Urban Milwaukee

Our 2014 Wish List

Bruce Murphy, Dave Reid and Jeramey Jannene offer their take on how to build a better city.

By - Jan 6th, 2014 11:51 am

No, Milwaukee isn’t a great city yet, but it has made notable improvements. What more needs to be done? Below is our wish list for 2014.

We’ve limited ourselves to five wishes apiece. Feel free to offer your own wishes in the comments section, or for that matter, your disagreements with our list. We’ve got thick skin, we can take it.

Bruce Murphy:

Rocky Marcoux

Rocky Marcoux

  1. A New DCD Commissioner: This is a hugely important position, if the goal is to build a great city. Why not recruit nationally for the most visionary leader possible?
  2. Triage at Grand Avenue Mall: Tear down the western half, move the food court and any other vibrant businesses to the Plankinton Arcade, maximize the strengths of that noble building, and let developers bid on the new empty land to the west.
  3. More charging stations: Make the city a welcoming place for electric cars.
  4. County Comptroller study of county constitutional officers: The antiquated positions of County Treasurer, Register of Deeds and County Clerk don’t need to be elected, pay too high a salary and can probably be absorbed into the county administration at far less cost. Let’s study the issue and look for some 21st century, rather than 19th century solutions.
  5. Public Bids for Milwaukee to Chicago train: Some visionary rail company might do a far better and more imaginative job of running it than Amtrak. Maybe they’d even use modern cars like Talgo makes.
Hopefully the third phase of The North End will break ground in 2014. Photo by Dave Reid.

Hopefully the third phase of The North End will break ground in 2014. Photo by Dave Reid.

Jeramey Jannene:

  1. Streetcar to break ground: The minute the rails go in the ground the debate changes. It’s time to change the debate.
  2. More urban infill : The next phase of The North End, another Park East development, East Side parking lots becoming buildings, adaptive reuse projects, and foreclosed homes being restored. These are the kind of projects that build a more vibrant city.
  3. A brighter future for the Milwaukee County Transit System: More than ten years of service cuts and fare increases leave little optimism for riders. Here’s hoping a new fare system, real time data, and settling the issue of who will manage the system can fix things.
  4. Herb Kohl to pony up $250 million for a new arena: This is a completely arbitrary number I’ve chosen and I’ll frankly support any form of public support to pay the rest of the cost. Of course, if Kohl wants to go higher, we’ll cheer loudly for him.
  5. Less embarrassment from all of Milwaukee County: The petty squabbles between the board and the county executive don’t help the image of the city and have yet to result in any better public policy.

The streetcar as it meets Broadway in the Third Ward.

Dave Reid:

  1. Streetcar project gets rolling: Other cities such as Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Salt Lake City are moving ahead with their streetcar projects. It’s time for Milwaukee to act.
  2. Streetcar project wins TIGER grant: Not only does the project get rolling in 2014, but Milwaukee is finally awarded TIGER funds allowing the project to go all the way to Brady St.
  3. Bike-sharing expands beyond 30 stations: Bike-sharing is scheduled to rollout in 2014, but still needs that corporate partner to take it to the next level.  If a company like Johnson Controls or Colectivo realizes the branding opportunity and gets on board, bike-sharing could expand to neighborhoods across the city.
  4. Walker’s Point Whimsy Walk : People are still dancing on Cathedral Square’s piano crosswalks. Wouldn’t a wavy walk celebrating the Global Water Center be a nice touch?
  5. New WisDOT Secretary: This one  is pure fantasy, but here’s hoping that Gov. Scott Walker lets Secretary of the Department of Transportation Mark Gottlieb go and has a come to urbanism moment, replacing him with transportation legend, Janette Sadik-Khan, the former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation.


Categories: Real Estate

36 thoughts on “Our 2014 Wish List”

  1. Mike Westing says:

    All great wishes for the new year… only disagreement I have is that I’m not sure electric charging stations rise to the status of a top-5 wish. I’m all for them and I do think they can provide environmental and economic benefits, but I think there are other things that could have greater impact.

    Here’s a couple that might take it’s place:

    – The first crowdfunded real estate project / local business in the Milwaukee area (a real possibility)!
    – Car2Go, Lyft and/or UberX to expand to Milwaukee to provide additional transportation options, especially as mass transit options languish (streetcar excepted) due to lack of $$$ and political will.

