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Walker speaks against raising minimum wage

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Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014 4:00 pm

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker lashed out Thursday against Democratic proposals to raise the minimum wage, calling them a “political grandstanding stunt” that will kill jobs.

Walker was addressing a friendly crowd at a meeting of the Wisconsin Grocers Association, a group that opposes increasing the minimum wage. Democrats both nationally and in Wisconsin and other states are pushing for increasing it.

The proposal is going nowhere in Wisconsin, where Republicans who control the Senate and Assembly have it bottled up in committee. But that didn’t stop Walker from speaking out against the idea.

“I think it is nothing more than a misguided political stunt,” he said of Democrats’ efforts to raise the wage. Doing that will only lead to the elimination of entry-level jobs and cut pay for other workers, Walker said.

“If you want to put a buzz saw on the economic recovery we’ve seen in this state, you just start piling on regulations like increasing the minimum wage,” Walker said. Later, he called it “little more than a political grandstanding stunt” advanced by people who want to claim they’re helping workers when they’re really not.

The sponsor of one bill that would increase the wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour said Walker is out of touch with reality.

“If he really thinks that raising wages for people making minimum wage is a political stunt, then he shouldn’t be governor,” said state Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine. “If he’s really that out of touch with where people are who are struggling to get by in this state, he shouldn’t be governor.”

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson, of Milwaukee, echoed Mason’s comments, saying Walker was being insensitive to minimum wage workers struggling to get by.

“The minimum wage is the first step on the path to the American dream and I support those who are fighting for the economic freedom and prosperity in their community,” Larson said.

Walker’s Democratic challenger in the governor’s race, former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive Mary Burke, said she supports legislation there to increase the minimum wage by a relatively modest 35 cents an hour to $7.60.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey in December found that more than six in 10 voting-age adults said they would support an increase of the federal minimum wage from $7.25, where it was last raised in 2009, to $10.10 an hour. A CBS News poll in November found that just one in four would like the federal minimum wage to remain at $7.25.

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  • Mike_Zoril posted at 10:42 pm on Thu, Apr 24, 2014.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2895

    No, just the opposite. You do not have data on 99.99% of companies in America, so until you do, you cannot make a broad generalization that the top 0.0017% are representative of the bottom 99.99%.

  • lilmonster posted at 8:18 am on Thu, Apr 24, 2014.

    lilmonster Posts: 1196

    So what you are saying is you don't have any data to back your case?

  • Mike_Zoril posted at 9:30 pm on Wed, Apr 23, 2014.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2895

    Isn't it fair to say that the top 500 companies are in the top 0.0017% for a reason? Is it too far of a stretch to think the less successful companies (where the majority if Americans work) are not making anywhere near that number per employee?

    Now, if you make it more expensive to employ somebody, the companies will simply have less of them. The result? The earnings per employee will go even higher. Employees will be replaced with machines, temps, or certain pieces of the business will be outsourced. For example, American manufacturing companies stop employing people to manufacture and instead buy all their parts from China already manufacturered and merely assemble the finished parts here.

  • lilmonster posted at 9:17 pm on Wed, Apr 23, 2014.

    lilmonster Posts: 1196

    No relevance? I don't see it that way. Unless you have a study showing profit margins for the other business this is the only numbers we have to look at.

    As of 2014 that 30000 turned into 40000. Things are not head in a good direction. Well unless you are super rich, or have a thing for the super rich.

  • Mike_Zoril posted at 12:45 pm on Wed, Apr 23, 2014.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2895

    In 2011, the Fortune 500 profits per worker hit a record of $32,000, 50% above the level in the early 2000s according to CNN. However, keep in mind that the Fortune 500 companies represent a very small sliver of all companies. In 2007, the US Census reported that there are 29,413,039 businesses within the USA. As a result, the Fortune 500 only represents 0.0017% of all companies. Additionally, the vast majority of employees work for smaller companies - not Fortune 500 companies. As a result, the amount of money a Fortune 500 company makes per employee has no relevance in this discussion.

