Minimum Wage Dilemma

Tony HuppertBy Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc.

I recently received an email from a State Senator highlighting the need to raise the minimum wage. The Senator mentions polls and surveys that support the belief. The problem with polls and surveys, they can be worded to get whatever result is wanted. 

OK, on with the minimum wage issue. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition 2012 report, a minimum wage worker would have to work 18 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent. According to the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families report of 2012, 87% of the 5.5 million residence of Wisconsin, live above poverty level in Wisconsin.  These figures were in the news release I received.  I have to admit, I’m kind of impressed on the positive.

As my email to the Senator explained, the minimum wage was never intended to be a living wage; it was intended to be a learning wage. Part of the future of Wisconsin, as well as the rest of the country, depends on a strong work force. A workforce that is educated with a strong work ethics. Work ethics can only be taught one way, by Working. 

The report goes on to say, with a higher minimum wage, there is higher productivity, decreased turnover, lower recruiting and training costs, decreased absenteeism and increased worker morale.  Does anybody ever ask why?

Older people will stay on these jobs and the youth, who need the training and work ethics, will stay unemployed.  Raising the minimum wage can cause a negative effect on our youth and America’s future workforce.

Remember, the minimum wage is intended to be a Learning Wage, Not a Living Wage.


Tony Huppert is a Wisconsin businessman of 40 years and CEO of Team Oil Inc., the family-owned and operated Team Oil Travel Center, and Subway in Spring Valley, Wis.



  1. Tina M Smeby says:

    I couldn’t agree more!

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