Why stop at $15 an hour?

A particular news story somewhat caught my eye the other day. Fast food workers in several cities staged a walk out over low pay. I even saw some of the workers wearing t-shirts with the 15 dollar sign symbol on the front and back. Apparently, the workers were protesting the low pay that they are receiving and there is a movement to increase their wages to at least 15 dollars an hour. My question to them is this, why set your pay standards so low? Why not demand 20 or better yet, 25 dollars an hour? I certainly agree that 8 dollars an hour is not livable wage but is 15 dollars an hour? That still seems to be rather low. I mean, you have rent to pay, groceries to buy for your family, car expenses and insurance, payments on that fancy smart phone, cable television and that gym membership. Soon, you will have to fork over some dough for Obamacare and mandatory health insurance as well. I just don’t think 15 an hour will cut it for you guys.

The rest of us who actually have some skills through post secondary schooling should also walk out of our jobs and demand a 100 percent pay increase as well. If some person who flips burgers at McDonalds suddenly gets a huge pay increase, why shouldn’t people who went to college and has a 4 year degree get the same raise? It seems only fair right? If this big wage increase for fast food workers comes true, I should go to my boss and demand a 100 percent raise. He may show me the door and wish me the best of luck in trying to find a new job!!

I have absolutely no problem with getting higher wages in this country. In fact, it is critical because higher wages really drive this economy. The more people make, the more they tend to spend and that has a ripple effect on everyone. Higher wages can also have a spinoff on creating jobs. So why the hesitation on paying some person 15 dollars an hour to work at McDonalds? For many reasons.

First of all, what employer in his or her right mind would pay some inexperienced, low skilled worker, 15 dollars an hour to work at a fast food place? Are you going to hire some high school kid to work at your restaurant and pay him that much? I highly doubt anyone would. Labor is always the biggest expense of any company and to suddenly be forced to pay someone 100 percent more forces the company to do cut back somewhere to make up for the added expenses. In McDonald’s case, it probably means hiring less people or laying off people. Or perhaps they will increase the cost of their Big Macs by 100 percent and pass on the cost to their customers. If fast food companies are required to pay their workers at least 15 dollars an hour, I can guarantee you that there be a sudden spike in unemployment for many young people not only in the fast food industry but in other industries as well. Not only young people, but many low skilled people of all ages. Bumping somebodies wages up with low skills can result in less hiring and many less jobs.

As I alluded to earlier, if we are suddenly going to pay low skilled workers that much, then people with skills are going to demand more wage increase as well. Employers will be faced to lay off more people or just raise their prices. This will have a major effect on our economy and it will not be good. So while it may sound like a no-brainer to some folks for paying people more, it is not always as rosy as it seems.

I admire anyone who works at as fast food place like McDonalds. I go there occasionally for either lunch or breakfast and I see the crap that some of those workers have to go through. It is by far, not a very glamorous job. Many of the employees are good hard workers. I am certainly not trying to put them down but they are low skilled people who do not deserve top dollar. If they want a livable wage job, they should get a career. Flipping burgers or running a cash register is not a career type of job.

I would recommend trying to pick up a skill by going to either a trade school or college. There are many good high paying jobs out there for those people who are willing to go back to school and learn a trade. Making yourself marketable by acquiring some much needed skills or education is the best way to make a livable way for you and your family. Why settle for a dead end job when there are so many other better opportunities out there? Unfortunately, we live in a country where people expect to get paid much more than they are really worth. This is just another classic example.



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