So, I woke up this morning, and as I was starting to work, I took some time to check Facebook, and came across a debate about minimum wage in the United States. Some of the comments people were making just flat pissed me off, so I did what I have a tendancy to do and gave a dissertation on why they were all fools. Well, I am still irritated by the whole thing, so I decided to repost what I said here as well…figuring I might as well yell around about it to everone who will listen…lol.
Here is my post from that other page:
Here are the issues with a lot of what you guys are saying…
1) There are a lot more than just fast food jobs that pay minimum wage or something less than $15/hour, including a lot of manufacturing jobs, construction labor jobs, etc.
2) There is no city in America left where you can afford to live with even basic expenses if you work 40-50 hours per week at a minimum wage job. After 10% Federal Income Tax, FICA, Medicare, and State Income Tax, you take home about $240-$250/week with 40 hours at minimum wage, or $1,000/mo. Assuming you just have a studio apartment, no car and buy food, can anyone support themselves with that? No, not likely, which then means they get a second job, likely also at minimum wage, which means now there is enough time to sleep and work. There is no time for any education or anything else that might help you improve your skills and lot in life, so you are stuck, living your life, barely hanging on to survive.
3) Meanwhile, the owner of that business, say a McDonald’s, they raise prices of their product every year without ever increasing labor costs, a fair amount of that going to profit. If they doubled the wage of every employee on each shift, it would cost them about $783/day extra (6 person crew, 18 hours of operation, additonal $7.25/hour). Unlike what people claim, that is not going to force you to pay double for your cheeseburger. Maybe a minimal increase, but it’s actually not even required and that particular business owner will do just fine, but now, that employee can actually live a decent life working 40 hours a week, and they can actually do things like maybe go to school, relax, get sleep, have another part-time job and buy things like a used car, go to the doctor, get married, have a kid, whatever….none of those are all that unreasonable to want when you are working full time.
4) Actual fact in the United States. The lower 50% of the United States people/families filing tax returns (and I mean literally 50% of our population) makes $36,000 or less per year for the entire family. The AVERAGE amongst that lower 50% is $15,013 per year GROSS (before taxes). Again, that is not individuals, but rather totals per tax return, and 2/3 of those tax returns are from people married and filing jointly.
5) The upper 1% is above $428,713/year, and they average $1.24 million per year. Many of them are in that postion because they are keeping their employees at minimum wage. Meanwhile, their income goes up every year, by large percentages. The minimum wage worker stays pretty much the same, even though their landlord raises their rent, each year, cost of groceries goes up, cost of everything they need goes up.
6) At the end of the day, for all of you complaining they never get your order right, they might do a better job if they weren’t exhausted and not wondering if they were going to pay their rent that month and not be evicted.
7) With all the cuts to education, most schools have dropped all of their shop classes, so someone with a high school diploma can’t even go get a job in a factory or construction without starting out at minimum wage because they have no skills. That kind of education is not even available unless you go to a tech school or some two year college, which also costs money and you need to have the time to do, so you can’t work 2 full time jobs to just get by.
CONCLUSION: Anyone who thinks that a $7.25 minimum wage is totally fine and it is the fault of the worker is truly clueless and you deserve to get your lunch order screwed up every single time, because you are one of the people that makes it ok for the upper 1% to continue to get richer off the cheap labor of the rest of us. Walk around any city and look at all the businesses. Who do you think is filling all those food service and retail jobs? They are necessary jobs that keep society functioning, and the people that perform them for huge corporations are not greedy because they want to be able to keep a roof over their heads and eat while helping the corporation they are working for make millions or even billions in profit each year. It is the owners of those companies that are the greedy ones because they knowingly pay minimum wage, and knowingly let the state and federal government provide assistance to help their employees survive while they pocket all the profit (Walmart), instead of paying their people enough to survive on their full time labor, and it is people that think like many of you that allow them to do that, while at the same time, bitching about someone getting food stamps from your tax dollars.
To give you an idea of what kinds of jobs are the lowest paying in America, including how many people work in these fields and what they get paid:
The most ridiculous thing I heard out of all the other comments was that one guy actually was arguing that wanting to be paid more than $7.25/hour was the kind of GREED that has ruined our country. I seriously need to start having these debates out in bars instead of on Facebook because some people need a whole lot more of an attitude adjustment than can be given by typing thoughts into Facebook. I mean everyone is entitled to their opinion, I get that, but give me a break…keep it to yourself if it is so ignorant and misguided that all it does is make people think your parents made a mistake bringing you into this world.
I’ll let you guys ponder that while I debate if I want to call them out by name in this post and bring their ignorance out for all to see. Hmmmm….
If you are interested in more on this topic, my follow-up article based on some reader feedback can be found by clicking the link below: