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The great minimum wage debate: how Obama's proposal to increase the minimum wage will impact the economy

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Feb. 19, 2013 11:37 p.m.

    Why not make it thirty dollars an hour, and we'll all be happy.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 20, 2013 4:02 a.m.

    I see the problem as this.

    Our elected officials come from all walks of life. They have various training, education and experience. But does that make them experts in everything?

    What makes Barack Obama or John Boehner experts on economics and the impact of various legislation.
    The minimum wage is a complex issue.

    Too often, our congressmen take the long standing ideological positions. Are those positions correct? I don't know, and I doubt they do either.

    And when looking for answers to tough questions, both sides only look for answers that support their preconceived ideas. They cite partisan "experts" that agree with them while discrediting those who dont.

    Not exactly the best way to actually dissect a complex issue and formulate legislation that is best for the country.

    I wonder how many really good ideas are summarily dismissed because they clash with party ideology.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 4:57 a.m.

    Raising minimum wage has never proven to be an economic boost for anyone but government by raising taxable incomes levels. Any one earning minimum wage at best just sustains poverty and being poor.

    Any worker with a job earning thousand of dollars of credit debt are paid at least welfare income of $20/hr or more. The difference in welfare and jobs @ $60,000/yr is welfare is tax free and some one earning $100 taxable income (gross $13K) has to pay taxes. And they can't get welfare or Obama phone.

    To get people into jobs they have to eliminate and reduce welfare benefits to levels below poverty incomes which sustains poverty and debt and poor health.

    Te get the economy improving they need to block business outsourcing and moving offshore or ac cross borders by repealing the NAFTA treaty. Then declare company profit sharing and pay raises and benefits an entitlement of employees sacrifice of loyalty to business. We could even eliminate corporate taxes and turn it all over to the workers who know how to work the economy and make it grow. We need an expanding economy, not an expanding government selling entitlements to buy votes.

  • SME Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 6:14 a.m.

    "Hall calculates that increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 by 2015 would pump $18 billion into the economy and result in the creation of 100,000 jobs."

    Pump $18 billion into the economy? Where is this money coming from? It doesn't just magically appear because President Obama has decreed it, any increase in minimum wage is paid for with money from somewhere.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 6:33 a.m.

    My first minimum wage job was in 1970. I was paid $1.60 per hour.

    Adjusting for inflation to today's prices, that would be the equivalent of $9.47 per hour.

    The restaurant that employed me then as a dish washer thrived, and is still doing well today. The convenience store that hired me a year later for the same pay is still in business.

    The minimum wage today in several states is higher than the current federal minimum, and yet in every one of them unemployment is lower than the federal average.

    There are simply no rational, evidence-based arguments for the current $7.25 per hour minimum wage, other than business owners' eternal desire for cheap labor.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 6:39 a.m.

    When was the last time our legislature raised the minimum wage? It was 5 years ago they dismissed the idea as being too costly. Only when the Federal Government raised the minimum wage that Utah had to comply with the law. Since then, the subject never has come up again.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Feb. 20, 2013 6:40 a.m.

    Fewer entry level jobs and higher unemployment for young,unskilled people and more demand for food stamps,government handouts and ever more people dependent on the government, which means more Democrat voters! Brilliant!

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 6:55 a.m.

    Why not give Congress the choice of either raising the minimum wage or increasing the EIC? Both have advantages and both have disadvantages, but while Congress stalls and fails to take action in any direction, the problem still remains---poor people struggle. It looks like the GOP simply wants to block any measure which will help lower income families make ends meet. Instead, the GOP is obsessed with politics rather than policy. Congress a a whole seems more concerned with scoring points with their friends and SuperPac funds than creating positive change.

    "Oh, there are poor people in the U.S.? Let's talk about gun control and who the President wants to be SecDef."

    Yes those issues matter on one level or another, but the Preamble to the Constitution mandates a six part mission statement. Not one issue at a time.

    It's an old chestnut, but Congress has yet to turn down a pay raise for itself. I know for a fact some congressmen vote against the pay raise simply because they know it will pass anyways. Heck, they all might even take turns so they can say so during election season.

  • peter Alpine, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 6:59 a.m.

    It is not government's business to say what small businesses should pay their employees, especially from government officials who have never run a business.

