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My view: Why a local minimum wage makes more sense

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  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 12:11 a.m.

    Republican legislatures in several states have recently passed laws prohibiting city and county governments from raising the minimum wage. So there goes that idea.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    May 21, 2014 3:24 a.m.

    Quote"Conservatives argue that the minimum wage resembles price fixing and planned economies..."

    ironic since any sincere scrutiny into the fast food industry that is largely profiting from low minimum wages also employ price fixing on 99 cent menus enabled by the GOVERNMENT subsidized potatoes, other vegetables and beef they get much cheaper than the average consumer.

    They pay 16 cents a pound for frozen fries while you pay $2 a pound for the same frozen fries at the store. You pay something around $10 a pound at the fast food restaurant.

    And STILL subsidized by your tax dollars. Get the farmers off the dole first.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    I agree the minimum wage should be a "local" thing. Not at the National level. Not even at the State, or the City level. It should be set at the Organization level!

    Not all organizations should need to have the same minimum wage.

    The minimum wage at McDonalds may not be the same as the minimum needed at a Mechanic Shop, a bank, a law office, or a software company.

    Let each organization/company set the minimum wage for their company... what an idea!

    Kinda fits in a "Free Market Economy"... which is the model we have.

    ===

    But we need to have the guts to let some company's fail too... because the ones that are dumb enough to think they can attract good employees with low wages... will fail (eventually).

    We need to LET THEM fail... so they can be replaced by better companies (that pay better wages). We seem to keep propping them up (so they can keep paying low wages, getting minimally qualified employees, and giving their customers low quality service).

    Those companies need to go away in the natural way... not by government fiat. And be replaced with better companies.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 21, 2014 9:26 a.m.

    We already have local minimum wage laws. A minimum national standard is appropriate, and if localities want a higher one, they may do so. This is not a local issue, it has national implications for the economy.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 21, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    In places like this you can't count on local elected officials to have the interests of low wage earners in mind.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    Esquire,
    How is this not a local issue?

    -Where would it have to be implemented and enforced (hint... locally)
    -And where would the impact be felt first and most (locally)

    Why must it be done Federally (or Nation-wide)?
    -Does it take the same income to live in LA or Manhattan as it does in Texas or Utah? (No) So why have the same minimum in Utah as you need in Manhattan?

    -Are local's not able to know what minimum works there? Must it be determined by people in Washington DC?

    -Or is it just that you feel you have such good control of what happens in Washington... that you feel it must be done there (and not left to local folks)?

    I think it could be done even better at a local level. A Bureaucrat in Washington has no idea what it takes to live in Panguitch Utah... And this will affect wages in Panguitch Utah... Some small town businesses may decide they can't do it and close or move... how does that HELP unemployment in these small rural towns?

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    @2bits
    "because the ones that are dumb enough to think they can attract good employees with low wages... will fail (eventually)."

    Still waiting on Walmart to fail.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 21, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    @Schnee,
    I know some people who work at Walmart. They make a lot of money (way more than minimum wage). They are happy there. So you may be waiting a long time.

    What needs to happen is... people who don't make minimum wage at these companies leave... then even Walmart would have to pay more for these positions. But as long as people keep taking these positions at the low wages... they won't fail.

    That's what I mean when I say, "we have to have guts... and let them fail". Don't take their jobs... they WILL change... or fail.

    If Walmart is not hiring people who make you want to shop there... don't shop there... and if enough people do that... they will fail.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 21, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    What's missing is "minimum wage = minimum value". Before a "minimum wage" can be effective, there needs to be a minimum level of ability. No one would hire someone to mow their lawn if that person did not have the demonstrated ability to mow a lawn. Giving someone a "minimum wage" just because that person draws breath is absurd. Demonstrated ability precedes being hired. Being hired requires the employee to have already met certain standards. Even the government requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to do a job. To assume that someone has "value" in the marketplace just because that person draws breath, is refuted by the government's hiring practices.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 21, 2014 3:28 p.m.

    This letter missed out on some historical facts. First, the minimum wage wasn't enacted to make sure workers had a minimum standard of living. The minimum wage laws were first enacted to prevent construciton companies from hiring poor blacks from the south and bringing them to NY and undercut the Union labor. Historically speaking, minimum wage laws were put in place to keep unions alive.

    The other problem is that raising the minimum wage will not eliminate poverty. Just look at Switzerland. They keep raising their minimum wage, and their products keep costing more and more. The poor earn more money, but then it costs more to live.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 21, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    Why do I get the feeling that this is just another attempt by localities to take advantage of people and keep paying them bad wages?

    For 30 years we have seen the poor and middle class losing their wealth. Even though their productivity has gone up. So where has our wealth gone?

    I get tired of the GOP hurting us just to help their top campaign donors.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 21, 2014 11:21 p.m.

    Everyone wants to think they are #1 but as far as quality of life, productivity and standard of living the Swiss are kicking our trash!

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    May 21, 2014 11:41 p.m.

    @Mike Richards. Value has nothing to do with it. If there is an over supply of labor then it doesn't matter if you are highly skilled.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    @2 bits
    " But as long as people keep taking these positions at the low wages... they won't fail."

    Poor, long-term unemployed type people tend to not have much leverage in these situations since they kinda need jobs asap.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    May 22, 2014 6:49 p.m.

    Wealth creation

    God created it - the 1% tries to keep it all for themselves - we have some taxes left to try to fix some of the maldistribution.

    Conservatives like to start in the middle and believe they actually created wealth. Chuckle.