ideals. Have they prospered? Why not?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 16, 2017 1:02 p.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" actually, you are partially right. By making the poor uncomfortable in their poverty you give them the push they need to improve their lives. By giving them everything they need to live you encourage laziness.

    You are wrong in your assements about freedom. Your freedom ends when it encroaches on my. For example, your freedom of speech ends when you seek to take away mine. Discrimination is an essential part of freedom. People need to be able to discriminate, anything less than that is the "thought Police"

    To "RanchHand " why should workers be paid more than what the market demands? Who says that the workers are not benefitting from their labors? Just like the CEO, if they want to earn more they have to become more specialized and be in a higher demand. Think of Hollywood. Why should an actor be paid $5 million for a film, and the guy holding the camera only $50,000? Isn't the camera guy just as important?

    To "Spangs" actually "trickle down" economics worked because the spending power of the US workers increased during Reagan's time. Under Obama's "Trickle up" economics the average salary decreased by over $5000.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 16, 2017 11:55 a.m.

    Ultra Bob,
    I get what you're saying when you complain about people telling you what you think, based on their stereotypes for your "type". Happens to me all the time, and I hate it.


    RE: "Our great nation, founded upon the premise that our rights are given to us not by government but by God is probably untrue"...
    I disagree.

    We have some rights, before our federal government was even founded.
    Even right to choose to do things that are wrong/bad. Governments are a good thing, but they can limit your rights. And that's OK. But they don't give you rights.

    Employers can limit your freedom too... but not nearly as much or in as many ways as government does.


    RE: "The only rights and freedoms we have and can exercise are those that we can afford to buy"...
    Kinda crazy if you ask me. What rights have you "bought" lately?


    RE: "I believe God gives us life, nothing more"...
    And what good is anything else without that?

    Life is pretty fundamental to the rest of it having any value, don't ya think?

    You can have liberty without government.
    You can have happiness without government.


    RE: "There is no such thing as “limited government”...
    Yes there is

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 16, 2017 11:34 a.m.

    RE: "Economic opportunity and upward mobility are the bedrock of a free society"...
    It is true that economic opportunity and upward mobility are the bedrock of a free society. But you are looking the wrong place if you are looking to your government for opportunity.

    Wrong place to look.

    When has government given you a job (I mean besides the letter writer)?

    Ever get a pay-check from Government? (one you could live on and raise a family on)?

    Government is the wrong place to look for opportunity. They don't give us opportunity. The best thing the government can do is get out of the way, and let the job creators out there do their thing (provide opportunities, give families pay checks, experience, and upward mobility).

    Government can protect opportunity (by staying out of the way). But government never has and never will provide opportunity, or upward mobility for the masses.

    Government can insure level field, but government is not the source of our opportunities for upward mobility. Businesses (which big government folks vilify) are the actual source of your upward mobility, not Government.

    Business-adverse politicians don't provide opportunity. They stifle it.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 16, 2017 11:28 a.m.

    Are states infinitely more capable of governing their people than some far off bureaucracy?
    It's possible, but that's not what has happened. Let's look at history. Here are some things that state governing got us:

    Segregated schools and lunch counters.
    Laws against interracial marriage.
    29% credit card interest rates.
    The prosecution--or lack of--the murderers of Emmett Till.
    Amendment 3.
    Men making more than women because they "had families to support".
    People without property being denied the vote.
    Women, with or without property, being denied the vote.
    The air pollution in Utah.
    The looting of graves in the Bears Ears area.
    School districts giving out diplomas to 18 year olds who couldn't even read them.
    Laws against the sale of contraceptives in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
    The 2013 Voter ID law in North Carolina.

    Every one of them violated the US Constitution. Our rights may have been "given to us by God". And they're enshrined in the Constitution. But they were denied by state laws, designed to control people who were in the minority. And every one of them took Federal intervention to get changed.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 16, 2017 11:15 a.m.


    This Liberal believes:

    Time is the most valuable thing in this world. It is so valuable that there isn’t enough gold and silver in the world to buy one ten trillionth of a second. So, who’s to say that one person’s time is more valuable than another.

    Every living person of every age is an equal owner of the benefits of the society he/she lives in. It comes with the membership. Thus every living person, whether street sweeper or CEO, owns an equal share of the profits of the society along with the other benefits. This liberal thinks of society as family. And when asking for a share, he/she is asking for the rightful share that belongs to them.

    From the very beginning evil greed has led to the marking of Masters and Slaves. Today known as employers and employees. Someday there may be a nation of equal human beings not based upon the law-of-the-jungle.

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    May 16, 2017 7:55 a.m.

    @ Impartial 7, You forgot UTA.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 16, 2017 7:58 a.m.

    You want to create opportunity? Single payer health care.
    Take the entire burden away from employers. Let them create jobs, not figure out insurance payments and how to afford them. And free employees up to be portable, not tied to an employer for insurance as an indentured servant.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2017 12:12 a.m.

    @Ballplayer "No one deserves $15/hour for entry level, unskilled labor, ..."

    And you know this how? From the classical economists, e.g. Smith, Ricardo, we believe that in markets which are in equilibrium, i.e. supply equals demand, things of equivalent value are exchanged. So, if equivalents are exchanged most of the time, where do profits come from?

    Karl Marx theorized profits come from hired labor not being paid for all of the value they add. This would mean workers are almost always shafted, even and especially people who flip burgers, or work in food service in general.

    We need representatives who understand the plight of labor. The writer of this article clearly does not, as she spouts what passes for analysis in this very conservative hidebound state.

  • Ballplayer Spanish Fork, UT
    May 15, 2017 10:57 p.m.


