December 5, 2013
We can understand the strong emotional appeal, but we don’t agree with striking fast food workers that $15 per hour is a suitable wage for everyone in the industry.
If such a salary scale were to be implemented, can you just imagine what a hamburger would cost?
We sympathize with not only the young people who work such jobs, but the mothers and fathers and seniors who take such positions to help make ends meet. However, it’s long been accepted that working in that industry isn’t intended, for the majority of people, to be a long-term solution.
In almost every individual situation, there are ways to make things better simply by making better personal choices, such as driving an older car, quitting smoking, stop buying as much soda or snacks or settling for a phone that’s something other than the latest and greatest.
On the other side of personal situations of the workers, you have those of the consumer. If employers are forced to pay $15 an hour, you can wager that prices of food and drink will rise accordingly. A meal and dessert for one can be had for about $9 at a fast food restaurant, depending on menu selection. Raising the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15, more than double what it is now, would undoubtedly raise the price of the food for the consumer.
A report on AmericanThinker.com notes that “although wages of low-wage workers increase, their hours and employment decline, and the combined effect of these changes is a decline in earned income.”
It seems the very policy for which striking fast food workers are lobbying could hurt many of those doing the striking.
Once in a low-paying job such as the fast food industry, a worker “can learn more aspects of the business and, if they have the capability and desire, move up the ladder. With a high minimum wage, the same business owner can’t afford that hire. The employer needs to ensure that the employee will be worth the high wage, and now diplomas, past work history or an impressive interview are required. With these barriers to entry, those at the bottom can’t get a job.”
With no job, these people don’t have a way to learn new skills or obtain an education.
“They become trapped, with no legitimate means to improve their position.”
This isn’t an argument to maintain the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour or to do away with a minimum wage altogether. It’s an effort to note that there might be a better way, but doubling the wage isn’t it.