So far, all of the counter-arguments that ive heard are at worst outright racism and at best purely ideological and completely divorced from reality; the reality being that we are already paying them more than $15/hr when the costs of welfare and food stamps are taken into account. That big mac costs alot more than the price on the menu; and the difference shows up on the tax bill (which the plutocrats dont pay) and the national deficit. Its not fair to the taxpayers to charge them for wage costs that should be paid by the employer; least of all when its to the end of sopping plutocrats.
And if the "go to school and get a real job" crowd thinks its that easy, they are sadly mistaken. The ruling class has made trillions of dollars by eliminating those jobs and pushing those workers into minimum-wage jobs and externalizing the costs as welfare; and you simply cannot educate yourself out of poverty so long as thats the plan. These are not a bunch of morons that had 4 kids by the time they were 18 y/o; rather they are victims of a pernicious ideology that the vast majority of america seems to have embraced. And if your one of them, then your in line for a slave-labour McJob too.
There are all kinds of reasons why fast food workers could have not gotten their degree maybe they couldn't afford it or they had to drop out of high school to take care of a baby. Whatever the case they have to deal with us every time we go out to eat think about it.
What kind of people want to spend time working for a fast food for the rest of their life? Do you think whenever a fast food worker meet people, they are proud of their job and want to introduce themselves as a fast food worker? No! There is another desire that people want to achieve in their life called social position. You see it in the long run. In the first place, people who have a degree could earn less money than fast food workers but they soon get not only uncomparablely money but welfare in their jobs with the progress of career. 15$ is 15$ forever. What would you choose between a unstable job worth 15$ and a nice job worth less money at first that require a decent career?
I wonder what the CEO of McDonald's makes an hour in multiples of 15? On second thought, I don't want to know. Putting a value on someone's hard work is already a strange concept to me, but even weirder is the staggering gap between the worker bees of a company and the top of the hive. 15 dollars an hour isn't that much. We're talking about roughly 28,000 a year if not less after taxes. Inflation has climbed strongly while wages have trudged along like a wounded fat man. It's time to pay people enough to survive and even put money back into the economy that seems determined to keep them down.
How many of the people voting "no" have every actually worked in fast food, or any minimum-wage job? "Flipping burgers" sounds like a fun thing you do on the Fourth of July at your grill. That's not what it's like working in fast food. You are cleaning that entire restaurant top to bottom every shift, including grease traps, exhaust hoods, deep-fat fryers, and shake machines. You are taking inventory in walk-in refrigerators in your shirt-sleeves. You are a sanitation worker mopping out bathrooms, cleaning toilets and emptying mind-blowing amounts of trash and garbage. You are also dealing with the public, keeping the dining room clean while people are using it, and hopefully not getting robbed, conned or sued. You are doing a hell of a lot for a pittance, and it's not necessarily because of "bad life choices". The same corporations that pay thier CEOs hundreds of times more than their lowest-paid workers have also worked to move better-paying jobs overseas so that there is no longer any place to "move up" from an entry-level job. College graduates and people with graduate degrees are unemployed for months and months (and years, in some cases) and end up being wildly-overqualified minimum-wage workers because of the way these companies are rewarded for outsourcing jobs. The wages have not kept pace with inflation, but the prices keep going up anyway and the corporate profits keep soaring. There is no reason they can't afford to pay their workers fairly. They will still be making money hand over fist, and even if they make half the profit they were making, it's still millions and billions of dollars. Don't tell me these aren't meant to be careers--so many jobs have been shipped overseas, in some areas these jobs are all that's LEFT. Paying people fairly for hard work--even if you don't think it's valuable work-- is simply the right thing to do. The next time you look down on someone working fast food, ask yourself: Would you like to do their job for even a day? An hour? Probably not, even for $15 an hour. It's horrible work. But if it's all that's available, even for high-educated people, you take the work and count yourself lucky not to be on unemployment. So stop looking down on these workers--use your imagination to put yourself in their shoes and grow some compassion.
