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$15 Per Hour Fast Food Wage is Absurd and Sends Wrong Message


I couldn't help but squint my eyes in confusion. Wait, is this for real? Fast Food workers are going to get $15 an hour? Like, not the management, but the workers?

That's genuinely my first reaction when I heard that New York state plans a $15 minimum wage mandate for fast food workers. I know it's not the PC reaction the world demands of us as of late, but quite frankly, I don't believe this situation has anything to do with human rights, freedom, civil liberties, social awareness, or anything that is unfair and unjust. 

We live in a capitalist world where we all work hard, improve our skills, and make decisions to better ourselves and our lives. Now forgive me, and I'm sure I am going to offend some of you loyal readers, but there is no way, on the bottom line, that a fast food worker should make more than a college graduate in the work force.
$15 for a fast food worker is more than a pharmacy technician. A factory worker. A construction worker. A biologist. A dental assistant. A bank teller. A biochemist. Some police and firefighters. And many, many, many entry level, cubicle dwelling, white collar positions. Heck, that's more than some culinary chefs right out of school who are doing more than just dunking fries in oil. You get the point. Jobs that take far more skill than a fast food position. And yes, far more important. 

And while yes, I understand and grieve with the stories placed in articles to tug on the heart strings of those against it. There is a huge divide between the haves and havenots in our nation. Yet, I simply wonder, what will be the end result? We - all of us - have our stories and anecdotes about our proverbial climb. Not just a few.

I worked multiple summer jobs for about $7 an hour. Even after college I made roughly $9 an hour. An after I earned my masters degree, I still had to cut my teeth at my craft and withiin my industry at under $13 an hour on salary pay.

We all pay our dues. And here is another hard truth - comfortable living isn't a right.

But the end result of $15 an hour is far from beneficial and as simple as it seems on the surface. After all, let's face it, McDonald's and other fast food franchises will surely look to cut costs and raise prices. Nothing comes free. And increased salaries will surely affect the operating budget among others on the balance sheet. 

This likely will kill the youth employment opportunities and international/immigration chances many have open to them at the moment. Businesses will look to hire more qualified workers to get more bang for their 15 bucks per. Plus, employers will surely remove many positions, creating another problem in adding to unemployment. Like we need to go down that road again. 

It's already begun. McDonalds has already responded to the fare demands by simply cutting jobs and replacing them with kiosks!

How about another question not be asked? Will the managers of fast food places who currently receive $14-$15 an hour in pay, also get an 87% increase as well? $27 an hour to run a McDonalds, who doesn't want to sign up for that?!

And what about the private businesses who will now be forced out of contention because of the mandated salaries for working for the big boy chains?

I just don't get it. The hidden message, unintentional or not, presented by $15Now is that working at a fast food joint is a viable option more so than going to college. More so than learning a craft. Wow. Just...wow. I hate that underlying theme in this whole thing. And it just lends more to the entitlement era we are in. 

For me, this isn't about closing the door on a class looking to get better wages. Not at all. For me, my biggest concern is protecting the value of education, the meaning of hard work, and the ability to offer quality opportunity in the work market. I'm all for wage increases, especially in areas such as New York City where the economic gaps in tax brackets are severely drastic. But a huge jump for only a select few?

Nope. The whole plan just seems as dubious after thinking it through as my first initial reaction. This just can't be real. And if it is, I only wonder what's next to come. 

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