They are out there again. The well-heeled union thugs who are paid way more than the minimum wage to pretend they are minimum wage workers who want a pay raise. Their demand is unchanged. $15 an hour for menial, entry-level employment as though that will change the plight of the working poor.
Why stop at $15 an hour? Why not make it an even $20. Or $50. Or $100 and hour? Why not? After all, isn’t the goal to elevate menial, entry-level positions to make them on par with other more skilled vocations? If a fast food position is made economically comparable to well-compensated trades like welders, aviation A&P mechanics, electricians, and the like, then where is the incentive for someone flipping burgers to learn how to do things that require more skill and education? Why bother with years of schooling and professional certification in order to weld or wire a house when asking “would you like fries with that” pays just as much?
Maybe that’s part of what’s lurking in the shadows behind the protests. A sick and twisted desire to dissuade poor people from trying to improve themselves and thus continue their dependency on social programs and activism. Certainly, a minimum wage hike would put more of them on public assistance.
Think about it. Let’s say Larry runs a local franchise of a fast food restaurant. Larry pays his baseline workers $9 an hour. When Larry’s labor costs go up by 60%, Larry has some hard choices to make. He can pass the 60% increase along to his customers, and they may vote with their feet and eat elsewhere if they no longer feel they are getting bang for their buck. He can reduce the number of hours his employees work to lower the expense of their wages. Or, he can let some of them go.
If Larry is unable to pick the best course of action, he might have to let all of them go as his business goes under. In that case, Larry and all of his former employees would be making the true minimum wage.
$0.00 is the true minimum wage. That’s what people make when they are priced out of employment. There are reasons some jobs pay more than others. Most adults have sufficient sense of personal responsibility to recognize that to earn more money requires they attain the skills necessary to do jobs that pay more than others. Someone earning $9 making Big Macs could work his or her way into those positions – even management positions at the fast food joint in question.
That activists are essentially closing off this upward mobility and are tossing the working poor towards $0.00 an hour says a lot about their true agenda.