The big debate right now is whether or not every American worker deserves $15/hr minimum wage. I have to say, I don’t think so.
Let me start by saying I do agree that the minimum wage should be increased, but I’m more in line with Hillary on this and a $12 minimum wage, not $15. I’ve been taking notice of the people I come across in my daily life that would be affect by this and asking the question “Would I pay this person $15 to do what they’re doing right now?” I have to say that the overwhelming majority of the time, the answer is NO.
I watch a kid at McDonald’s, literally taking my money and handing me food, and that’s it! There is a person taking my order, a person preparing the food, and a person packing it in a bag and handing it to the first guy. All he does is collect my money and hand me my order. He’s doing nothing wrong. He has a great attitude, exchanges pleasantries as he waits on my food, but really does minimal work. The only skill required for his job is counting change. I’m not trying to belittle him or anything, but this is a skill that we learn in 2nd grade.
I compare this to my first job after college. Did you catch that part….AFTER COLLEGE? I worked at a law firm as a bankruptcy legal assistant. I was working in a professional business service environment, working 60-70 hour weeks working with clients and preparing legal documents that literally helped families going through hard times keep a roof over their heads. Care to guess how much I made? You got it…$15/hr.
Was it tough? Absolutely. Did I struggle? Absolutely. But do you know how I made ends meet? I worked a second job. Yeah, a strange concept I know. I worked 60-70 hours at a law firm, then at night I worked a bar tending job to make enough to get by.
And guess what else, I didn’t have an I-phone. I didn’t have nice clothes other than what I had to wear to work. I drove a busted up Saturn that was a complete embarrassment.
So when I see someone protesting for $15/hr while they have an $800 phone in their hand or a Michael Kors purse by their side, excuse me if I don’t feel sorry for them. Both of these examples can be seen in the photo below.
My next question for those that think solving this problem is as simple as a politician waving a magic wand and saying “Poof! Now you all make $15/hr” is what about the guy that makes $15/hr right now? The guy, like myself after college, who worked his way through school and got a degree to get to that $15/hr. What about him? Is he going to get an $8 bump in pay as well? The answer is no. He’s going to stay at $15 while the guy with 2nd grade counting skills at McDonald’s gets bumped up to the same. So all of his hard work is now devalued and he’s put in all that work just to be pulled back and make the same as a high-school kid working at a fast food restaurant.
Now does that make any sense?
Doubling the minimum wage is not the answer. The answer to people being able to make a living on minimum wage is changing their priorities and making them understand that having an I-phone 6 and unlimited data is not a right, but a privilege and a luxury; a privilege and luxury that may not be afforded to a minimum wage worker.
People can survive on $7/hr if they really want to. They just have to be willing to make sacrifices like my parents did all of their lives. Doubling a person’s pay rate without increasing their workload or responsibility is a ridiculous plan of action and is essentially a welfare handout.
The one thing this will do is increase the business efficiency of companies as they find ways to turn two jobs into one to make up for the increase in pay. Wages will go up right alongside the unemployment rate.
So for those of you out there protesting, keep in mind that 50% of you will get paid more, and the other 50% will be eliminated to make up for it.