Some people earn a lot of money. Some earn a little. And if those whose skills and labor are worth a low rate of pay from those willing and able to purchase them plead that they ought to earn more, many Wisconsinites find it viscerally satisfying to say the state should command it — that the state should raise its minimum wage.
This is a sentiment that has been around, perhaps, for as long as there have been minimum wages, long enough for a great deal of economic research showing it’s an idea that doesn’t work. It means that a lot of people won’t work — they won’t have a job.
Here, Ken Wysocky summarizes those findings, including research specific to Wisconsin published in recent years by the Badger Institute.
The research leads to a clear conclusion: The best way to help people earn more, especially those on the lowest rungs of the income ladder, is to not break off the rungs they’re climbing.