  2. Dave Reid says:

    @Mike Yes to crowdfunded real estate project. But I’m putting that one in my “To Look Forward to in 2014 List.” More on that hopefully soon. As far as the electric charging stations what would make that a bit more interesting to me is on-street spots, like in Portland..

  3. BCM says:

    Amen to Bruce’s #1. You don’t conduct a national search and end up from someone who moved the the ranks of the Housing Authority. Let’s take the position seriously.

  4. Max says:

    I would love to see the INITIAL 30 bike stations – but it might be a stretch that they happen in 2014 let alone looking for more stations in the initial roll-out.

    And speaking of cycling – how about some protected bike lanes and other infrastructure to connect the dots.

    Finally, lets see the lakefront plans materialize.

  5. Dave Reid says:

    @Max Unless something has change the 30 stations received funding and will be rolling out in 2014… Yeah I should have had a cycletrack on my list!

  6. Andy says:

    Unfortunately, most of these ignore the biggest wish of all. One that can help spur all of those other wishes into action. My #1 wish is to attract new and existing businesses to the city of Milwaukee, both downtown and local businesses and manufacturers with jobs available to all levels of employee’s; from manufacturing, skilled trades, high tech, and professional. With businesses come jobs, income, and the resources/ability for our city to improve all other areas of life.

    Happy new year!

  7. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Reading these remarks and the comments I sincerely wonder if there are any people with brains in Milwaukee besides David Clarke. Bicycles?? Arenas? Really?
    Milwaukee was just named the tenth worst run city in the nation. They are in the top ten for violent crime, 9th in poverty, Probably the worst MPS in the country. 57% unemployment for our youth and the answer is to build an arena for the worthless Bucks, more parks and museums?
    Incredible. If the basement in your house is falling apart it does no good to build a mansion on top. First we must crush crime. Austin had only 33 murders in 2012, New York with ten time the number of people had about 400 and Milwaukee 116 plus lots of other violence.
    Then you should buy buses instead of choochoo trains to nowhere. The Wisconsin Center and Milwaukee theater are a disaster, kids can’t read in 10th grade and you want to build a bucks arena. Grow up!

    Milwaukee you are a joke and everyone outsidde of Milwaukee knows it.

  8. Re-buttle to THAT guy says:

    Hey Wisco Conservative Digest,

    I don’t think you make a bad point about MKE’s priorities, but your attitude is truly pathetic. Milwaukee is a wonderful place to live and work and the countless number of millennials that have decided to move and start a life here is a testament to that fact. Yes, we have a crime and poverty problem but it is not at all unique to this city by any means. Want to know who else was ahead of MKE on that list of yours? – Cleveland, Miami, and Detroit – and those cities are making strides and investments in order to strengthen their cultural and economic competitive advantage. Addressing schools and poverty is a very important thing (without it, we fail), but that wont stop us from addressing other issues at the same time.

    We will in fact build a new arena… and a street car… and you can sit out miles away from us and bitch about it all you want. I find it funny you complain about and hate milwaukee so much but you’re interested enough to read a blog about it and leave your hateful opinion. Don’t say YOU are a joke and then WE must punish crime – whose side are you on? If you don’t like living here – I think Cleveland is looking for residents.

    Who’s the joke?

  9. Casey says:

    I second Andy’s thoughts. My first wish would be to see local companies growing in Milwaukee and attract firms that are looking to relocate from a different region to Milwaukee and not necessarily taking up shop Downtown. I think there needs to be more encouragement to get small and medium sized offices (along with zoing changes) to take up shop on some of Milwaukee’s spoke thoroughfares such as FDL Ave at 20th and 35th, MLK at North, Lisbon& Appleton, Mitchell and Forest Home, KK and Bay. By having a more even spread of white collar jobs in the urban core will also really benefit MCTS and make the whole city more vibrant not just downtown.

  10. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    After 50 years in various business organizations, leader of the Chamber and rotary I can tell you that Milwaukee is seldom the place that nay of those people want to come. They look at Waukesha, West Allis and other places cause the Milwaukee city hall, and the jerks that govern there, building inspectors etc are hard to deal with .
    How many of them want tol isten to the dopey rhetoric of the Left blaming them for every ill of society when they can go to Waukesha cty and the govt. loves them. Leftists do not start or run businesses they just want to milk them. Waukesha wants to feed them.
    Look at the difference between Texas and here. They are booming, KC went down there, we chased them out of Appleton. Under Walker that has changed from the Doyle/Burke people who raised spending, taxes every 5 min and still put us in the hole.

