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Raising the minimum wage raises false hope, consumer prices

Earlier this week members of the Minnesota House Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs landed in Brainerd and received an earful of comments from workers, business owners and union representatives.

What is a living wage? Who decides what a living wage is?

A living wage is what an individual needs to provide the basics for him or herself – food, shelter, clothing and transportation.

Last year the DFL-controlled legislature, spurred on by Gov. Mark Dayton and union representatives, failed to push through a bill that would have raised the minimum wage. Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley and chairman of the select committee, was on hand to explain why the state needs to raise the minimum wage.

Grand View Lodge general manager Mark Ronnei explained the businessman’s perspective, urging lawmakers to become knowledgeable on the issue and urged them to be careful and not create unintended consequences.

What most businessmen and women are concerned about when raising the minimum wage is who they lay off in order to give some more money. In some instances business have to close shop.

Those individuals favoring a hike in the minimum wage only see more spending money and more money into the coffers of businesses where those minimum wage earners spend their money.

Comments from readers posting their thoughts on were insights into both sides: “Why is it that conservatives are so against ANYTHING that will help other people? I just don’t understand the conservative right at all,” PWT stated.

A retort from Purposed: “PWT, you missed the key part. Are you willing to pay, say $15-$20 for that burger and fries in your favorite restaurant so you don’t have to feel obligated to give a tip? If the employer has to pay a waitress $15-20/hr. for their shift regardless of how busy they are, that’s what you will need to expect to pay instead of $10 for the same burger and fries.”

One other comment from sadiemarriedlady: “When an employee gets a raise, it isn’t just the salary that is raised. It is also the employer’s share of Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and workers’ compensation as they are based on salary. It is called part of the cost of doing business.”

Raising the minimum wage is good political theatrics. It’s just bad for business and a struggling economy. Raise the minimum wage and the cost of goods and services rise with such an increase.


“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

Thomas Jefferson

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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