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Letter: Minimum Wage insufficient

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  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 4, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    Ben, you are spot on but brace yourself for a barrage of criticism from the left that believes wealth must be re-distributed not earned!

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    March 4, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    In short, you believe raising the minimum wage is inflationary. Sadly, no evidence suggests such a conclusion. So, perhaps you should rethink your argument.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    March 4, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    @ E Sam. If raising the minimum wages are not inflationary, why would it always be necessary to continue to raise them. If not inflationary, a one time increase would last forever, right?

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    March 4, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    In fact, the opposite of what the letter writer says is true. Inflation occurs w/out minimum wage increases so purchasing power for a minimum wage earner is less today than it was a year ago. Neither Utah nor the US live in a bubble so there are a multitude of externalities that affect the cost of goods, etc....

    Mountanman (sic) - Almost without exception, the most-productive cities and states in the US are left-leaning while the poorest, least-productive cities and states are conservative strongholds. Stop perpetuating falsehoods.

    Further, liberals do not want a redistribution of wealth, we want a redistribution of opportunity. We want a return to a free market where people are paid what they are worth. It is undeniable that since Reagan, worker productivity has soared while worker pay has flatlined. America is working harder for less money. We have allowed corporate lobbyists to highjack our system and change the rules in their favor. We do not live in a free market due to legislation that favors the wealthy over the working class. If you feel the need to lie and misrepresent our side, shouldn't you consider your argument to be patently incorrect?

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    March 4, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    Stalwart. You forget about Detroit as one of your most productive, left-leaning cities. The most productive states in the nation are Texas, N. Dakota and N. Carolina with the lowest unemployment, the best economies and the lowest taxes, hardly left-leaning states. The most left-leaning states are those that carry the highest burdens of debt, i.e. California, Illinois, Vermont and Washington among others who incidentally have the highest taxes and some of the highest unemployment!
    If liberals do not really want to re-distribute wealth that is certainly news to them! Why did they give us Obamacare which is the largest wealth re-distribution scam ever forced upon America?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 4, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    Let's follow the logic of this letter. The buying power of the minimum wage is 30% lower today than it was in the 1960's. So why aren't prices lower? Also, if you examine inflation adjusted per capita GDP, you would find that the U.S. is twice as wealthy today as we were in the 1960's. So why do workers earn less now?

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 4, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    @E Sam

    Yes, measured against the whole economy, its inflationary effects are negligible...as are its benefits. Raising the minimum wage is a feel-good measure in an election year, nothing more. Its purpose is to divert attention away from the slow-motion train wreck of Obamacare.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 4, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    Roland Kayser, You have a strange way of measuring wealth. The national debt is now about $17.3 trillion and growing. The GDP as of its last estimate was about $16.2 trillion and growing by less than 1% per year. From that ratio, we are now a debtor nation. We owe more than we can produce which is not twice as wealthy as we were in the '60's. Sorry to bring you the bad news!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 4, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    Increasing the minimum wage isn't going to remove the motivation from anyone receiving it to look for opportunities to increase their earning capability, if they want to. That's because any proposed minimum increase will be modest. It will still be minimum wage.
    On the other hand, businesses are exploiters. Left to their own, labour costs are what they will exploit most, and we see that all the time. Fast food and big box retail can, and should, pay more, or they simply devalue labour for everyone.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    March 4, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    This letter is a thinly veiled advertisement for economic Darwinism. Even if a few people lift themselves up by their bootstraps, get a better education, or find more motivation, that will not decrease the total number of minimum-wage jobs in the economy. In a macro sense, nothing changes.

    And Roland is right again. The minimum wage, in real terms, hit its peak in 1968, when it was worth $10.75 in 2014 dollars. Today it is $7.25, a full $3.50 per hour lower in purchasing power. It took its biggest hit between 1980 and 1990, during the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations.

    Of course, even though this is a systemic problem, conservatives still find a way to blame the poor for circumstances beyond their control. The GOP's war on the poor is as relentless as it is cold-hearted.