  • Albert Maslar CPA (Retired) Absecon, NJ
    Feb. 20, 2013 7:04 a.m.

    Republican President Calvin Coolidge served from 1923-1929 and led the country into the Great Depression of 1929. He was followed by registered Republican Herbert Hoover who ran as a Democrat, becoming America's 31st president. Hoover took office in 1929 as the economy plummeted but he failed to recognize its severity, and is considered as not having done enough to alleviate the problems. A principal mistake was his pressure of business leaders for higher wages, eerily similar to Obama’s SOTU plan to raise the Federal minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $9.00. Hoover was defeated in the 1932 presidential election by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt who also mismanaged the Depression until manufacturing needed for WWII bailed it out. As the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun.

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    Feb. 20, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    Likewise we could start to pay people for work actually completed, (rather than sitting around in a non-productive mode) regardless of the minimum wage that is settled on.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 20, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    Google Corporate profits vs worker compensation.

    Looking back a mere 12 years, Corporate profits have steadily outpaces worker compensation.

    Wanna talk war on the middle class? That stat may be telling.

    Combine that with the idea that CEO pay is skyrocketing while workers are being more productive while being paid less.

    Whether you lean left or right, any honest look at what is happening would point to an unsustainable, unhealthy trend in the US.

    "Chief executive pay jumped by more than 725 percent between 1978 and 2011, according to a new report from the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute, compared to just 5.7 percent growth in worker compensation during the same period. "

    It is amazing that so many will blindly support and defend this disparity.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Feb. 20, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    The minimum wage increase may be a just bandaid, but it will slow the bleeding. It needs to be expanded to protect restaurant workers who work for tips. I wonder how many of you know that most of these workers have wages often far below the existing minimum wage. That it seems to me is a crime allowing the large restaurant chains to exploit their wait staff with impunity.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    Why I don't believe anything barack says:

    During his first term he promised 2 things that are very important to Americas

    1. "I will cut the deficit in half during my first term"

    FAIL. It Increased

    2. "We need to act quickly in passing this stimulus package(FIRST of many) of 787 billion to prevent unemployment from reaching 8%"

    FAIL. It reached over 11%

    Forgive me if I judge barack on his past promises.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    This proposal was hatched by the unions to gove them a bargaining chip for the future. Minimum wage is an invalid concept that goes against the free market. It will drive more inflation for everyone and those making this wage will be worse off in the end. Liberal logic never considers the facts of life only feel good solution always ignoring the real solutions.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    Wages are determined by a persons skill.

    What is Obama saying? It's not fair for a school drop out to make less money then an honor roll student.

    A job that requires an hour to learn, should pay a compatible wage with one which takes years?

    It's not fair, for a skilled worker to be paid more,--and it's greed?

    If one car salesman sells fifty cars a month, and another ten,--shouldn't one get paid more?

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    Wayne Rout, minimum wage increases both wages and employment -- for union workers.

    And you are right, the minimum wage increases earnings and DECREASES purchasing power due to inflation.

    Want to earn more money? Get qualified. Be productive.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    @Blue

    There are so many logical fallacies in your argument that it's difficult to know where to start.

    The minimum-wage job you had in 1970 paid you today's equivalent of $9.47. That means a minimum-wage job in 1970 had more buying power than a minimum-wage job today. You've just proven why raising the minimum wage does nothing but increase poverty: Increased pay for the same work makes businesses raise prices, which means things get more expensive, which means your new, higher pay is worthless.

    State-by-state unemployment is not correlated to the minimum wage. Just as many states with higher minimum wages have above-average unemployment. You are ignoring half the data. State-by-state unemployment is almost perfectly correlated with tax rates on businesses.

    There is no evidence that the current minimum wage is perpetuated by businesses' desire for cheap labor. If that were the case, minimum wage would still be $1.50. More likely, the idea of raising it is perpetuated by the desire of greedy employees to receive more pay for the same amount of work.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    This President got through college and universities at government's expense. He is now a millionaire and is powerful. I bet he never had to contend with a wage problem. Just like Obamacare, employers cut back to less than 29 hours so they don't have to kick in money to that program. Whatever government does impacts on everyone and for those that don't have skills to use such as professional, trade, care or even people type skills, which many don't have, they are destined to government programs and will vote in that line forever. Who gives government handouts? They may not have skills to get more than minimum wage but they do learn that government will take care of them if they vote for a certain political party.

