Ridiculous political argument of the month: Glenn Grothman Edition | WisCommunity

Ridiculous political argument of the month: Glenn Grothman Edition

Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) is at it again. The exurb legislator introduced a bill to prohibit municipalities from enforcing locally higher minimum wage laws when any state money is used to pay workers. This will create needed "uniformity" in minimum wage structures across the state, according to Kapenga and the business lobbyists who help shape his views. Yeah, Wisconsin minimum wages will be uniform all right -- uniformly crappy.

The immediate result of the bill, if it passes (and why wouldn't today's breed of heartless Republicans not pass it?) will be this: Thousands of private-sector workers in Milwaukee and Madison, cities which for 15 years have had living-wage ordinances, will suddenly face pay cuts of up to several dollars per hour.

Thanks, GOP, for "fixing" our economy by overcoming urban poverty -- or, actually, making it worse.

The whole sordid story of this latest assault on home rule and local government control is to be found at the links below, but I wanted to post here to focus on the often gyrating State Sen. Glenn Grothman. Arguing in favor of the bill, which he is co-sponsoring, the West Bend Republican made it sound like the rest of the state is bleeding money to support lavish lifestyles in in its most urbanized regions:

[Grothman] said the living wage laws are unfair to residents from areas without them because those people pay taxes for state programs that help fund some local jobs with living wages elsewhere... . "It's the other parts of the state that are just flooding money into Milwaukee," Grothman said. Barring local minimum wage laws when jobs are paid with state money is not an encroachment on local control, he said.

Of course, it never occurred to Grothman that the real problem is the state-level minimum wage is way too low, below the official poverty level even for many full-time workers. Which is why Wisconsinsippi apparently is headed toward another case of "lowest common denominator" public policy, where rank and file workers get screwed over, while businesses pad their earnings some more.

Tell you what, Senator Grothman: Pack your bags and move to Madison or Milwaukee; then see if you can live as well on the very same salary you earn in West Bend. Better yet, stay home but start asking some of the minimum-wage workers you allegedly represent whether THEY can live in West Bend on what THEY are paid. And let them know while your'e at it that your bill would newly "allow" more of them to be hired for public-works projects in Milwaukee and Madison, but for less pay.

Be sure to get back to us with the results of your inquiries. Meanwhile, Senator Grothman, you win Uppity's ridiculous political argument of the month award for uttering your latest Monty Python-level absurdity.


February 13, 2014 - 9:45am