  • Lew Scannon Provo, UT
    March 4, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    Mtnmn:

    You are the one twisting statistics. The government debt is indeed higher, but the wealth we as a people produce, as measured by GDP, is also much higher. Our debt, though, is still smaller, as a percentage of GDP, than after World War II. We are a wealthy nation. We just don't have the will to institute a progressive tax system like our parents and grandparents did to bring their national debt under control. We certainly have enough wealth accumulating in the coffers of the upper class to make our debt irrelevant, if not nonexistent. They benefit most from the system. Shouldn't they pay to keep it up and running. They will be the ones with the most to lose if they kill the golden goose. But they can't see beyond their short-term profits to understand that they are driving us off a cliff.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    March 4, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    Yes, wealth must be redistrubuted but it must be voluntary.

    In the Millenium:

    "One man will not be able to lord it over another and take possession of more than he needs; but all will have a fullness.

    George Q Cannon: Gospel Truth: Chapter Eight, The Millenium.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 4, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    @Thid Barker: According to a study of labor productivity conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland which measured labor productivity by state, the five most productive states are: Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. The five least productive are: Alaska, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Kentucky. Productive = Blue, Unproductive = Red.

    If you examine unemployment rates you find no real correlation between Democratic vs. Republican states. Some Democratic states are doing great, some are not, same with Republican states.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 4, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    Corportions will not be satisfied until America is equal to Communist China.
    Republicans push this agenda.

    Who's responsible for re-distributing America's wealth to Communist China?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 4, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    When I was a teenager, earning $1 per hour after taxes, it took about one-half hour of work to buy a burger, fries and a soda at Dee's. Today with many Utahns earning about $15 per hour after taxes, it still takes about one-half hour or work to buy a burger, fries and a soda at McDonalds.

    When I was first married, rent cost $75 per month. I made $1.75 per hour, so rent was roughly 25% of my income. Today the same apartment is renting for $750 per month, which still takes about 25% of a typical workers wage.

    Government causes inflation. When the value of the dollar drops, it takes more dollars to buy the same item. Only government can affect the value of the dollar. When it prints billions of dollars per month to prop up the economy, it is devaluing the dollar as it runs those printing presses.

    The only way to get a bigger slice of the pie is to give more value and to be paid more for that increased value. Minimum wage hikes only push people into the next higher tax bracket.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    March 4, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    "Yes, wealth must be redistrubuted but it must be voluntary."

    Perhaps that would work in a world where everyone is selfless. But we happen to live in the real world. We redistribute wealth all the time. In the past 30 years, since the Reagan revolution, we have redistributed wealth from the lower and middle classes to the upper class. I pay taxes voluntarily. If I don't, I go to jail. That is the consequence if voluntarily choose to disobey the law. We can adjust laws so that our voluntary contributions to the general welfare are more consistent with our desire to create a just, equitable, and stable society.

    Currently, with a system of business and taxation that funnels almost all the wealth to the top tier, we are promoting an economy that is sustainable in the intermediate term. We can choose to change this. If we do not equalize the initial distribution of wealth (and, I might add, ownership), our society will disintegrate, as it is beginning to do right now. So, conservatives, you can have it your way in the short term, but in the intermediate term, you have no leg to stand on.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    March 4, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    " But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefre the world lieth in sin."

    Doctrine and Covenants 49:20

    We know that some are lazy and we also know that some will not impart of their substance to the poor and needy. The ingenuity of man, politically, is able to come up with systems that would distribute based on true principles with adequate safeguards against abuse but the corruption of man prevents it. We could build up and protect our own industries by tariffs; we could have a system of "Workfare" in place. Somehow nothing ever seems to get done.

    We had a system of Co-operation here but the people did not support it in sufficient numbers.
    Every individual is able to help his neighbour to the extent he pleases. Government doesn't do it well and individuals don't seem ready to step in, in sufficient numbers. Those in work could hire unemployed neighbours who have skills and offer a fair remuneration - or do our various public administrations erect obstacles to such things?

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    Let's say the average American wage is 50k a year. Let's also say there's 125 million workers. Do the math and that's 6.25 trillion.

    Now, the CBO says that the increase in the minimum wage will increase wages of 16.5 million workers. This would be anyone working for between the current minimum wage and 10.10 (and some above it). So let's say the average increase is 2 dollars an hour for these people. Multiply that by 16.5 million people, 35 hours a week (after all most are part time), and 52 weeks a year. You get 2x16.5milx35x52 = 46.2 billion.

    So what percentage increase of wages is this that we can might think (but not necessarily) go to inflation? 46.2 billion / 6250 billion = .007 or 0.7%.

    So, .7% inflation is what we might see from this (give or take a couple tenths of a percent) so basically .5%-1% inflation. This would be a one time thing and the minimum wage would presumably be good for another half a dozen years.