If you guys think that most of the fast food industries work force is teenagers, you should really check your facts more often. About 70% of all fast food workers are people who are 20 or older. One third of them have college experience and many are single parents. Not only are they in poverty most of the time, but they also have to borrow money just to stay afloat. Even then most of them become homeless. They try as hard as they can but they can't afford to get a "better job" because either they don't have enough money, or they don't have enough time to focus on education when they are caring for their children and trying to get food on the plate.
Working fast food isn't easy. Especially when you have to wait on people that won't get off their phones, or people that think they know what they are ordering, but have no idea. The people that say no to this are the people who have never had to work fast food
If fast food workers are paid more then I stand a chance at making more money. It would be irrational for me to oppose raising the minimum wage for fast food workers. If there are enough who feel the same and wish to vote for it to happen then we win. If not then we lose. It's that simple.
At the moment, wages in America are simply far too low. The government is having to prop up low-paid workers with food stamps, effectively subsiding huge corporations for paying their workers poverty wages. In addition, to those who say raising the minimum wage would hurt small businesses, the fact is that job creation is caused by demand for a service/product outstripping its supply, not just the (in comparison unimportant) minimum wage level
A high minimum wage provisions the efficient transfer of wealth, lessening income inequality and encouraging consumer spending across the whole strata of society; not just the upper and middle classes. A large number of people on a low minimum wage who cannot purchase consumer goods creates a social class which festers and stagnates. A large number of people with more disposable income increases consumer spending, and therefore provides a boost to broader business as a result, thus helping the rest of the economy remain healthy.
An analogy: You have to make sure a good blood supply reaches all parts of the body, otherwise some limbs will rot and end up poisoning the rest.
McDonald's work is the most basic entry-level type job a person can get and here's what I said on another question: "...The lowly McDonald's drive thru attendant; he didn't acquire the real estate or construct the building, he didn't acquire the capital goods like a deep fryer, cash register, drink dispenser, etc. Or develop the menu, and he didn't secure the electrical and water utilities needed for the business. He showed up with little or no education or marketable skill. He exchanges that unskilled labor for a wage. It is capital and investment that ultimately makes us prosperous. And without the individuals at the top that labor to put together such an enterprise, putting considerable capital at risk, Mr. Drive thru attendant had no opportunity. Of course businesses demand labor but the mistake is assuming labor like this made it possible and if you artificially drive up this wage through a minimum, then you'll probably have someone via fiber optic in China or India taking orders at the drive thru or some automated process.
The minimum wage isn't meant to be a "living wage". IMO, there shouldn't be a minimum wage at all. A wage should be negotiated between the employee and the employer.
The government shouldn't be making laws telling people how much money their time is worth. I bet there are people out there willing to work for less than $7.25 and would be very happy with a full time job that pays $6 or even $4 per hour.
My response to the Fast food protester: To all of the fast food protesters pushing for a $15 minimum wage, if you actually want to succeed in life, grow up, get up off of your fat lazy butt, get a degree and earn some real money. Most people with degrees usually don't even get paid that much an hour. Fast food shouldn't be a career choice for you. If you want to earn some real money, you're going to have to work for it. How is it fair for the people who spent lots of time and money to getting a degree to earn less than you? If people earned more money than most people with degrees do, what kind of nation would this be? A nation that doesn't succeed at life. A fat, lazy nation with no sort of goals in life; much like a delinquent teenager. All of your protesting is immature, you're not entitled to anything in life if you've taken the easy path. Now to me, it's understandable if you have a degree and you can't find work so you're forced into working MULTIPLE jobs to support your family or if you're a teen looking to earn some money for college. For that I commend you. Life isn't supposed to be easy, where no matter how hard you work you get everything handed to you on a silver platter. Grow up.