    The 47 percent is still out there, even after the election and whatever you want to call them, they usually don't pay taxes but partake in the power abilities of the President to take from the rich and give to the poor. When government makes rules that impinge on businesses, owners skirt around the laws to protect their interests. Businesses pay high taxes to states, local/federal many times over.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    Minimum wage sounds great, but it really does more harm than good. The net effect is to increase unemployment among young people trying to get a start and poor people trying to make it. For these reasons, it is rare to find an economist that supports minimum wage--unless they work for a union in which case they are sellouts. Unions support minimum wage because it protects their members from lower priced labor.

    It's a lot better to let the market determine what wages should be. That way workers end up having a much better chance to be employed and are also given many more choices as to where they can find work. History proves it.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    I find it interesting that the economists in favor that they quoted were from a liberal think tank and Berkeley. Why not quote Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams?

    Studies show that most people who have minimum wage jobs don't stay there. As they gain experience and skills, they move on to better paying jobs. If their skills aren't worth $9 an hour, nobody will hire them. The unskilled will be crowded out of the job market. We already have high unemployment, with college graduates taking anything they can get in some areas. This will only exacerbate the problem.

    As for restaurant servers, yes, their hourly wage is well below minimum wage. I work for a payroll service. With tips, almost all of them make over $10/hour, some well over. Again, the difference is skill and experience (and probably personality too). Raising their wages will only raise costs for the restaurants, who will be passing on the cost to customers, who will then cut back. It's not a high profit margin industry anyway, and this won't help.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    Brave Sir Robin, you say my comment contains logical fallacies, yet you don't establish that, and then go on to create your own fallacies. Amazing.

    If my "high paying" minimum wage job in 1970 had more buying power than today's minimum wage, why is that a bad thing? Do we _want_ entry level workers to live below the poverty line?

    "State-by-state unemployment is not correlated to the minimum wage." If you accept that there is no correlation, then why do you continue to press the myth that higher minimum wages are bad for workers?

    "There is no evidence that the current minimum wage is perpetuated by businesses' desire for cheap labor." That's complete nonsense - of course there's evidence. Listen to the business owners talk about their fear of having to pay a living wage to their entry level workers. Look at the "think tanks" that produce opinion pieces opposing raising the minimum wage.

  • jskains Orem, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    This is stupidity at it's finest. Basic logic dictates increasing minimum wage increases production and service costs. Even if it did not drive up unemployment, the money has to come from somewhere. The net effect is that everyone's buying power goes down as the price of goods and services is driven upwards. So that $9 will simply be the new $4.25... Yes, when I was a kid, it was $4.25 an hour. How well did driving it over $7 help? Obviously not at all. But we go back to this same stupid idea of hitting our heads against the same wall.

  • vdubbin' Ogden, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    Listen to people! Does a dishwasher or fry cook actually deserve nearly 10$/hour? It would be nice if everyone made enough money to live while only working a 35 hour week, but it's not practical. Every day we move just a little farther to the left. "Dishwashers are entitled to x". Well, I must disagree. Ideally, kids work these jobs (documented kids who actually are entitled to work here), save for a couple of years, and then get better paying jobs after they've become experienced. But saying that people deserve that much money for doing something that requires nothing more than a warm body is just insane.

    Anyone who knows anything about economics will understand how forcing employers to pay $9/hour for digging ditches is going to have negative consequences. Raising the minimum wage would make us feel all warm and fuzzy, but when our economy is already on the brink of depression, does it make sense to upset the tray further by paying top dollar for unskilled work?

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Minimum wage is a bargaining tool that unions use for their contract negotiations to always be at least twice the minimum wage for the lowest end of their process.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    @Blue

    You are missing the point completely.

    1. Of course we don't want workers living below the poverty line. The point is, raising the minimum wage is not the way to change it, and the example provided by you yourself is proof! Poverty is based on purchasing power, not money.

    2. We are talking about minimum wage, not unemployment. You attempted to make a straw man argument about a correlation between minimum wage and unemployment which I blew out of the water. If you want to talk about unemployment, then talk about unemployment. If you want to talk about wages, then talk about wages. But don't talk about one and pretend that it has an effect on the other.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    It is amazing how people can simply ignore common sense. If you raise the minimum wage, the money has to come from somewhere. If a company has 20 employees, the raise will cost the business $50,000 per year. This is on top of the $40-50,000 that Obamacare is adding. Where does the money come from? If the company is successful, the owner just got a large tax increase and now has to find another $100K. If the company is less successful, a profitable business is now in the red.