    Do you think inflation will only be 1% combined the next 6 years? No, so something else contributes most inflation.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    Now, let's take that .7% increase in labor costs and assume all of it is passed on to consumers. Now what you're saying is that you're opposed to people getting around a 20% increase in wages... because you're concerned about a 1% increase in costs paid for by consumers. So that argument that the poor don't benefit from a minimum wage increase because they'd have to then pay more on products... that's not an issue.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 4, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    "History has shown us that the best societies are those in which wealth is most evenly distributed."---Brigham Young

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 4, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    When I was a teenager, earning $1 per hour after taxes, it took about one-half hour of work to buy a burger, fries and a soda at Dee's. Today with many Utahns earning about $15 per hour after taxes, it still takes about one-half hour or work to buy a burger, fries and a soda at McDonalds.

    ========

    You're numbers are all wrong, because you claimed TWICE the amount.

    Minimum wage is $7.25 and you used a false pretext of $15 and hour.

    Re-run your math, and get back to us...

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    March 4, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    The letter writer gets it – MW should not be viewed as a living wage, but a starter wage. want to be paid more? make your labor WORTHY more.

    Sentinel,
    “liberals do not want a redistribution of wealth, we want a redistribution of opportunity. We want a return to a free market where people are paid what they are worth.”

    That’s what you say, but the actions of the left could not contradict that more.

    OMM
    “Corportions (sic) will not be satisfied until America is equal to Communist China.
    Republicans push this agenda.”
    Now that is just downright funny! Please stop, my sides are killing me from laughter!

    Gildas,
    “He who is idle shall not eat the bread or wear the garment of the laborer” that hasn’t stopped the left from their redistribution efforts. And this really is not the forum for scripture bashing.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    March 4, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    To "Stalwart Sentinel" if your progressive/liberal friends want to get more opportunity out there, why is it that they are just redistributing wealth? From the EIC, to the ACA, to the expanding SNAP programs, your ilk is just redistributing wealth, and cares little for opportunity. On top of all of those handout programs, your liberal leaders are imposing more regulations on business that destroys opportunity and kills incentive for existing businesses to expand.

    To "Kent C. DeForrest" if somebody doesn't want to improve their life and learn skills that would bring them more income, who are you to tell them that they deserve more? Why should somebody with no motivation live like somebody who is working to pull themselves out of poverty?

    To "Gildas" we also know that some will force others to support them. D&C 57:17 "Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!"

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    March 4, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    To "Schnee" did you also see that the CBO figures that the increase in the minimum wage will result in job losses for about 500,000 people? IS it worth it to help a few, if you hurt even more?

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    March 4, 2014 12:16 p.m.

    Given that some folks are lazy, and others conceited, and that the Minimum Wage doesn't seem to be that effective, and private benevolence is best, yet please consider:

    "... and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads.... and persecute your brethren because ye suppose ye are better than them....if ye persist in these things his judgments must speedily come unto you."
    Jacob 2: 13-14

    "... some were lifted up unto pride and great boastings because of their exceedkngly great riches, yea, even unto great persecutions; for there were many merchants in the land, and also many lawyers, and many officers. And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning..."
    3 Nephi 6:10-12

    "And now in the two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel.....and all manner of ... the fine things of the world.....And they began to be divided into classes...."

    4 Nephi 24-26

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    March 4, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    I wonder, if we lower the minimum wage will the cost of living go down? No but it will pad the pocket books of the masters as if they need it. Every time the minimum wage has gone up it has assisted a boom to the economy. If you empower the workers, labor, you empower the economy. Period. On the contrary when the top 20% take home virtually 100% of the increase of wealth then there can be no improvement to the economy.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    March 4, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    To "Gildas" I love this game. Lets look at some more scriptures about wealth redistribution:

    1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

    D&C 75:28 And again, verily I say unto you, that every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide, and he shall in nowise lose his crown; and let him labor in the church.

    D&C 134:2 We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.---Why do you want to control the property that belongs to other people?

    Luke 12:13-15
    13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me....15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

  • Utah Dem Ogden, UT
    March 4, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    Redshirt - not sure your figures are accurate. Currently we have 144 million in the workforce, 1.1% make minimum wage; that equates to nearly 1.6 million.

