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Local reaction to potential hike in federal minimum wage

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Many in La Crosse's downtown are small businesses and we got mixed reviews as to how each place would be affected. Whether the feeling was good or bad not everyone believes this is the solution.

James Auler has run pearl street books in downtown La Crosse for the past 12-and-a-half years and he would support a hike to the minimum wage.

"Well it would be an increase to my newer and part time employees, but I think it's probably the right thing to do because people need to afford what things cost," Auler said.

Auler thinks the increase is going to help people who are struggling now.

"Some of these corporations and chain stores where the owners are billionaires it's ridiculous that their employees have to be on food stamps and be on free medical care at the emergency room because they cant afford to pay what should be our right as human beings to have," Auler said.

But some experts don't think raising the minimum wage a couple bucks is going to solve America's problems.

"I think the most serious repercussion in a rise in minimum wage is that unemployment goes up," Professor Cindy Munson from Western Technical College said.


Munson said that businesses would likely have to charge more to make up for the those wages.

"Well it would effect business because it would effect their cost of doing business," Munson said.

And she said many of our local businesses would have to make cuts to staff as well.

"I think that they would look at how few employees they could go without," Munson said.

However, not all businesses would be forced to make those kind of changes. At Dave's Guitar shop in La Crosse it would pretty much be business as usual. Mostly because a majority of their employees already make more than 10-dollars an hour.

"Us personally it wouldn't take to much of a toll on us we kind of we have a long term view with our employees," Sales manager at Dave's Guitar Shop Tylor Fischer said.

If the president's call for a minimum wage increase sounds familiar you're right. In last year's state of the union he asked for it to go up to nine dollars an hour. That stalled in the house.

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