In Wisconsin we have, for some reason, a tightly contested race for governor between Republican incumbent Scott Walker and Democrat Tony Evers. It seems, based on the news, like it should be a cakewalk for Scott. For example, the front page of the local paper reports record low unemployment. A regional employer is offering free rides to their place of business to try and attract employees. Economic growth continues to hum along. It is hard to see why there is a contest.
Sidebar One: Try Googling Economic Growth In The Third Quarter. Several of the articles emphasize that growth slowed from 4.2% to 3.5%. Of the last 16 quarters only the 4.2% is higher. End Sidebar One.
It appears from the advertising that fills the airwaves some folks are upset that Scott ran for president two years ago.
One silly part of Tony’s platform is his support for a $15 (yup, that is fifteen dollars an hour) minimum wage. According to the Wisconsin State Journal as reported in the local newspaper:
Sidebar Two: Close to always we go and find Internet sites for this stuff but this seems well established. End Sidebar Two.
[Tony], who has touted his support for a $15 [fifteen dollars!] minimum wage in Wisconsin, also said he is open to exceptions to the $15 minimum wage in rural areas and for teenagers.
When we see proponents for raising the minimum wage we always wonder if they are knaves or fools. Tony has created a third category. The fools think it is a good idea. They don’t understand that, amongst other things, workers need to accumulate personal capital to be more valuable to employers. One crucial way to accumulate such capital is working.
The knaves think that raising the minimum wage will benefit some group they favor. It might create more government dependency and benefit government workers. Some union contracts have clauses about the minimum wage and an increase in it might help some union workers. And there are numerous other possibilities.
Tony, the third possibility, appears to see the minimum wage as a purely political play. He seems to recognize that it is a bad idea and that we can’t punish everyone and so we need exceptions but he continues to tout the idea as part of his platform. We find that his position is more disappointing that either the knaves or fools.