At $15/hour, anyone currently employed in a fast food restaurant would be lucky to have a job. Japanese restaurants have already managed to totally automate a few restaurants; doubling labor costs would be a great impetus for American fast food to follow suit. Sure, there would be maintenance, cleaning, delivery, etc, but nobody really *needs* a bunch of sullen teenagers to put together a Big Mac. They are employed because they are the cheapest option, not the only option.
I am 22 years old and I have many peers (some younger, many older) throughout the nation who have worked their butts off to get an education and better develop the skills needed to get jobs they would be suited for and that would pay a living wage. I myself worked at McDonald's in high school (at $5.75/hr! - this was 2009, mind you, not 1940 or whatever you guys keep countering the year at), not because I needed to, but because I wanted to have my own money to do as I want (i.e. Pay for gas to hang out with friends). Fast food jobs were created more or less for that purpose. To bring in a little extra cash for high schooler and college students. It is not supposed to be a career. Get a career if you want a living wage, not a minimum wage job. Also during my time at McDonald's, I took on almost every single role (besides manager - although some nights, I seemed to be more in-charge of operations than anyone else - and I was only 18 years old at the time!!) and I don't believe a single task I did was worth getting $15/hour. You don't need any sort of education to do have the jobs and any real skills you may need (mathematical, cooking, customer relations) are either not expected of you these days or half the job is already done for you (computers/POS, pre-cooked/packaged food stuff). Also while working at McDonald's, there was a HUGE slacker mentality. I was one of only 2 people that would show up on time (if not, EARLY!!) and complete my tasks in a quickly and as correctly as possible. Yes, it was a crappy job, but you should still give at least 80%. The people I worked with would give their .5% if you caught them ON GOOD DAYS. I currently make a little less than $17/hr and I had to work my ass off to get this far.
A lot of complaints about the minimum wage is "how am i supposed to support my family on $7.25/hr?" or "how am i supposed to afford my 3 bedroom rent, cable tv, and internet?" The answer? You're not. First of all, you shouldn't have had 4 kids (or even one), if you can't even support yourself. Secondly, how about you go without tv or internet or your nice brand new ride first before complaining about minimum wage. You aren't ENTITLED to these things just because you EXIST.
This just won't work to their advantage. When burgers become $12.95 each, will you buy one? I won't. Stores close and they lose their jobs. That wage is outrageous for the skill required. It may sound harsh but its true. We have to be realistic with this. Fast food jobs should not be looked at as careers.
There are far more skilled jobs and jobs which require an education that are lucky to get that pay rate. These are jobs that were never meant to support a family and a household in general. They were meant to be extra money and teen jobs. While it is true that more people have it as a sole source of income and there is great inequality in this country. There is literally nothing about the work which warrants that level of pay. If by some insane chance it did happen? Guess what high schoolers and drop outs? One of two things will happen. You will all lose your jobs because people with more skill will suddenly find your job worth doing. Or it resets the entire economy and you end up right where you are anyway. With money becoming worth less and everything costing more. No one with an education and desirable skills would tolerate being paid what a person who pushes a button with a picture of a hamburger on it is getting paid. They just won't, it's completely unrealistic.
No field should have a minimum wage, it hurts most the people it's designed to protect and makes it harder to get into the workforce and build the skills to make more money in the future. It's a flawed concept. There's no reason a person should be not able to work for less than the minimum wage if its a mutually beneficial and consensual deal for both, there is no reason the government should prevent that from occurring. If anything it's offensive to the people that the government thinks the people it's controlling aren't capable of making their own decisions about what is in their best interests.
"I just barely made it out of high school and have no higher form of education and I want to make better money at my fast food job!" yeah it doesn't work like that... Not every job can pay well that's why the jobs that do pay well, like a doctor, require higher forms of education. You need to work for it and not get a job flipping burgers, because that doesn't mean good pay, you should expect minimum wage. And if you are in a place where working in fast food is your only choice then you made some bad life choices
Lots of people have higher skills and education and do not get that pay rate---fast food was not meant to be a forever job but a stepping stone and really is for high school / summer job kids or maybe a senior wanting to get some extra money or fill up time