    We also have cheap and greedy business owners, yep some are small business owners that don't pay the $10.10 the Feds want or the $10.25 some of or state legislators want even for skilled, degree holding employees. I so like what ugottabkid wrote - we the minimum wage is lower the cost of living will not go down.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    March 4, 2014 1:04 p.m.

    To "Utah Dem" why should we pay more?

    According to the BLS, minimum wage earners are typically the following:

    50% are under the age of 25.

    Never married

    Working food prep

    62.2% live in middleclass families or better

    Only 30% of minimum wage earners (0.33% of workforce or 43 million people) live in poverty.

    You should read "Almost Everything You Have Been Told About The Minimum Wage Is False" in Forbes.

  • Neanderthal Phoenix, AZ
    March 4, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    "Wage is relative. When the minimum wage is raised, eventually everyone's wage is raised."

    True. and prices of goods and services go up as well. It's like a dog chasing his tail.

    I remember when five dollars per hour was a dang good wage.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    March 4, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    Thid - Detroit was considered hence my qualifier of "[a]lmost with exception." However, as Mr. Kayser has pointed out, productivity in the United States can be charted by viewing whether the state is left-leaning or right-leaning nearly without exception. America's economic might does not come from the South or midwest, it comes from the North-east and West coast.

    The states you note are essentially in a race-to-the-bottom when it comes to productivity because they are not creating lasting wealth, they are exploiting finite natural resources. The energy boom in North Dakota is not a long-term strategy for productivity - everyone knows this. It is a smash-and-grab, flash-in-the-pan economic policy.

    Re: state debts - The liberal states you mention are net creditors in federal taxes paid, meaning they pay more in federal taxes than they receive. If it were 1:1, California would have a surplus of over $100B. Idaho received more than $21B in federal taxes than it paid over the past 30 years. Again, more proof that conservative states don't even carry their own weight.

    Re: the ACA - Your comment is so off base it doesn't merit a response.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 4, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    I have not read any of the comments, but I already know that the leftists have already dismissed your very sensible and coherent points.

    They think printing more money makes us richer and giving more of it to everyone won't hurt the value of that money.

    They just don't get it, and I don't think they want to get it.

    Maybe when we are burning our money to keep warm, as Germans did after WWI, because it is so worthless that it won't buy any form of fuel, not even a solar panel, or heaven forbid, coal, they will finally understand.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    March 4, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    @Lew Scannon:
    We just don't have the will to institute a progressive tax system ..."

    Sorry to inform, but we do have a progressive taxing system. The higher your taxable income the higher the tax rate.

    They (wealthy) benefit most from the system. Shouldn't they pay to keep it up and running."

    They do pay. The wealthy ten percent pay approx 71 percent of the taxes.

    @RedShirt:
    "...did you also see that the CBO figures that the increase in the minimum wage will result in job losses for about 500,000 people? IS it worth it to help a few, if you hurt even more?"

    The truth of the matter is that Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to entice low income folks to vote Democrat in the coming elections. Of course there will be many folks who will lose their jobs with a minimum wage increase. But these folks aren't learned enough to know why they're losing their jobs and will likely vote for Democrats anyway.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    March 4, 2014 2:04 p.m.

    Oh Mike, quit twisting things for your own aggrandizement.

    Many Utahn's make $15/hour after taxes? What's many? 25%? 35%? 50% So, what about the rest? Or don't they matter?

    Besides, $15/hour isn't minimum wage- you inflated that by double and then compared it to minimum wage from way back when. That's just dishonest.

    Here's a little something to chew on for all you folks who say, "Don't like minimum wage? Go to school, better yourself." Let's assume that EVERYONE in society goes to school and gets a minimum of a bachelor's degree. Will they all be able to get higher paying jobs? No. Someone still has to do the minimal labor. And before you spout off about teens doing it- there aren't enough teens to fill all the jobs that are paid at minimum wage.

    Capitalism, which many of you hold to be some kind of God given economic religion, is a system that by its nature, requires there to be "poor" if there is going to be "rich."

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 4, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    Airnaut,

    You, not me, talked about minimum wage. I have never worked for "minimum wage". I have always given my employer more value than he expected. Anyone who depends on the government to determine what he is "worth" probably works for the government and probably complains that he is being paid half of what he is worth.

    My comment showed that the average wage buys the same things today as it did in the 1960s.