  11. Andy says:

    I agree with re-buttal. It’s not that your points are bad, it’s your attitude. For everyone who complains about Milwaukee’s challenges, how many actually step up to do something about it? My political philosophies are not far off from yours, but I haven’t turned my back on the city. Besides actively involving myself in local politics and regularly talking to my city and county representatives, I actively contribute to programs to improve the city.
    We all have an opportunity to do something positive for our community… and news flash, your community doesn’t end at the Wauwatosa border (You’re still in Tosa, right?), it extends to the neighboring cities of Milwaukee, Brookfield, Elm Grove, and others further away. In my case, I work for one of the largest employers in the state and I have taken advantage of that by taking the lead role in our young professional group as the community involvement chair. I also found programs that support my ideals of helping others help themselves… in my case Habitat for Humanity which teaches people how to be a responsible home owner (which is also an outstanding program for improving individual city blocks) and Big Brothers Big Sisters where you can literally put a kid on the right path from the start.
    So I ask again, what do you do to improve the city? Have you grown too cynical in your age to think anything can be done? Because I assure you, people turning their backs on the city and the majority of people who live there who actually want to improve themselves and their community, is another major factor in why MKE has become so many of the things you say it has become.
    If for some reason you change your mind and want to actually do something, let me point you to the YMCA’s Black Achievers. When volunteering at the Northside YMCA they told me all about their program and I was astounded to find out that 100% of their participants go on to college or technical school. 100%!! Not only that, but as kids graduate from that program and become adults, they are extremely active in giving back to their community and helping others down the same path of helping themselves.
    My point is, instead of trolling on a blog and talking to other suburban city-haters about how bad the city is… start doing something to improve our community… or at least encourage your city-hating cohorts to do so.

  12. Sean S. says:

    While WCD is a crank, and correct in the same way a broken clock is right twice a day, the point still stands. Nothing on here promotes or otherwise deals with the significant urban issues that plague the city, especially on it’s north side. Many of these ideas focus almost exclusively on the already tony East Side or the Third Ward/Downtown, with little talk of meat and potatoes investment in the North Side. Many of these ideas are great, and can be pursued at the same time, but little is said here about expanding affordable housing, attracting investment to the north side, etc.

    Some of the policy tools are not in the hands of the Mayor and other city leaders, but there are still many that are. Raising the minimum wage through ordinance would help, aggressively pursuing HUD grants for restoration of public housing, talking to and encouraging local businesses to expand their reach to areas they may not have thought about including partnerships with schools in areas. If we get a bike sharing program but can’t get a young adult a decent job to start out their life, then we’ve failed no matter how great our local bistros are.

  13. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Andy and Sean: fluff, nothing there but words. for you info I have had property in the major cities around here for decades, including Milwaukee. I volunteered to work in inner city pharmacies where you see real people like every day the last 20 years, happen to like to work with black people.
    But none of you even attempt to address any of the basic problems and unless you solve those the rest are worth less. Bikes??? Stupidest thing I ever heard. You think that inner city kids are going to ride bikes in the crime ridden neighborhoods? These are what you need to address. I have been writing columns about Milwaukee problems and solutions since before you were born.
    Crime: Put thugs in jail, take guns away from the thugs and let the citizens arm themselves. Schools: In 1974 as aide to Bill Dyke I advanced a plan to break up Milwaukee schools as anyone could see what has happened. Unemployment. Raise minimum wage? How many kids above the 57% unemployment will you block out of jobs? Well run city? Not be with these clowns as Mayor, alderman and county board. Only Abele and Clarke occasionally show some ability. Clarke runs things well and the Lefties hate him, he shows them up. Out state they think you are nuts and will never get a dome from either dems or GOP unless you put thing together.
    A blue ribbon task force has been appointed to raise over a billion dollars for a choochoo train to nowhere, a place for the lousy Bucks to play, more museums and parks.. Even the village idiot knows that to build a city you first must solve the basic problems. Look at the best run cities in the country, start with Austin and NY>
    You people deserve the city that you have, but these kids that you are wasting do not.

  14. Andy says:

    “fluff, nothing there but words”

    Apparently words you never take time to read.

  15. Re-buttle to THAT guy says:

    Nor does he re-read his own comments. I stopped half way though due to poor grammar! haha!