    While some companies are stuck in their locations, others are free to move. If a business owner can save $100-200K a year by moving their operations to Mexico, So. America or Asia, kiss those jobs goodbye. If not, the owner will have to cut costs - such as getting rid of less productive employees and shifting to 29 hour work weeks to avoid Obamacare. Europe has gone down this road and their young adult unemployment is more than 50% higher than the U.S.

    Raising the minimum wage will not cost jobs - it will just move more of them to China.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    There should be NO minimum wage law. Employees should be free to negotiate terms and conditions making them more attractive to hire than someone else. If you go to the grocery store and prime rib and hamburger sell for the same price, which are you going to buy?

    In Utah the minimum wage law is pretty much irrelevant anyway. Few, if any jobs, pay less than $9 an hour as it is.

    Dictatorial government policies always create more harm than good.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    Geez Chris B. You act like Obama is the first politician that made a statement that came up false.

    You harp on it daily.

    Lets see.

    Obama said
    "I will cut the deficit in half during my first term"

    "We need to act quickly in passing this stimulus package(FIRST of many) of 787 billion to prevent unemployment from reaching 8%"

    Neither happened. So, what was the ramification of this?

    Now, I seem to recall someone saying

    "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

    And this one

    "the cost of the occupation, the cost for the military administration and providing for a provisional [civilian] administration, all of that would come out of Iraqi oil."

    Wanna compare the ramifications of the mis statements?

    Newsflash Chris. Politicians make statements that turn out false. Sometime they make mistakes, and sometimes they purposely lie.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    This is a reason why companies go overseas and outside of this country to do business. Why be forced to pay a wage that economics is not able to support, when you can go outside of this country find labor that is cheaper, then ship those products out and make more profit than you would have being here in the first place?

    Mitt Romney had this right when he was explaining about making the playing field level with all countries. Instead baracks counter argument was why get in a trade war with China? Mitt's reply is why not? We are the ones importing all of their products. We have more leverage than they do. Why not compete and use that leverage to bring more jobs back to this country?

    The trouble is, baracks vision for this country is that wealth comes out of the thin air and evil business grabs all of the wealth and keeps it out of the hands of the poor. So, now it's his purpose to force those evil businesses to release that wealth that they never earned and redistribute it to all of the poor in the world. $12 Trillion later we stillhavepoor

  • Fern RL LAYTON, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    It seems like the only thing Republican and Democratic lawmakers can agree on is that their own paychecks can remain inflated. What would they do if they had to live on the average income of their constituents?

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    Actually, the assertion that "85% of all economic studies" agree that raising the minimum wage increases unemployment is disingenuous. Most peer-reviewed studies of this issue conclude just the opposite.
    Think about it. The working poor, if they get a little extra money, spend it. They increase economic activity. If you say to a small business owner "you have to pay your employees more," that sounds bad; they'll oppose it. But if you say "you have to pay your employees more, but in exchange, your business volume will increase ten percent," that's a trade-off that works. And that is what the data show happens.

  • A Chem Engineer Pocatello, ID
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    A great analogy illustrates the faulty logic of instituting a minimum wage.

    Money is a representation of labor output, or productivity; it is much superior for trade over a barter system (which more directly connects labor output to the goods bartered).

    Example: Johnny and 3 other cooks work at a local burger joint that is always busy, where in one hour he is able to flip 1000 hamburgers. Johnny gets paid $5.00 per hour. Then one day, a minimum wage law goes into effect, stating that $10.00 per hour is now the minimum wage. But Johnny still is only able to flip 1000 hamburgers an hour.

    So what has changed? Johnny is at his maximum labor output - he physically cannot flip 2000 hamburgers an hour. All that has happened is the value of the $10.00 has been cut in half - it still only represents (to Johnny's employer, and later, the customers) 1000 hamburgers per hour. But economies have long response times; it will take 4-6 years for this devaluation to settle out (just in time for the new president to get blamed...).