    If you want to work for minimum wage and let the government tell you what you are "worth" then sell yourself for minimum wage. The government will be happy to pay you what it thinks you deserve.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    March 4, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    @Redshirt et all

    I did not, nor do I, dispute the scriptures you quote; I have promoted the VOLUNTARY redistribution of wealth which latter-day saints embrace.

    I agree with all of these scriptures, and all those too. There is no contradiction in them.

    We have been given the Book of Mormon as a warning to OUR day. The propher Mormon talked of "the Gentiles" that would inherit this land as loving their money and substance more than the poor and needy, sick and afflicted (Mormon 8:37).

    When I talked of WORKfare, did you notice? When I talked of supplying WORK for skilled, unemployed neighbors, did you see? So why suggest, by your quote, I uphold indolence? When I talked AGAINST idleness were you aware? I will not be your straw man!

    I truly hope that the poor and wealthy, and those in between, can respect one another and that those who can will provide opportunities that others may thrive with you. To heck with your Class War. I never upheld it! God bless the honest poor, the honest rich, and let the honest poor be exalted in that the rich is made low - by his own permission.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 4, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    Current rate for a Masters Degreed, 20 years experience Substitute Teacher in Utah = $8.25
    Current rate for a High School student 9ie.e, NO dgree at all), aged 16 in Utah = $7.25

    Read all the books, quote all the newspapers and magazines you want.

    I live in the real world, with real people, and real experiences...not hiding behind some New York spin-doctor sitting behind a computer sells books and articles to a biased outlet for a living.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    @Redshirt
    "did you also see that the CBO figures that the increase in the minimum wage will result in job losses for about 500,000 people?"

    I was addressing the issue of whether or not the minimum wage increase would cause inflation, since that's what the letter was about.

    As for the 500k... 16.5 million according to the CBO would see wages go up. If we assume this is roughly a dollar per person, that is 16.5 million dollars worth per hour of increase whereas 500k * 8 dollars an hour in lost jobs is 4 million dollars worth per hour of loss.

    So for the working poor it's +16.5 million - 4 million = +12.5 million per hour. There's a net economic benefit to the poor through increasing the minimum wage.

    @Badgerbadger
    "I already know that the leftists have already dismissed your very sensible and coherent points."

    Oh I very much addressed them... by showing the math doesn't add up to the assertion that raising the minimum wage, even by this large an amount, would have a dramatic effect on prices.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 4, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    Gildas,

    I agree with you. Wage negotiations are between the business owner and the employee. I talked with many employers in my life. Each time I've asked them what they needed so that I could get the wage that I needed. Each of them helped me understand that I needed to increase my value before they could give me the raise that I needed. Those negotiations were between the employer and me. The government was not involved. In each case I increased my value and the employer increased my wage. It was always a mutual agreement. The employer had needs. I filled those needs. He voluntarily increased my pay. I voluntarily increased my value to that company. We all benefitted. There was no force. I knew that the company needed to make a profit from my labor. I knew that I had to give value.

    Government was not involved. Honest people negotiated value and wages.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    March 4, 2014 2:42 p.m.

    So, Red, if we reduce the minimum wage to $4.25 per hour, will that increase the number of jobs in the country by 500,000? And would this be better for us as a society?

    If you want to quote scripture, try this one:

    "And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine.

    "But it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low. . . .

    "Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment" (D&C 104:15, 16, 18).

    Or this one:

    "But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin" (D&C 49:20).

    He doesn't say here that this only applies to voluntary donations. He labels economic inequality a sin. Hmm. God must not be a capitalist.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 4, 2014 2:43 p.m.

    I got beat up in Gospel Doctrine for this -- so I might as well expect the same warm reception here as well...

    God warns us about being the evils of being idle.

    Conservative interpet idleness as the poor needing a hand out, a morse of corn, a penny in a beggars cup.

    Liberals interpret that same scripture to mean the filthy rich, who are so wealthy that they no long have do any NOT work, but just like Kings -- simply collect money and make themselves extrmemly wealthy strictly from the labor of others.

    King Benjamin and tons of other prophets - ancient and modern - explain that THESE are the idle that God talks and warns us about, not the poor, the sick or the needy.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    I am mixed about how I feel on this issue.

    Robert Reich (Bill C's Sec of Labor) had some interesting points.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 4, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    To "Kent C. DeForrest" lets continue looking into the scriptures, and see what the Lord has said about wealth.

    Jacob 2:19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.

    D&C 134:2 We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.

