Et Cetera …

Expect more jobless

Democrats who control the Minnesota Legislature are contemplating an increase in the minimum wage. They should expect an increase in unemployment as well.

If the minimum wage rises to $9.50 per hour, as some want, many young people and others who lack skills or experience are going to be frozen out of the job market. Minnesota’s businesses are not bottomless vaults of money. They will react to such a big boost in the minimum wage.

For businesses that simply must hire, a higher minimum wage will translate into higher prices for consumers.

New taxes for what?

On another front that bodes poorly for Minnesotans, those same Democratic lawmakers are fashioning tax increases that will hit everyone. While they may have campaigned on the notion of raising income taxes on the wealthiest citizens, their proposals now include fresh sales taxes on services, cigarettes and sports memorabilia.

We do have to credit Gov. Mark Dayton, also a Democrat, who argues that a Senate plan reaches too far down into middle incomes for him to be comfortable with it. We hope he and other lawmakers will work to limit new taxes, which will just go to fund wasteful spending anyway.

Program boosts reading

When it comes to the fundamentals of education, nothing tops reading. If a child cannot read – or reads poorly – that affects every other facet of learning.

So we offer kudos to the Martin County Library on its first “Literacy That Lasts a Lifetime: Families Reading Together” program. It offered children incentives to read or be read to. The program wrapped up this week.

More than 300 children signed up, and half that number completed the program, beating the library’s expectations. All involved – library, kids, parents – deserve credit.