    Remember - money only represents labor output (i.e. productivity), nothing more.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    @SME
    "Where is this money coming from? "

    From poor people (if you make 9 dollars an hour you're probably poor) basically having to spend all the money they make into the economy just to get by.

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    Wage should be determined on a person's ability to perform. What if I HAVE to pay a person $7.25 because it's the law, but he only does work that merits $5? I can't lower his wage so I have to probably fire him.
    Whereas if I have the choice to pay someone what I want, I can pay them based on performance. If they don't like the salary, they can look elsewhere. I have NEVER been paid minimum wage in my life because my bosses thought I was worth more than that to them. Many people think they are entitled to a good job, despite a poor work ethic.
    Raising the minimum wage will do nothing but decrease employment. My father started his own business, I have worked for small businesses all my life. I have seen people fired because employers cannot pay them. If employers are required to pay higher amount, then layoffs will increase, and hiring will decrease.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    @JoeBlow,

    Yes, and what should we do when someone has shown a clear history of serious MISunderstanding(at least) or lying(more likely) when it comes to the economy?

    Answer:

    We stop listening to them.

    Just as you wouldnt trust Bush to start making important military questions,

    I do not trust barack to make important economy decisions.

    In fact, his track record suggest that when he says something,

    we should do the opposite.

    I will continue to remind people that barack's understanding and track record

    in handling of the economy is no better than a first graders.

    If someone believes what barack says will come to pass,

    I will keep reminding people that it will not happen.

  • Invisible Hand Provo, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    Obama is so smart only he knows what an hour of unskilled labor is worth. We should be thankful that he has sprinkled his knowledge from on high that $9.00 is the good and proper wage for someone with no skills. So stop negotiating amongst yourselves. If you need to know the answer to economic questions there's no need for messy free markets when we have such a smart president that can tell us everything. Now we should all stop complaining and go hire people.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Feb. 20, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    Here is what people like Obama do not take into account, many companies with lower wages operate on such low profit margins they can not afford to raise their pay. I will take the lumber industry for an example. When go to your local lumber store and buy a 2x4x8 they make about $.03 on that board. Now take into account all that are stolen and lost to damage and they make even less. They do make up for it through hardware items that have a higher profit margin but that still covers very little of a profit when you take out all overhead. Now if you raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 you must raise wages for much more than just new hires because those who have worked for years to get to say $12.00 will not be happy with a new employee making almost what they are. You now have not only no profit but a loss so you must raise your prices. Now the $9.00 is equal to the $7.25 because you have inflated the economy. You are back to square one.

  • sportfan65 ORANGEVILLE, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    The thing that people don't realize is that if you raise the minimun wage in a grocery store for instance, you not only affect the bag boy who just started, but you now have to pay the clerk who has been there for a year or so who is making $9.00 an hour a increase in wage also. This affects the whole company. Where does the store get this money? They charge YOU more for YOUR groceries. Bad idea Obama!

  • Anti Government Alpine, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    Raising the minimum wage. This is the equivalent of getting a chair with a better view....on the deck of the titanic.

    The other purpose of course is to buy votes and enslave the poor.

    Anyone who knows basic math (excluding liberals obviously) knows this minimum wage increase is window-dressing.

    Keep the poor poor and deluded them into thinking they have been "given" something.

    The socialist-in-chief wants as many poor, powerless, uneducated free loaders as possible. Take a look at the veritable army of "takers" he has created since he has taken office. They can't print the food stamps fast enough.

    Record high food stamp recipients with free obama cell phones.

    What a legacy to be proud of.

  • Clifton Palmer McLendon Gilmer, Texas
    Feb. 20, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    The Constitution does not give the Federal government the power to prescribe a minimum wage -- therefore, all attempts to do so are unconstitutional.

  • Irritabull CHESTER, NE
    Feb. 20, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    The elderly on fixed income, many on social security alone will be forced out of the role
    of customer to the fast food franchises if they raise the minimum wage so dramatically.
    Non producers such as those that infest our house and senate have no clue of what it takes
    to run a business and make a profit. Obama is a prime example of someone who has never ran
    a business, never held a real job and should be the last to influence what a small business
    must pay for labor. There are many places who employ handicaped people who are able to
    contribute to a point but will be eliminated from these jobs if they cannot produce enough
    to cover the mandated higher wage. Government should have no say in this. The are ignorant
    of the many obstacles a business owner faces.

