All Points: A minimum wage of $9 an hour?

Posted Sunday, Mar. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Do a quick Google search on "minimum wage." You'll see President Barack Obama's proposal to raise it to $9 an hour from $7.25 described as "a matter of decency" or "zombie economics." A USA Today/Pew Research poll shows 71 percent of Americans in favor. What about you? Would this be good for the economy or bad for jobs?

Government intrusion

I cannot understand how anyone can think that small business and those that hire mostly unskilled workers would think raising the minimum wage by 24 percent wouldn't cause prices to go up and less hiring to occur for those folks. Isn't it time for the federal government to stop trying to intrude on every facet of business and go about the business they should be in, including passing a budget?

-- Hank Henning, Bedford

Overpaid in Congress

Good: San Francisco has a $10.55/hour minimum wage and 6.5 percent unemployment. Bad: Hourly minimum wage of the members of Congress who will no doubt stop this proposal.

-- Ross Bannister, Grapevine

Fix families first

The Labor Department says 15 million people make $7.50 to $9 an hour ($9.75 to $11.70 with fringes). Businesses also pay a lot in other government regulation costs. To stay in business, they can hire only people worth at least minimum wage to them. There are many Americans with such poor job skills they aren't worth minimum wage and go on government assistance. A minimum wage hike puts more low-skilled people on government assistance.

The number of people with poor skills is growing because of broken families who can't train their children properly. The minimum wage debate is connected to the breakdown of families. This increases high school dropouts and significantly lowers job skills. If we fix families, we fix the minimum wage problem. With more people having higher job skills, we all benefit.

-- Curt Lampkin, Azle

Worker incentives

I used to be a small business owner. What I had to pay in salary was not ever a factor when looking to hire someone. First was if I needed someone. Next was looking for the best-qualified. Then last was cost.

If you pay above market value, the worker will try very hard to keep the job. If you don't pay well, the worker will at some point resent you and get even.

-- Bill Reedy, Denton

Try $8 an hour

President Obama's proposal to raise the minimum raise to $9 an hour should be described as "a matter of decency" inasmuch as congressmen continue to get to get annual raises even if they don't deserve it.

Maybe $8 an hour would be more reasonable in these tough economic times.

-- Edward Lindsay, Fort Worth

Senate wages

How about lowering the pay of everyone in the Senate to minimum wage until they submit a budget?

-- Jeff Murray, Fort Worth

Sky falling? Really?

Remember when the Clinton tax increase was going to destroy the economy? Remember when the Bush tax cuts were pushed and passed with the promise of job gains? Remember when the stimulus was not going to work?

Conventional wisdom (more like dogma) from the right has not been true on these economic issues. Raising the minimum wage won't kill jobs. There are studies where jobs actually go up. We should not listen to people who have gotten so many things wrong so many times.

-- Edgar McGauley, Fort Worth

Fast food prices

One thing's for sure -- the price of our fast food will increase with the minimum wage!

-- Jarrod Peterson, Haslet

Monumental need

Citizens on fixed incomes with no provision for inflation or booming economy adjustments have a most difficult economic time. This seems to be the nature of capitalism, for there are other citizens who are also affected by evolutionary changes as well.

Does raising the minimum wage really affect the economy? Yes, short-term, because of adjustments across the board.

If the baker has to raise wages for his workers, he will then raise his price of products. After all adjustments like this are made, the economy just settles down to relatively the same situation as before, and those on fixed incomes are again struggling.

Inflation is akin to the two-headed monster that is forever playing havoc with its prey.

Raising the minimum wage may remove some from the welfare rolls and result in deeper pride of ownership. This is a monumental need at this time.

-- Grady Fuller, Kennedale

Still poverty-level

Never in history has the minimum wage been raised and people did not whine and predict doom and gloom. It is fair and still a poverty-level income (gross wages). But at least two people making minimum wage can live better and provide for their families.

-- Claudia Hubbard Gaarz,


Poor won't win

Everything will go up: gas, groceries, consumer products, electricity and water. Companies will need to raise their prices to "afford" the changes. The poor will stay poor and the rich will always gain.

-- Ruby Westbrook, Fort Worth

Bad for jobs

Raising the minimum wage is always bad for jobs. Having a minimum wage prevents businesses from hiring people to do low-wage jobs and forces people who are willing to do them to work for themselves.

-- Timothy Fish, Fort Worth

Free-market flaw

The question is not "is $9 an hour enough of a minimum wage" but rather "why do we need a minimum wage at all?"

Free-market enterprise in America is surely our economic engine. But, like the engine of a great ship, it only propels instead of steering the ship of state. If free markets had done their work, we would never have needed a minimum wage.

Minimum-wage workers need the dignity that goes with a good, purposeful job, along with a dignified, livable wage.

High-paid CEOs do not like this because the minimum wage would cut into their profits. But we have seen the world over nations whose upper classes hold most of the wealth while the lower working classes struggle to survive. Happily, America is not one of those nations, thanks almost entirely to the minimum wage and other such acts.

-- David Perkins, Fort Worth

Keep markets free

Capital idea! But why stop at $9? How about $15 or $50 an hour? Before you know it, everyone will be wealthy. A bonanza for big government in collecting more taxes. Of course, the cost of goods and services will increase along with unemployment as demand decreases. Nobody wants to pay $25 for a hamburger.

A free-market economy relies on equilibrium between availability of raw materials, cost of production, supply and demand. Artificial tinkering by bureaucrats skews the formula so an advantage for some creates a disadvantage for others.

Best to let a free market operate as freely as possible.

-- Clyde Picht, Fort Worth

No confidence

I have more faith in a struggling small business owner and a person willing to work for food than I do a politician in Washington on setting a minimum wage.

-- Jack O. Lewis, Haltom City

Protect the economy

President Obama's proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 does nothing to address the detrimental consequences to those already in a financial exigency, particularly seniors on a fixed income and those at poverty level.

The proposal sounds great for those currently at minimum wage, but none seem to realize that Obama is just trying to earn "brownie points" for his party, at the expense of those on his beloved "Main Street."

Companies have struggled to maintain their profit margins while retaining employees for years now. Does nobody stop to think that this additional cost is just going to be passed on to the customer, who will then be reluctant to buy, making employers unlikely to hire? Just as the economy is starting to lay golden eggs again, let's not beat up the bird!

-- Fred Ream, Fort Worth

Add Obamacare burdens

Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 is going to cause the cost of all those items that demand the employ of a minimum wage workforce to rise. McDonalds or Wendy's is going to have to consider employing less or charging more. All of this just adds to the increased financial burden of Obamacare on an already thinly stretched minimum wage workforce.

-- Mark Bradley, North Richland Hills

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