By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Another restaurant dies for lack of workers. Welcome to Tony Evers’ Wisconsin.
Primo, a popular Oshkosh restaurant, said goodbye this week on its Facebook page.
“As all of our regular customers know, the past 9 months have been a struggle for us due to a lack of kitchen employees,” the Facebook page states. “We tried limiting our menu and hours in hope to figure out a new plan and find more employees. Unfortunately, this did not happen.”
So Primo closed.
We’ve seen this story play out too many times in recent months. Businesses hit hard by the pandemic, the government restrictions that followed and then a crippling worker shortage being pushed to the brink of extinction.
The labor crisis has many causes, but federal unemployment subsidies de-incentivizing work certainly haven’t helped. The only people who don’t seem to get this are Gov. Tony Evers and his liberal Welfare State political allies selling more “free money” to their left-wing base.
Last week, every Democrat in the Assembly voted to sustain Evers’ veto of a Republican bill that would have ended the weekly $300 federal pandemic unemployment bonus payment. That’s on top of the $370 in weekly state unemployment benefits. Business advocates, economists and, more importantly, businesses themselves, know what Evers can’t get through his thick skull: When you earn nearly $17 an hour without working, why would you look for a job.
The signs are everywhere. In Minocqua and other Northwoods tourism destinations, restaurants and shops have cut hours of service or closed because they can’t find enough employees. The same troubles are hamstringing manufacturers in Fond du Lac, retailers in Johnson Creek and contractors in Onalaska.
The problem is more involved than the federal unemployment bonus payments, to be sure. But Evers won’t even acknowledge it’s a problem. He won’t do the one thing economic experts say he could do that would have an immediate and positive impact on the tight labor market.
Evers can’t see the signs. Will he read the latest businesses obituaries. They just keep coming in Tony Evers’ Wisconsin.