  • Bastiatarian TUCSON, AZ
    Feb. 20, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    I have a novel idea. How about if the federal government stops telling people what they can and can't do with their own property (which includes their businesses, of course).

    Liberty. What a concept!

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Feb. 20, 2013 1:01 p.m.

    Employers must make money on their employees or they will go out of business. If we increased the minimum wage to $50 per hour very few employees could pay for themselves. More importantly the customers of most companies that paid high salaries would be unemployed and soon everyone would join their ranks.

    A slight increase in the minimum wage still causes harm but it is not as noticeable.

    The US economy will die a death of 10,000 cuts.

  • germanygator Apo, AE
    Feb. 20, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    In time, wouldn't all prices rise to wipe out any income gains experienced in the short term? This is just another tool to drive inflation.

  • A Wise Guy Spokane, WA
    Feb. 20, 2013 1:50 p.m.

    To add to the complexity, when you increase the minimum wage to $9.00, you also have to increase the people who had made more than the minimum wage too. when you increase their wage, you have increase their supervisor's wage etc. It just keeps going on up. I can't see how that would not cause inflation. Inflation would mean that the minumum wage earner was back to where he started from.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Feb. 20, 2013 2:42 p.m.

    If there are so many businesses liable to disappear if the minimum wage goes up, then I guess that means the boss' pay will stay the same too, right? And no one will have to pay an extra dime for a can of string beans. Hooray!

  • Bored to the point of THIS! Ogden, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    We're a pathetic society. We complain about everything.

  • all hands on deck Sandy, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    If the minimum wage increases worked, no one would be in poverty because we have raised the minimum wage countless times in my lifetime. Each time the same promise is made. The only thing it does is forces wages everywhere to go higher and hence, it is an inflation trigger. It is only a short term benefit for a select few who are at the very bottom, getting minimum wage. Once the lowest get paid more, then others wages go up. Then more money is seeking goods,food,and services and then prices on commodities go up. Then, REPEAT THE CYCLE and no one on minimum wage benefits beyond 2 years.

    The best way out of poverty is hard work and education. Government gifting to the wage earner a higher wage is communistic. It ignores market forces, and WILL create shortages. Those shortages are manifest with with either INFLATION or Job Loss.

    Billions hitting the economy is a lie. The billions are eliminated by the value of the dollar shrinking with inflation and hence no appreciable benefit beyond a very short term bump.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Feb. 20, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    It all depends on how an employee benefits the employer. Just that simple.

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 5:47 p.m.

    Let's consider the viewpoint of the small business owner, keeping it very simple. Take a typical fast-food restaurant, for example. The cost of this minimum wage increase to the owner of that restaurant equates to being forced to hire two additional employees for every shift. How many small businesses can bear the cost of two additional employees and not run the risk of going into the red?

    If you actually had two additional employees, and the nature of your business is that each employee means increased production, then that would be wonderful if the market bears it! But, in this case, you don't get the actual new employees, only the associated costs.
    I consult with small businesses on a regular basis, and many of them are already struggling due to the increased costs that have come with this new year. Some have already closed their doors--their profit margins were just too thin to support all the additional costs that have resulted from the federal government. Now this? It will literally be the straw that breaks the camel's back!

  • donquixote84721 Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 6:27 p.m.

    Raising the minum wage does nothing but raise prices. What America needs is more jobs that pay a living wage, and fewer over priced Exectives that get rich from companies that pay their workers minum wages.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 20, 2013 7:36 p.m.

    Some of you are overlooking a critical piece.

    Corporate profits have steadily increased over the years.

    Worker productivity has also steadily increased.

    Average worker pay has changed very little.

    CEO pay has skyrocketed.

    Looks to me that CEOs and other high level employees have really benefited from the productivity increase of the workers.

    I think it would be much easier to justify a couple dollar increase for the average worker than it would be to justify skyrocketing CEO pay.

  • Nothern Cougar Perry, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:40 p.m.