    Look, WCD, I’m sorry you hate Milwaukee so much, man. You’ll have to live with that, because I can tell there’s no changing your mind. I’m sure you’re old and stuck in your beliefs, so why bother? But if it makes you feel better to post about how you hate it here — in a blog that has to do with how people love this city and want to provide constructive dialog for making it a better and more positive place to live – then by all means, be hateful. It’s not productive, nor is it effective. It’s possible to be critical yet positive at the same time, but your lack of class tells us your opinion doesn’t hold much value.

    You have provided no solutions. Just criticism. And that is pretty pathetic. I happen to think making a city more bike friendly contributes to a better quality of life – and that street car (properly thought out and managed) could make MKE a more attractive place to live. Lets help solve the problem of urban poverty and crime (which is worse in Chicago than it is here). What would you do? I mean, other than just list off a bunch of things you think is wrong with this city…

  16. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Bruce, congratulations, I have watched your blog for a year now and have never heard a Leftist come up with a solution to a problem, including your self. Shows up best when you put #1 as a DCD guy when Milwaukee is #1 in crime violence.

  17. Tyrell Track Master says:

    Man, ACD is an angry fellow, but he does have a few points. Have you guys read this? http://www.sincerelybrooklyn.com/blog/2014/1/4/an-escapee-from-milwaukee

    It’s going crazy in the intertubes right now. Very depressing, especially the comments. I don’t agree with it per se, but I think you guys should think of it as a bit of a wake up call for the state of Milwaukee’s black community. I’m 100% for all the things on your wish list, but I do agree that plans to deal with poverty, crime, and lack of opportunity ought to be on there somewhere.

    ACD – you’re wrong about one thing – raising the minimum wage would be a godsend for Milwaukee. It’s a myth that it would shut kids out of jobs, at least at the level currently proposed. Read the latest Economist, has very good data.

  18. Tyrell Track Master says:

    sorry, I meant WCD, not ACD

  19. Koko says:

    wCD – what in the world do you think is the solution to crime? Economic development , ie DCD, is the ultimate solution.

  20. Andy says:

    This notion that raising the minimum wage will increase jobs and the number of businesses is complete nonsense. Even economic reports that support raising the wage will admit there is SOME affect on unemployment and job creation. At worst, there is a large affect… and it all varies by how much you raise it.

    One of the biggest challenges in low income neighborhoods is the lack of good grocery stores. If we raise the minimum wage to 10+ dollars you add yet another hurdle to making that happen. Grocery stores have such razor thin margins, these kinds of these have a dramatic affect.

    And lets remember, so few of the minimum wage earners are in poverty (23%) and fewer still are full time workers with children (4%). So of our 2.9% of the workforce making minimum wage, only .67% are in poverty and .116% are full time working parents. Plus how many of those have other income in the family? The BLS numbers I’m using doesn’t break it out that specifically, but I’m sure at least some of them are.

    Point is, it’s a meaningless argument… there’s better things to do that will ENCOURAGE job and business growth in the city. And as Tyrell said, jobs and opportunity is the key to improving many other aspects of the city.

  21. Tim says:

    Andy, where’s your proof?

    Raising incomes is the best way to increase demand & create more jobs. There is a hurdle to creating jobs because of a lack of demand today. If those corner grocery stores had more customers, they would be making more money & hiring more people.

    Simple as that.

  22. Andy says:

    Tim, what are you looking for proof of? We have a whole different comment section dedicated to minimum wage if that’s what you’re looking for.

    This must seem so straight forward to you… and I really wish it was. Not to go on a tangent, but the fact that you think the corner grocery stores are something we want to encourage shows how much you don’t understand. One of the biggest issues in poorer neighborhoods is the lack of full service grocery stores with large selections and low prices. Those are what we need to encourage, however the inner city doesn’t fit the large chain’s business model… raising minimum wage would only further complicate the matter.

  23. Tom D says:

    Are grocers minimum wage employers? In my area (metro NYC) and others, many supermarkets are unionized and pay quite a bit more than minimum wage.

  24. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    I worked all over the inner city the last 20 years with Walgreens and other pharmacy. There is lots of business there. I love o deal with 85% of the people. There are problems and the shrink is worse. By not keeping thugs in jail it causes all kinds of problems for businesees and their employees.
    I am and ahve been far closer to what is happening in the inner city tht all of these Lefties on the east side combined. From a pharmacy you feel the pulse of the neighborhood.

