MacIver President Brett Healy Weighs In on Minimum Wage Debate

August 2, 2013

For Immediate Release
Contact: Nick Novak, 608-237-7290

Professional Protesters’ Fantasy Minimum Wage Proposal Would Hurt Fast Food Workers, Not Help Them

Studies show that raising the minimum wage hurts low-skilled and younger workers

[Madison, Wisc…] Brett Healy, President of the MacIver Institute, released the following statement regarding Raise Up MKE’s effort to increase the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour:

“It’s shameful that Raise Up MKE would use fast food workers for this cheap political stunt. Minimum wage jobs were never meant to be family-supporting jobs. A minimum wage job is a place where you get your foot in the door, learn what it means to show up on time, be courteous to customers and rise up the ranks through your hard work. A minimum wage job is a starting point, not a career.

“I wish these young people could see that Raise Up MKE is concerned about only one thing, brute political power. Raise Up MKE does not care about the well-being of these young people.

“Since 2002 the minimum wage in Wisconsin has increased from $5.15 per hour to the current $7.25 per hour; meanwhile, the unemployment rate for Wisconsin teens has increased from 15.5 to 19.8, an increase of 27.7 percent over the decade. The higher you artificially inflate the minimum wage, the higher the unemployment rate for teenagers.

“Small businesses will not be able to pay the artificially inflated wages and will have to reduce the amount of people they employ and reduce the number of hours worked for the few employees still on payroll. This plan would force more Wisconsinites into unemployment, which would lead them to be more dependent on government entitlement programs.”

The MacIver Institute released the following report previously that shows 7,109 fewer teenagers are working in Wisconsin today due to increases in minimum wage since 2005.