Your Views: Tom Breu’s proposal to boost minimum wage is flawed

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

The thought that Tom Breu is treasurer of the Democratic Party of Rock County should be of a major concern to all Rock County Democrats. After reading his bashing of Paul Ryan’s poverty plan (Page 6A, Wednesday), I have to ask if he really considers his suggestions for a minimum wage worthwhile.

Breu proposed that 16- to 17-year-olds earn $7 per hour, 18-year-olds $8/hour, age 19 would make $10/hour, age 20 gets $12/hour and at 21 you get out of poverty and make a living wage of $15/hour. His argument is that a lower wage will keep kids in school—maybe so.

So let’s say I’m 18 and just don’t want to go in debt going to college, so I take a construction job and my employer pays me $8 an hour under Breu’s plan. I work hard for this employer, and when I turn 20 I’m up to $12 an hour, a $4/hour increase (Yea, me). But then this 22-year-old, fresh-out-of-college, inexperienced person gets hired and, under the brilliance of Tom’s plan, will earn $15/hour, which is $3/hour more than I’m making and too bad for me because that’s the law!

One might say that after two years I should make more than the minimum wage, but I’m sure Tom will tell you that those evil employer people only pay what the law demands, and that is why government must set the living wage. Yup, sounds like a conversation starter to me, Tom.



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