  25. wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Let us say that you have 100 kids working at min wage and then raise it to ten dollars or 15 dollars and toss half out of jobs? What if you had a very low wage available to those kids under 23 so that they can learn the correct habits of coming to work, be able to read and write instructions, honesty,clothing etc you have saved someone. By kicking these kids out of any jobs you have forced them to live on street.
    I am angry as I have watched tis situation deteriorate the last 50 years, since I bought a pharmacy in West Allis. I owned and built many apts. in Milwaukee and area.
    The fastest way to get jobs and businesses to come and stay is to kill all the stupid rhetoric about the 1%ers and taxing the rich, income distribution etc. If people do not have capital how do you suppose that they can own, run or start business? Guys take one quick look and go to Waukesha and Washington cty.
    Sorry about typing cannot and grammar, I speak in text.

  26. Mike Bark says:


    Good points on business. I think one of the top priorities is to draw businesses into Milwaukee. The one obstacle I see to that though is the fixation Milwaukee has with “young creative” businesses, the several incubators out there and an assortment of businesses supported by the GMC that essentially say “Yeah Milwaukee”. So it’s easier for us accounting firms to fit in better at Summit Place in West Allis.

    One of the things they could do to assist that (sorry WCD crime just isn’t much of an issue downtown or in the 3rd Ward) is to ease up on parking. We were in the 3rd Ward for about 5 years with our business and moved because clients simply were getting tired of getting a ticket anytime they were one minute late on a meter. Adding to that problem were the occassions people got tickets even though the meter was paid.

  27. Ryan- A more informed reader says:

    Dohnal, that 24/7 blog list was a joke. Simply considering City pension funds would remove Milwaukee from consideration from such a list. Furthermore you cannot take century old economic trends, 60 year State and National policies and then attribute their fruits to the current mayoral administration.

    The truth of the matter is that Milwaukee has made remarkable progress in the last 20 years in spite of its many challenges. This wouldn’t have been possible without prudent decision making from two successive mayoral administrations.

  28. Sean S. says:

    First and foremost, being “out of poverty” as defined by the hilariously low poverty guidelines the US uses is an absurd way to argue against raising the minimum wage. Have you tried to live off of 15K a year, with current inflation, event though for a single person that is “above poverty” of 11K a year? No one takes anyone seriously that argues that being above 11K is somehow miraculously out of poverty.

  29. Tim says:

    Sean, great point. Those same people push marriage as a solution to poverty, Matt Yglesias touched on marriage works to skew statistics but not really raise anyone’s earnings. As we all know, good jobs & good pay get people out of poverty, raising the minimum wage increases pay & increases demand for businesses… it’s a good start to reducing poverty.


    “If you look up the Federal Poverty Guidelines you’ll see that the way it works is that one person is poor if he or she earns less than $11,490. But due to household economies of scale, the FPG says that for two people to be non-poor they need to make $15,510 not $22,980. Indeed, the poverty line for a family of three is only $19,530—less than double the poverty line for one. Basically poverty is $11,490 for the first person plus $4,020 for each additional person.”

  30. Andy says:

    There’s a real misunderstanding of who the majority of minimum wage earners are. I just don’t support creating historically high minimum wage laws to help suburban white kids who live in middle class househoulds (55%, 65%, median income 50,000+ respectively). There’s just not very many people in poor neighborhoods who are actually working fully time trying to live off of minimum wage.

    Opening another production line at Masterlock, getting a new shift at Palermo’s, or opening a new call center for Kohl’s would do a lot more to help low income – primarily less educated – neighborhoods in this city then anything we’d see from the few people in low income neighborhoods working the register at the local fast food joint.

  31. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Ryan, yes Milwaukee has made remarkable progress the last 20 years: Let us see. top ten for violent crime and looking to get higher. Poor bus transit so build a train to nowhere, 57% unemployment for our youth, 9th in worst poverty, no new jobs for kids still pushing for ways to make sure that they do not get any jobs. Mayor spends all time running to get out of Milwaukee and the only person that is trying to stop crime, David Clarke is criticized by those that want to let thugs out of jail. I am impressed.
    That is why Milwaukee is in the top ten worst run cities by Wall Street Journal. worst is that there is not any plans to change things and no leaders that will do so. The only thing everyone seems to be worried about is where the Bucks play, and more money for museums and parks, none for kids learning to read or to combat crime.
    Milwaukee desperately needs more leaders, especially ones that to do not demonize businesses and chase them out to Waukesha.

