Times are tough in Wisconsin. Bankruptcies are soaring, businesses are folding, employees are being laid off or furloughed, consumers are broke and the economy is in a mess. Along comes the politicians with mandates that lowest paid employees must become more expensive to the surviving employers
Libertarians think they know what is needed instead. “The minimum wage is a cheap political trick to make voters think their government is doing something helpful,” explains Jim Maas, former Chair of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin (LPWI). “Actually, it is an unfunded mandate on all employers which creates more unemployment among some of the people who need work the most.”
Maas explains why minimum wage proposals are popular among some legislators:
1. It costs them nothing, other than the ink and paper the bill is printed on.
2. It makes the politicians and their supporters feel good.
3. It is not well understood what the law actually means.
4. The minimum wage promises something for nothing.
In the current economic climate, marked by shrinking consumer demand and sales, increasing labor costs and layoffs create the recipe for job loss for Wisconsin’s underemployed workers, say Libertarians. Poorly educated or inexperienced young people already have found it difficult to find work because minimum wage laws make them too expensive to hire as trainees.
Libertarians urge that, if people are willing to contract to work for less than the mandated minimum wage and employers are willing to hire them, the government should not interfere.
“The minimum wage is a typical government program; it comes with lots of unintended consequences and doesn’t solve the problem of poverty. ”Libertarian principles say that the only economic system compatible with the protection of individual human rights is the free market; therefore, the fundamental right of individuals to own property and to enjoy the rewards of their just earnings should not be compromised.
Member and past chair.
Libertarian Party Of Wisconsin