Thursday, September 17, 2015

Minimum wage then (1970s) and now (2010s)

Saw an article on Reddit about a guy that used to work at McDonald's back in the 70s. A simple read but interesting to hear about the changes over the years as far as his experiences goes. One thing that caught my eye was someone asking about paychecks. This man earned minimum wage and felt like he was "rolling in money." Granted he wasn't supporting himself but he also didn't plan on flipping burgers as a life-long career choice but who does? Apparently those people protesting that minimum wage is to minimum.

I think this is what is lost on the current minimum wage debate — minimum wage is not a support-the-family wage. It's a stepping stone towards (potentially and expectantly) earning more money by either moving up within a company or moving to another company.

As defined:  Minimum wage is the lowest wage as permitted by law.

Do you minimum wage earners hear that? Do you understand it? It's the MINIMUM wage allowed by law! Employers can't pay below that rate but they sure as hell can pay just that rate.

If you want to earn more, learn a SKILL or take some college or continuing education courses specific to learning a skill or craft. Do you really, I mean REALLY expect to earn $15/hr working at a McDonald's or Wal-Mart? Those are very easily learnable duties and do not take any sort of educational training or specialized skills. Let's put employment at McDonald's and Wal-Mart into perspective:

At McDonald's you either take orders at the front or drive thru, flip burgers, deep fry things like fries or chicken and maybe occasionally clean the restrooms. At Wal-Mart you either walk the floor as a "helper" for customers or refolding/refixing things the customer messed up on shelves or hangers, "guard" the dressing room, checker, stocker or greeter. All in all the McDonald's employee seems more happy/friendly than the Wal-Mart employee even though both think they should make a lot more per hour but I feel the McDonald's worker could have a worse job because of all the grease, food smells, nasty restrooms, etc. Anyway, do any of the duties I listed require any kind of specialized training and/or education? HELL, NO! So, why in the world would you think you DESERVE ANYTHING more than minimum wage? Again, it's the MINIMUM an employer can legally pay and not a minimum LIVING wage. Hell, I'm not making too far above the latter and I AM skilled and educated! So fuck y'all!

Anyway, most minimum wage jobs were previously occupied by 15-18 yr olds or so until they went off to college. Sometimes they'd come back during holiday breaks and summers to that same job. I'd bet none of them complained about it like the minimum wage earners now.

Minimum wage is a stepping stone to learning about working hard to earn matter how little that was after getting raped by the governmental taxes. A step to learning how to stretch that money over time until the next paycheck. A step to learn a sense of responsibility and build trust with employers, family and friends. A step towards life maturity. A step to learning that there's got to be a way to make more money whether it be a college education or learning a skilled profession as an apprentice or something. It sucked to earn minimum wage and sometimes it took a while to earn more but no one EVER wanted to stay making minimum wage in ANY job. The minimum wage worker at McDonald's typically stayed there for a long period of time to try and work their way up the ladder to assistant manager, then manager and then whatever is next. They didn't EXPECT to earn more than minimum (or even double as the bitchers are bitchin' for now) as a burger flipper or order taker.

Wake up people! Why should we cater to you people that want to stay in the same job doing the same duties for ever and ever and ever? Many jobs are like educational courses — you take one and then move to a new one at a higher level unless you fail or suck at it and you stay at the same level. Stop looking for free upgrades that you feel you are entitled to because you ARE NOT entitled!

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