    D&C 134:2 is the essence of capitalism. Men are to be able to exercise freely thier conscience, control their property (Socialism and communism takes that away from individuals and gives it to the state).

    If you want I can quote modern prophets that state that collectivist ideals are from Satan.

    Apparently being wealthy is GOOD for those with the right intent. That sure sounds like capitalism to me.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" the reason you got beat up is because you are wrong, and are still wrong.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 4, 2014 4:46 p.m.

    @Kent C. DeForrest "If you want to quote scripture, try this one"

    Yes, but let's quote the whole thing. The verse you skipped over says:

    "For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves."

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2014 4:54 p.m.

    Redshirt1701:

    Seeking wealth is OK only if the wealth is used to "clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted." So if one expends one's wealth in that manner, great--he or she becomes economically more equal to the ones he helps. The problem is not the acquisition of wealth, it is the retention of it, or the failure to use it to do good, which is the plague of most wealthy people, who can't stand to part with their excess. Do not envy them; they are to be pitied.

    I hope I get to view the wealthy trying to squeeze through the eye of the needle. It would be quite entertaining.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 4, 2014 6:13 p.m.

    @Nate
    Pleasant Grove, UT

    "For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves."
    4:46 p.m. March 4, 2014

    =========

    This is like a Father who gives one of his children a bag of candy, and commands him to share with his siblings.

    The earth IS full, and there is enough and to spare.

    The 0.01% have accumulated [NOT worked or earned] more wealth than 50% of the World's population.

    Our Heavenly Father will be punishing the greedy one who did not learn to share.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 5, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    @LDS Liberal

    Again, you're skipping over the part about agency. Why the aversion?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 5, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    What is the biggest driver of inflation?

    Simple. The cost of gasoline and diesel fuel.

    Any increase in fuel costs drives increases in virtually every other corner of the world's economy.

    It's not a wage increase for workers who are trying desperately to keep up with inflation caused by factors completely beyond their control.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 5, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    To "Curmudgeon" so tell us, who is greedier, the rich man who pays his wokers what he deems to be a fair wage, or the poor man who insists that the wealthy gives him more stuff?

    If you look at the scriptures, they are full of examples where people are given great wealth. So again, to you and your ilk. What is wrong with people being wealthy?

  • Nonconlib Happy Valley, UT
    March 5, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    Nate,

    Kent C. DeForrest here. I ran out of comments under that login. I skipped over that verse because of the 200-word limit, but it is relevant. There is enough and to spare, but only if it is divvied up more or less evenly. That is the whole point of those verses. If a small minority hoards more than it needs, then there is not enough to go around. So any way you slice it, you lose, if you are promoting a hoarder system, be it capitalist or communist.

    Of course we haven't said anything about whether our rampant turn-scarce-resources-into-waste system is sustainable, but the funnel-wealth-to-the-top system certainly isn't.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 5, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    To "Nonconlib" no, again, you are wrong. The scripture says that there is enough to spare. Nothing is said about dividing up resources or anything like that.

    You remind me of the Pharasees that would read things into the scriptures that were not there.

    Also, you should realize that the "funnel-wealth-to-the-top system" is what you get when you adopt a collectivist philosophy. If you let capitalism work, you have a system that resembles a forest. As businesses become overgrown and old, they will evendually collapse and new, younger trees will fill in the space.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 5, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    “Those who set their hearts upon the things of the world usually focus on some combination of that worldly quartet of property, pride, prominence, and power. When attitudes or priorities are fixed on the acquisition, use, or possession of property, we call that condition materialism. …

    “From the emphasis given to this subject in the scriptures, it appears that materialism has been one of the greatest challenges to the children of God in all ages of time. Greed, the ugly face of materialism in action, has been one of Satan’s most effective weapons in corrupting men and turning their hearts from God. …

    “The Apostle [Paul] did not say that there was anything inherently evil about money. … It is not money but the love of money that is identified as the root of all evil.”—Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    ======

    BTW -- Your single focus on Wealth and Capitalism is a sure sign you are not in it to bless the poor, the needy, the sick, oppressed or the hungry -- per Jacob 2:19

    You can buy anything in this world, with money.
    Babylon
    Mammon
    Gadianton
    Master Mahan

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 5, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" your focus on destroying capitalism and support of collectivist philosophies like socialism and communism only show that you have been deceived by the devil.

    "The government will take from the 'haves' and give to the 'have nots.' [When this happens] Both have lost their freedom. Those who 'have,' lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who 'have not', lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got 'something for nothing,' and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift". - Howard W. Hunter.

    "Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the united order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always devises of the gospel plan." LDS First Presidency 1942.

    "Another notable counterfeit system to the Lord’s plan is collectivized socialism. Socialism derives its philosophy from the founders of communism, Marx and Engels. Communism in practice is socialism." Elder Ezra T. Benson.

    Satan has always wanted to control those who want to follow God. Through socialism and communism Satan tricks you into rebellion against God.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 5, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    @Nonconlib

    I disagree with your premise that the pie is just one size. I believe that God gives us the resources to create pie according to our need.

    It is true that He commands us to care for each other and to share. There is no question about this. The real question is in how we organize ourselves to bring it about. We cannot set aside agency. A utopia that doesn't allow agency is no utopia.

    I don't mind if you want to try to think up a better system. If it infringes on my liberty, I will reject it.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    March 5, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    to Open Minded Mormon 3/4

    "I got beat up in Gospel Doctrine for this -- so I might as well expect the same warm reception here as well..."

    I am sure you did. Though, I agree with you.

    Money is nice. It gives you options & flexibility.

    Its people who are obsessed w/ the acquisition of meaningless swag just to keep up w/ the Jones' that are pathetic. Like the song says, "If you can't take it with you then what the use. I never saw a Uhaul being pulled behind a hearse."

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    per Redshirt1701...

    {Also, you should realize that the "funnel-wealth-to-the-top system" is what you get when you adopt a collectivist philosophy.}

    Does that make Wall St and their lobbyists are collectivists? Please tell me I'm dying to know?

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    Redshirt1701:

    When I look at the scriptures, I see lots of warnings about the dangers of the love of money (greed) and admonitions to care for the poor and needy. Greed can afflict both poor and rich, in the form of pride or envy, respectively, but the greater spiritual risk, in my view, is the retention of wealth without commensurate efforts to aid the poor.

    Somehow the DN deleted my earlier comment, so I would just refer you to Mosiah 4:17-23 for one of the many scriptural condemnations of withholding one's substance from the poor.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 5, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    My LDS scriptures tell me:

    Jesus over-turned the Capitalists tables of the Money-Changers in the Temple,
    and
    started Socialist Communes in Jerusalem and the Americas.

    Families are Socialist/Communist,
    So is the United States Military.

    We have had the United Order,
    Universal Healthcare and Welfare Systems,
    and many of us have covented to obey the Law of Consecration -
    and seek to have all things in common and have NO poor among us.

    You see --
    I'm good with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the LDS Doctrines RedShirt,
    it just I take issue with some of my fellow "Saints".

  • Alter Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 5, 2014 1:17 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal "My LDS scriptures tell me: Jesus over-turned the Capitalists tables of the Money-Changers in the Temple,
    and started Socialist Communes in Jerusalem and the Americas."

    No, they don't tell you that. You are applying your own private definition of socialism, which is not the same as the one accepted by the rest of the population, including the people who publish dictionaries.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    March 5, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" you must have some heavily edited scriptures then.

    The facts are that Jesus taught in Jerusalem and in the Americas. He did not establish any sort of socialist system.

    His followers applied his teachings and took care of eachother. They obviously continued to maintain personal property (socialism and communism get rid of personal property), since they eventually separated into classes.

    I know you take issue with some of your fellow saints, but you are also supporting and preaching things contrary to the teachings of the Prophets of the LDS church. There are many instances where Prophets and the First Presidency have declared that Socialism and Communism are Satan's counterfit plan. Knowing that they are a counterfit plan, why would you continue to support socialism/communism?

    To "Mister J" yes, many of those on Wall Street are collectivists. Some of the bigger, and wealthier collectivists are Warren Buffett, George Soros, and Michael Bloomberg. They know that if thing switched to a collectivist ideal that they would be protected and would be in a "more equal" position where they would maintain their wealth and gain power.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    March 5, 2014 8:38 p.m.

    Greed will always be among us, even in the church. The church rises and falls because of it every few hundred years and scripture is quite clear about it. People can't understand plain and simple things once they have made up their minds to seek riches above the kingdom of God.

