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Wisconsin: Minimum wage laws serve a purpose
New Richmond News

July 8, 2011
View the Original Article

To the Editor:

I read an interesting article in the Star-Tribune by Amity Shlaes of Bloomberg News. Ms. Shlaes blames the high rate of teenage unemployment on minimum wage rates, which according to her and other right leaning pundits, are much too high.

Hmmmmm … $7.25 an hour, I suppose that would be a princely sum for the 16- or 17-year-old local high school kid trying to pick up a little running around money during the summer or after school. Perhaps we could set a slightly lower wage for these kids.

Now though, I have a problem with those on the right who think our minimum wages laws should be tossed out. One of the loudest proponents of this thinking is Michelle Bachmann, Minnesota’s 6th district congresswoman, presidential candidate and nut-job. Ms. Bachmann has argued that abolishing the minimum wage could be the answer to wiping out unemployment.

Let me think a moment on how that would work. OK, there would be a lot of jobs available in factories (sure factories would come back because of low wages, we wouldn’t have to ship jobs over-seas anymore) to go along with the abolishment of the minimum wage, let’s abolish unions too. Wisconsin Gov. Walker and the Koch boys are already working on that one. You can see where I’m going with this, at least I hope most folks can.

What I mean is if we let the Bachmanns and Walkers and the Koch boys have their way, where will most of us be? Living on subsistence wages (at best). No Social Security, no Medicare, no pensions. Ask youself, is this the direction you want to go? Is this the future you want for your children? I hope not.

George Richard

New Richmond