    Thanks for taking time to read my comment. You seem to think I've made assumptions because I don't hang around with liberals enought to know what they really think. So let me point out a couple of assumptions you made erroneously. First, I wouldn't listen to Sean Hannity if his were the last show on radio. My second worst nightmare would be a world where only Hannity and Limbaugh were on the radio. My first worst nightmare already happened when the two major parties gave us a choice between Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton. Second, I have many friends who are far more liberal than I am and I listen and respect their opinions, though I don't agree with them. But I stand by my assertion that liberals, at least the liberals I have the pleasure of knowing, believe that taking resources from those who have earned them through their industry and entrepreneuership and distributing to those who haven't, will solve society's ills. I don't beleive this too be true. I beleive that people, left with their own resources and ingenuity are capable of solving their own problems. I would rather hire someone that would help my business grow than pay taxes to a bloated beauracracy.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 15, 2017 9:09 p.m.

    Our great nation, founded upon the premise that our rights are given to us not by government but by God is probably untrue. The only rights and freedoms we have and can exercise are those that we can afford to buy. I believe God gives us life, nothing more and no promises, beyond life itself, we are on our own.

    Freedom comes from the sharing and trading of freedom under the rules of government.

    Not quite so. The freedom to think, reason, remember and some other mental abilities are not yet enslaved. But the businessmen are working on it.

    Government exists to secure freedom to its creators. Without government, the law-of-the-jungle rules. For government to do its job, the government must be more powerful than its member citizens, corporations, and every other kind of groups.

    There is no such thing as “limited government”.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2017 4:48 p.m.


    Thanks for the lesson what liberals think. But no, liberals do not seek "equal outcome." Take it from a liberal who hangs out with lots of liberals. Talk to a liberal every once in awhile. Don't rely on Sean Hannity to tell you what liberals want.

    You state: "If a burger flipper wants to make more than minimum wage, he or she needs to become qualified for jobs that are worth more to the enterprise"

    You want to know what a liberal thinks? I agree with you for the most part. Thing is, minimum wage is close to the lowest it has ever been in real dollars! Minimum wage is not what it was. We simply need to make sure minimum wage keeps up with the cost of living.

    The real key is "becoming qualified for jobs worth more." Yes! Sounds like you and Bernie Sanders are on the same page. The way we have equal opportunity is to make higher education available and affordable to all. Do it like the rest of the civilized world does: make it free. You in?

  • Ballplayer Spanish Fork, UT
    May 15, 2017 3:48 p.m.

    In spite of what the leftist commentors have said in response to this op-ed, Sen. Henderson, you are right on. The liberal philosophy seeks equal outcome, not equal opportunity. It seems to assume the wages for the labor should equal the benefit for the risks taken by the "ones at the top." The reality is that those "at the top" create jobs, at all pay levels and they pay what the job is worth to the enterprise, not what the employee is worth to humanity. A human being is of infinite worth. The act of flipping a burger is worth minimum wage. If a burger flipper wants to make more than minimum wage, he or she needs to become qualified for jobs that are worth more to the enterprise. No one deserves $15/hour for entry level, unskilled labor, regardless of how much their mother loves them, how badly they want a better car, a nicer place, or even how many mouths they have to feed. The Declaration of Independence reminds us that we have certain "unalienable rights-- that among these are life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness." (all-caps added for emphasis). It says nothing about the achievement of happiness. The opportunity is available to all, but success is guaranteed to none.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2017 2:39 p.m.

    Talk about trying to fit a square peg into a round hole!

    I am glad that the writer agrees that income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time. What I am amazed at, however, are the gymnastic contortions that she had to go through to

    a) place the blame on Obama (admittedly, he didn't do much to help the situation, but not nearly as blameworthy as GOP "trickle-down" economic policy) and

    b) peg the solution to this problem in the embracing of far-right federalism. How does that even connect?

    I am always a fan of armchair economic policy, but let's not delude ourselves that there is any data driving (or real solutions in) what was just opined in this editorial.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2017 11:30 a.m.

    We need champions for worker self directed enterprises.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 15, 2017 9:21 a.m.

    "Making rich people poor will not make poor people rich. Redistribution of wealth does nothing to create more of it."

    --- Paying the laborer more isn't going to make the rich person poor, it will definitely help the poor laborer though. How does sending all the proceeds from labor to the top help anyone other than those at the top?

    "...by penalizing work and punishing success..."

    You penalize work by paying those who ACTUALLY DO it practically nothing and sending all the proceeds to the "successful" one at the top.

    "...it is morally repugnant to rob tomorrow’s opportunity from our children and grandchildren in order to fund extravagant, overreaching and often ineffective government programs today."

    --- What is "morally repugnant" is the idea that those doing the labor aren't "worthy" of partaking in the benefits of their own labor.

    "...decentralize power to the states ..."

    --- So they can provide even more to the wealthy who pay for elections and less to actual constituents?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 15, 2017 7:54 a.m.

    What a bunch of nonsense.

    We have income inequality because the poor are being held down? Oh my, my. Yea just take away their food stamps, and Medicaid, and watch them soar.

    Sometimes it's beyond stunning the things you see in this paper.

    This rote, and thoughtless call for freedom all the time always, and I mean always, neglects the fact that freedom in a society is a dynamic concept, not a commodity to be purchased and held. My freedom to speak comes at your expense to stop me. My freedom to marry whom I choose comes at your expense to discriminate against me because of whom I marry. Your freedom to worship whom you choose comes at my expense to discriminate against you because of that belief.

    A point also missed is when calling for states dominance over federal control is that states would have the same moral responsibilities to guarantee those rights as a federal govt. does.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    May 15, 2017 7:14 a.m.

    " Confiscatory taxes, senseless regulation, cronyism, and almost a complete inability to get anything accomplished add up to economic and personal disaster for all of us."

    Sounds just like Utah, especially the DABC.