    All companies, Fortune 500 or not, are in business to make money. In order to do this, they need to organize various inputs together in such a way so that the outputs are worth more than the inputs. Labor costs represent an input cost. If the government steps in an artifically increases labor costs above and beyond what they would otherwise be in a free market, the employer must react in a way to maintain their current profit margins. The only way they can do this is to eliminate jobs, chage more money for their outputs, or a combination of both.

    Taxes also represent an input cost. Higher taxes have the same effect - prices must rise to avoid lowering after tax profit margins and/or other input costs must be reduced (which include but are not limited to labor costs)

    Walmart pays their employees more money than anybody else is willing to pay them, so you can't fault Walmart for being the highest paying employer for those individuals. If those individuals wanted to earn more money and they could get it elsewhere, then they'd quit.

    Why are we subsidizing Walmart's workforce? Because the Democrats are forcing us to do it. However, thanks to Walmart, we subsidize these people less than we would otherwise be subsidizing them if they had no job and no income in the first place.

    Many businesses/people benefit from increasing the number of poor people. For example, the large financial institutions benefit by running the food stamps program. Businesses that sell food to people with food stamps benefit. Government employees that administer social welfare programs benefit financially, and so on. It is very unfortunate the government has created so many financial incentives to increase the number of people living in poverty, but despite all of this, Walmart does NOT benefit from the standpoint of controlling their labor costs. Walmart is in competition with the social welfare programs which means they need to pay people more than they otherwise would to incentive people to take a job instead of taking no job.

  • lilmonster posted at 12:21 am on Wed, Apr 23, 2014.

    lilmonster Posts: 1196

    Mike how much does the average s & p top 500 company make per employee?

    I seen something today that said it was 40k per employee. Maybe you can double check that.

    If that is the case why in the world would prices have to go up to increase min wage? After all no one even makes min wage. If they increase wages it will cut into the profits. If it doesn't then we need to look at raising taxes on companies making 40k per employee.

    For example the fine family that owns walmart. How many billionaires in that family. But they can't pay their full time employees a living wage. Why are you and I subsidizing walmarts workforce? They are playing the system a little better than your buddy that is for sure.

  • Mike_Zoril posted at 8:36 pm on Tue, Apr 22, 2014.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2895

    lilmonster - In the scenario you mentioned below, wages are rising naturally - at other employers. If your wife's employer refuses to raise their wages, their competitors will - and steal all the good employees. Eventually, this will create a major problem for your wife's employer - so bad to the point that either they too will raise wages or lose business to the competition. It will be the competition expanding and creating all the new jobs, not your wife's employer.

    However, there is one major EXCEPTION to the above - your wife's employer is not only in competition with other employers, but in competition with social welfare programs as well. If the government makes it too attractive to not work, people won't. They will stop pulling the wagon and jump in to go along for the free ride. I know somebody personally who refuses to take any jobs that pay less than $40k per year because after factoring in the benefits he would lose, plus the taxes he would pay, and incur all the deducible work related expenses he would encounter (commute costs, work clothes, etc), it's just not worth it for him to have a job.

    As for why people want to raise minimum wage, they think if minimum wage was higher, they would automatically make that new higher wage. This actually happens to some people right on that threshold, but all that really happens is that the government makes it illegal to hire individuals that cannot generate enough economic benefit to their employers to cover the cost of their employment. The other factor to consider when minimum wage is increased is that prices will go up on everything. Increasing prices do little to hurt the rich, but gravely hurt the poor.

  • lilmonster posted at 7:54 pm on Tue, Apr 22, 2014.

    lilmonster Posts: 1196

    "When good help is scarce, wages rise naturally."

    I don't know about that. My wife has been trying to fill 2 spots on her shift for 3 plus years. Has an interview every couple weeks. So far the ones that have been hired don't last long. Has the company offered more in cash incentive to fill the spot? No. They leave the spots empty and pocket the money. Then what happens the other workers get burnt out trying to keep up and end up quitting. She gets one good one trained and they leave for a better paying job.

    I find the whole thing fun to sit back and watch. One it says something that this area can't fill a position that needs to be filled. This isn't hard work. All these folks crying they can find a job but she doesn't have to many resumes crossing her desk. And I find it interesting that a company would not figure out they might need to pay a little more if they want to fill spots.

    What can't be argued is the current system doesn't work. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Mike will tell you anyone can pull themselves up. But if you follow mikes comments you will see he is student loan poor. Being student loan poor is not making it. Even those who try to sell the american dream are not living the dream.

    The other thing you will hear is no one makes min wage. If no one makes it then why do they care so much about it getting raised?

    Minimum Wage in Canada is 9.90 to 11.00. They seem to make it work. They also don't have a giant national debt. Their 4 largest cities ranked higher then any cities we have. And when a common measure is used, such as that of the Luxembourg Income Study, the United States has higher rates of poverty.

  • Mike_Zoril posted at 5:47 pm on Thu, Apr 17, 2014.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2895

    Eliminating the minimum wage completely would result in immediate full employment. Anybody who wanted a job could have one. If any person thought the jobs available for them were too low pay, then they can take it upon themselves to acquire skills to increase their value.

    However, I do agree that only the rich are getting richer in this Obama economy. He needs to stop subsidizing the banksters with QE.

  • myfivecents posted at 8:30 am on Thu, Apr 17, 2014.

    myfivecents Posts: 1

    First of all, raising the minimum wages is not a political stunt. Any person who works full time should make more than the minimum wage regardless of who they are working for. I would consider the minimum wage to be for part-time work, and some of those jobs should pay more than $7.25 an hour. Second of all, we have not seen real economic recovery in Wisconsin in the past 3 1/2 years. The only ones who have gained are corporations and the rich either through tax incentives or tax breaks. Too many of the jobs created under Walker's policies are low-wage or minimum wage jobs. Those jobs do not grow an economy.

  • Mike_Zoril posted at 12:09 pm on Wed, Jan 29, 2014.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2895

    Maybe the greatest harm the minimum wage causes is not that it makes low skilled people illegal to hire, but that it distracts the debate away from what government can actually do to help people (cut taxes and reduce impediments to hire people & create your own business). Instead, everybody gets hung up talking about minimum wage while the real solutions are ignored.

  • HandBookHarry posted at 6:09 pm on Tue, Jan 28, 2014.

    HandBookHarry Posts: 485

    Forcing and coercing minimum wages basically exposes the liberal mentality that you cannot rise above the low pay. I never hear liberals say " you can achieve success through hard work and dedication". Instead, they cry, " the oblamer from the corrupt thug welfare state of Illinois will save you and your family." It is always someone else's fault that you bathe in poverty.

  • billtinder posted at 11:35 am on Mon, Jan 27, 2014.

    billtinder Posts: 4907

    nota: Your rant makes no sense.

    Mike: I couldn't agree more with your spot on logic. Walker is absolutely correct when he says that jobs will be lost by arbitrarily raising the minimum wage. In order to create a higher wage environment, the first thing that must happen is for enough job creation to take place, so that natural competition evolves for the best labor. When good help is scarce, wages rise naturally. Having a higher minimum wage than other competing states simply puts Wisconsin at a severe disadvantage for scarce investment.
    The solution towards better wages is directly tied to our trade laws, but people are loathe to face that scenario, because they fear what it might do to their 401k investments. What they don't realize is that those investments are equally at risk if our economy continues down it's present path.[sad]

  • Mike_Zoril posted at 6:35 pm on Sun, Jan 26, 2014.

    Mike_Zoril Posts: 2895

    One man, whether it be Scott Walker or Koch, cannot and does not set wages in Wisconsin. If you could really fix wages based on setting a minimum wage, then all corporations would pay minimum wage. The reality is that almost nobody is paid minimum wage. This is proof that the market (supply & demand) sets wages, not corporations or political leaders.

    What government can do is make it illegal to work for below the minimum wage. In those cases, people are illegal to hire, so they remain unemployable.

  • notagopgoodoldperv posted at 8:44 am on Sun, Jan 26, 2014.

    notagopgoodoldperv Posts: 17

    has Walker ever listen to the pols or the people. Koch makes up polls for walker. Until david Koch wants the wages raised it will never happen in Wisconsin. he will never allow that. walker is a good little puppet he does as Koch demands. You want a new law in Wisconsin you must first ask the KING KOCH.
    Liberty and justice are a myth in wissisiippi


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