    To: JoeBlow
    Far East USA, SC

    I would bet that your wages have gone up more than 7.25% since 1978. CEO's wages are growing faster that the workers but do not be like the current administration and use false statistics to prove a point that does not exist.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Feb. 21, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    JoeBlow
    You can thank the Unions for the "skyrocketing" executive pay.Lets think this through using the auto industry. The average union auto worker makes $70.00 an hour when you combine wage and benefits. That working 40 hours adds up to $2,800 a week and $145,600 a year. the old standard was the executive received 30 times the worker and that works out to $4,368,000 a year. Now that is for a unionized company, however supply and demand tells us that the best are going to where the pay is the best so to compete the other companies must offer compensation equivalent to attract the best executives. So the unions in fact drive up the executive pay they just will not claim it. Also involved are the high stakes judgments of the executives compared to the workers. If an executive makes the wrong call it effects thousands if say a cook flipping a burger does how many people does that effect.
    Now yes we need to STOP bailing out companies and say if you executive make overly risky calls you fail. But that does not remove the value of their HSJ.

  • JanSan Pocatello, ID
    Feb. 22, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    This is a really hard thing to understand for me.
    I am a single parent - who started college but was unable to finish because of some traumatic things that came up in my family so I had to stay home and take care of my one son. I got a job for minimum wage and was barely able to keep food on the table so I had to go on welfare. I hated being on welfare, it was painful to me emotional and demeaned me in so many ways but it was to only way we could exist.
    So many people want to work honorably but cannot because they cannot exist on the wage that is offered. So many people work 2 to 3 jobs and spend ALL their time working to supply money that they have no time left to spend with their spouse and children. Maybe if this wage went through it could more people back to work and taking care of their families and give less jobs to the illegal aliens. I know that it would be harder on businesses. I know though that we need to get people working in jobs that support families.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Feb. 22, 2013 8:11 p.m.

    JanSan
    The problem is that the result in the long run is not getting people out of poverty but moving the poverty line up. Here is why, If say a burger joint paying minimum wage must raise it wage they still must also make a profit. To that and pay the higher wage they must raise their prices. This is basically called inflation. Now that $9.00 job has the same buying power that the $7.25 job had so you are still in the same situation you were in. You still make minimum wage and you still cannot afford most items because they are priced out of your price range because the higher wage has moved the price higher. The only solution is to add value to yourself for an employer. That is how you move from minimum wage to a higher wage. This can be done in many ways the best is education. If you are LDS try looking into BYU-Idaho Pathways program. It can help financially and get that education to raise your value to employers.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Feb. 23, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    I think those who think that food service industry increases in employment with a raise in minimum wage is the normal, do not think about why the food service industry needed more employees. It is because the employers needed to move more employees into an employee class that did not have other benefits like health insurance or retirement. Now that health insurance is universally available without employers participation(or soon will be), an increase in federal minimum wage will not see the same increase in employment as seen in the last round.

    I wonder how those in NYC feel about a minimum wage job being adequate. I will bet it is a lot different than those in Memphis, Tennessee or in Macon, Georgia or in Missoula, Montana.

    I already know how some of my family members feel about increases in minimum wage. They think it stinks that people hired after the increase make the same amount per hour on day one, as they do who have worked in the job for several years with annual merit increases.

  • Alfred Ogden, UT
    Feb. 23, 2013 10:14 p.m.

    @mark:
    "Alfred lives in a fantasy world, like most conservatives."

    Alfred is trying to live within his means as most conservatives do and stay off the government dole.

    "Working full time at the current minimum wage, $7.25, will earn, gross, $15,080 a year. Taking out payroll taxes of 6.3% leaves $14,130 or $1,170 a month."

    Did you forget all the other tax perks such as EIC (Earned Income Credit), child care expenses credit, child tax credit, etc., which adds perhaps another $5,000 to $10,000 thousand in income?

    "Just over a thousand a month and Alfred thinks these people are buying Hummers, SUVs, late model cars eating out three times a week and all the other bells and whistles."

    It's not a myth... I've seen it.

    "Alfred, nobody is getting a loan for a 60,000 dollar hummer (guessing on the price, I imagine they are more) making a grand a month. I doubt you could afford the insurance on a hummer making minimum."

    You've never heard of buy now and pay later even if you can't afford it... the Democratic concept that got us into the housing debacle?

  • Iver Salt Lake City, UT
    March 3, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    And the inept leaders of the large moderate breeding program here in Utah cringe at the loss of income, yet they standby stupidly when other very "sensitive" social issues are broached. The moderate supposed mock conservatives are candy clad wimps when it comes to putting up a fight - just look at the illegal alien debate and where that lack of leadership went. Cowards.