  32. Kyle says:

    Just in case anyone wanted to actually understand this “worst run city” stuff that WCD has been saying all year, here’s the story:


    Right Wisconsin (Sykes subscription site) reported on the story on January 3rd. Anyone want to bet the first time WCD mentioned it?

  33. Tim says:

    Andy, we don’t need to hear the tired trope that most minimum wage earners are kids. Even still, who cares if they make more money? Their spending will help the local economy, it’s not just what is best specifically for the person receiving the minimum wage. It’s about the ripple effects of their spending, more spending = more business opportunity.

    Anyway, more Masterlock jobs aren’t going to those with low-skills or education. Obviously you’re ignorant of what manufacturing means today, it’s much more than screwing a couple bolts on a widget for 8 hours a day. The simple jobs have been automated or outsourced, the complex jobs are what remain. Manufacturing is moving even more in that direction, so that can’t be counted on to bring a mass of people out of poverty.

    You must think you’re so much better than someone working a register. It’s not just punching buttons on a screen. There are hard and soft skills needed to succeed in any job; there is hard work to be had, working for minimum wage. The least a hard working person deserves is to not be in poverty.

  34. Dave Reid says:

    I’d add the “worst cities” list is not from the Wall Street Journal. It is from a site by the name of 24/7 Wall St? And I find it pretty interesting that it completely ignores the fact that Milwaukee has what is the best run pension in the country: http://urbanmilwaukee.com/pressrelease/spotlight-on-pension-crises-in-other-cities-provides-perspective/

    In other arbitrary list news: Top 10 Best American Downtowns http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-american-downtowns.php

  35. Andy says:

    Tim, we care because the money has to come from somewhere. There’s no point in shooting minimum wage up to a levels we’ve never seen before and messing with our economy in ways we aren’t even clear about just because a small small percentage of the population (a disproportionate number of them from middle class homes) would make more.
    I understand what you want to do, but unfortunately the numbers just don’t back it up.
    However, thank you for asking about my credentials on manufacturing and retail. Besides articles like this: http://www.wisn.com/Master-Lock-Tries-Bring-Jobs-Back-To-City/-/9374034/10936710/-/gxnxm0/-/index.html that refute your beliefs on manufacturing… I also use my past experience as a recruiter for light commercial and technical skilled trades to help me form my opinion on these matters. Believe it or not, there are manufacturing jobs available to people with a HS or equivalent degree and are far better jobs then a local fast food joint provides. Yes manufacturing increasingly sways towards the skilled worker… but that doesn’t mean all others are eliminated.
    Additionally, during the 10+ years I spent “working the register” in highschool, college, and for a time as a second job, I know what it’s like working retail. I also know that many retail workers aspire to do more… they are in school, hope to get a management job, etc. A majority of people at the low end of the pay scale are using it as a stepping stone. That in itself is a major benefit.
    Clearly that’s not the case for all… but to reiterate an earlier point… very very VERY few minimum wage earners are working full time to support a multi-person household (less than 4%) so you can get that image out of your head.
    So if you want to believe that raising the minimum wage will magically make more money appear out of nowhere and suddenly vast quantities of money will fly around the inner city then I can’t stop you. But if you keep replying to me, I’ll do my best to explain it to you as best I can.

  36. Kyle says:

    Tim, since higher minimum wage = more spending = more business opportunities, and everyone else is silly for suggesting there might be a downside, why don’t we take this to a silly extreme. Would there be any downside to making the minimum wage $500/hr, so that anyone working full time would make at least $1,000,000/year? Sure, there might be a little inflation, but think of the business opportunities! If that seems a little high, how about $50/hr. Sure, you’re only making 6 figures now, but now all those families of 4 are above the 400% poverty line that qualifies for an ACA subsidy.

    My guess is that you think I’m being ridiculous and arguing against a straw man. I am, but to a point. If you think there’s something wrong with everyone making a million dollars every year, then you can conceive that there is a point at which the drawbacks outweigh the benefits. Then we can start discussion where that line is and why it should be higher/lower/right-where-it-is. Of course, it’s possible that you like the idea of everyone making that much and are willing to openly advocate for it, in which case there is probably no common ground for discussion.

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