Raising Wisconsin’s Minimum Wage: Who Would Be Helped? Who Would Be Hurt?

While Wisconsin has done a better job than most states of coming to grips with the future pension and health care costs of its employees, it still faces considerable budget pressures there and throughout the rest of its budget. For the federal government the budget situation is considerably more dire. Ultimately, to boost the income of low-skilled workers, we need to boost their skills. But in the meantime, merely mandating that they get paid more is a facile solution to the problem of poverty in America that hurts many of the people such a law ostensibly should help. It’s time we had a more honest accounting of the cost of the minimum wage and the rest of our anti-poverty programs and decide how society can best allocate its resources in both the short run and the long run to address this problem.

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