    The only valid doctrinal reason to seek riches is so you can give them to those that can't gather enough of the Lords blessings for themselves or to support the church in some way. But go ahead, we're all judged on the same scriptures. I'm more comfortable taking Jesus at his word than pretending he meant something else than what he said.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    March 5, 2014 11:07 p.m.

    Why should someone who doesn't work hard and improve himself receive a government mandated raise in pay?
    Because he's a fellow citizen, a fellow human being, a brother and the least among us. Because people mess up, make mistakes, run their lives badly, and yet still have needs and a deserve a place at our table. And no, government doesn't manage this central task of humanity badly.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    March 6, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    I have a theory that giving back to your communities winds up creating more wealth, which then leads to giving more to your communities. An accumulation of money doesn't do any good unless it blesses the lives of others.

    I also believe that we let the idea of hard work get in the way of fairly compensating the workers who put in that hard work. We should not have to work two or three jobs just to pay our living expenses. I truly believe that if we paid people a better minimum wage, they would be in a better situation to improve their skills to advance into better-paying jobs. Too many people are stuck going from one job to another without having time to learn new skills.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2014 12:13 a.m.

    What a strange argument. People arguing about scriptures. Okay all you Christians, if Christ came back what do you honestly think He would think about our capitalist system? What do you think He would think about the ultra wealthy? What do you think He would think about the argument that minimum wage for people is a bad thing, yet tax cuts for the rich are good? That food stamps for the poor is a bad thing, yet massive spending on a war machine is a good thing? I honestly do not think that He would care one bit about capitalism or communism or socialism or any other economic system and your petty bickering about them. Do you really think He would be appreciative of a system that puts so many of its people in prison? That has such huge disparities of wealth? That poisons the land and water and air. What do you think He would think of a system that puts profit above all else. And what do you honestly think He would think of people that defend this? What do you honestly think?

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    March 7, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    To "mark" Christ would be ok with the capitalism. He wouldn't like the system that we have right now that has so much socialism sucking the life out of capitalism, and is destroying the souls of people.

    If He wouldn't "care one bit about capitalism or communism or socialism or any other economic system", then why did He tell the Prophets that Socialism, communism, and other similar collectivist philosophies are wrong?

    You are ignoring history. Under capitalism (not fascism because that is a mild form of socialism) you don't have people killing other people. However, every time government enforced collectivism is tried, it fails and usually ends up killing thousands or millions of people.

    Do you really think that a person who preached so much about individualism would agree with collectivist philosophies?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    First of all, when you say "prophets" you are talking about LDS leaders. But even there you ever hear about the commune system called the United Order? Of course you have. Historically most Christian societies have practiced some form of communal living. But that's neither here nor there. CHRIST never said ANYTHING about capitalism or communism or socialism. But again, that's neither here nor there.

    My question was do Christians really think that if He came back today would he be supportive of systems that are set up to deliver so much wealth and power to so few, while so many labor for poverty wages while their masters flaunt unimaginable wealth? What do you think He would think about so much wealth being sucked into the war machine, while children do not have enough to eat. What do you think He would think of the people that fight for and support a system like this? Love your enemy, turn the other cheek, give your enemy your coat. Take care of the poor, the homeless, visit those in prison. There are no qualifiers to these things. Do you really think He was just kidding?

  • Demo Dave Holladay, UT
    March 8, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    When the minimum wage becomes a livable wage there is no longer an incentive for people to better themselves through higher education or vocational training. Granted, there are some jobs that should pay more than minimum due to inherent hazards, but the minimum wage shouldn't allow people to become too complacent or comfortable - it should motivate them to reach higher.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 9, 2014 10:31 p.m.

    Mike a person making $7.25 working 40 hours a week is making $1256 a month. I multiplied 7.25 to 40 and then 52 and then divided by 12. That is gross. Even one fourth of that is $314. There is no way you can rent anything for $314 a month. And you have not paid social security, medical insurance or medical costs, car insurance which was not likely a part of life when wages were less than $2 n hour. I'm as republican as they come but if you want people off assistance they need to earn more than this or rents and other expenses have to come way down for that to happen. Too many getting SNAP have jobs. For $750 to be 25% of a person gross wage for housing they would need to earn $17.30 for a 40 hour week. We haven't even considered taxes. I know most making this amount don't pay much if anything for federal but there are sales, social security, state and property depending on circumstances and location. Then they are supposed to save and give besides. Twenty hours at minimum wage earns less a year than college tuition. Different world.