Subject: FW: Hamburgers and Minimum Wage
> Hamburgers and Minimum Wage
> Low military pay was not mentioned in the State Of The Union speech. However, increasing the minimum wage, for those fast food employees striking for $15 an hour, was.
> Let's do some math:
> At $15 an hour Johnny Fry-Boy would make $31,200 annually.
> An E1 (Private) in the military makes $18,378.
> An E5 (Sergeant) with 8 years of service only makes $35,067 annually.
> So you're telling me, LaTisha McBurgerflipper, that you deserve as much as those kids getting shot at, deploying for months in hostile environments, and putting their collective asses on the line every day protecting your unskilled butt!?
> Here's the deal, Baconator, you are working in a job designed for a kid in high school who is learning how to work and earning enough for gas, and hanging out with their equally goofy high school pals.
> If you have chosen this as your life long profession, you have failed. If you don't want minimum wage, don't have minimum skills.
> If you can read this, thank a teacher.
> If it's in English, thank a Veteran.
I'm tired of these emails. Because they're CRAP.
Let's take it from the top. The problem with that argument is first, that it's unfair and involves deliberately NOT saying everything. It's an appeal to empty yippee-ki-yay patriotism and sentimentality, it's a ridiculous apples-and-oranges comparison, and it is FUNDAMENTALLY DISHONEST.
Not to be a pedant, but allow me to point out that our soldiers do get free healthcare, housing, education, the GI bill, and dozens of other (rightful) benefits not listed in their salary. Military service comes with quite a number of bennies. It was the armed forces' recruitment slogan since I was a boy, for crying out loud. "Free money for college! Get an education! Be all that you can be! Get training in the Army!")
True, it's still not comparable to the fact they get SHOT at (again, a modifier: some of them. Most are in logistics or bureaucratic positions their entire careers after boot camp and many never see a gun fired in anger...) But let's lay all the cards on the table if we want an honest assessment.
Plus, isn't it interesting how everyone makes this apples-and-oranges comparison, yet nobody is ever really serious about raising the pay of the soldier? They just want to justify keeping the pay of the menial worker low. The same comparisons are made by leftists between public school teachers and trash collectors.... ignoring that if school teachers stopped working, parents would teach their own kids, but if trashmen stopped working, entire cities would choke on their own filth. Poetics aside, preventing that takes a slight economic precedence over government schooling.
Or perhaps the author of this would like to do a similar comparison between the average hard-working restaurant worker who makes minimum wage while scrubbing, cooking and cleaning, and the average pro sports player, who even at the lowest tier makes hundreds of thousands of dollars to play with a ball? Or compare a coal miner to a painter? A retail cashier vs. a waiter? A farmer vs a greengrocer? A mailman vs. a pizza boy? Did you know that hot dog vendors in NYC can easily break a quarter million a year? HOT DOG vendors! (They have to-- their license costs $200,000 just to operate in Central Park.)
Pointless apples vs. oranges comparisons are easy to summon up. That's why it's not rightfully up to us, but the free market, to decide what someone should make. It's not our judgment call whether someone else's salary is "fair" or not unless they actually work for us. Maybe we shouldn't be imitating leftist rhetoric just because we're in a snit about "greedy lazy burger flippers" the way they get in a snit about "greedy useless CEOs" or "underpaid teachers."
(Considering the number of burger flippers we're turning out, perhaps the teachers are a bit OVERpaid.)
Also, it ignores that the person who wrote this is insulting people for having low-skill jobs--- jobs that they expect to be done tut suite! when they go into a burger barn. These are the sort of people who throw a fit at the cashier if someone forgot the pickle on their burger... when they're being rational... and who leave behind a filthy reeking mess for the workers to clean up.
Yet they themselves wouldn't take jobs like this on a bet and most of them would fold under like wet toast after a month of dealing with the work, the filth, and the customers. Minimum wage workers may not get shot at but they DO have to go into the store bathroom to clean up after the local junkie has puked, peed, and crapped on the floor in there, or some soccer mom has flushed a used diaper down the toilet and flooded the john.
As to that, ask a pizza boy whether his life is worth $7.50 an hour delivering your double-sausage into Murder Street USA. The pizza place thinks so. Every day we read of another pizza boy getting mugged or shot.... I have a close friend who worked in a pizza shop, and nearly died when a crazed gunman came in and tried to rob them. He WAS going to murder them, too. My friend saved his own life and the life of a coworker by bringing the pizza spatula down on the guy's wrist-- and severing the guy's hand (not intentionally, but he's a strong dude and those spatula things are big, heavy, and fairly sharp.) Pizza Slut thanked him for saving everyone's lives... by firing him. Hey, company policy. Besides if he'd gotten murdered there's always another worthless, lazy, undeserving minimum wage unskilled worker to take his place at the pizza oven, right?
Working in retail may not require a fancy college degree, but it is anything but easy, simple, or safe.
And here's the biggie. Thanks to our government's fiscal and monetary policy causing accelerating inflation, the minimum wage worker is making LESS AN HOUR EVERY YEAR. Today, he makes $7.50 an hour. In 1969, minimum wage was, adjusting for inflation, the equivalent of $10 an hour today. That's not even taking into account federal, state and local taxes. Tell me, how would you react if you saw your paycheck DROP TWENTY FIVE PERCENT? Or you worked in McD's, climbed up the ladder to shift manager, assistant manager, manager... only to see your hourly pay, in real terms, stay effectively the same?
And let's address the strikers. Who taught them that the solution was to go on strike and demand higher wages? Yes, that would be their parents and grandparents.
And who taught them that minimum wage was a golden virtue, and that raising it was the work of angels? Our schools, our government, and yes, yet again their parents and grandparents.
And who taught them REAL economics, taught them the real reason their dollars were shrinking and their taxes were rising? That would be.... Nobody.
We can hardly expect them to do anything BUT take the only course of action-- striking for a higher minimum wage-- that they were ever taught. It's sad and futile and it's rooted in economic miseducation, but that's not their fault and it doesn't make them lazy, stupid or undeserving of better.
These people are suckers for demanding a minimum wage hike to fix the problem-- minimum wage hikes only make the problem worse. But that doesn't change the fact there IS A LEGITIMATE PROBLEM.
And this sort of thing is the furthest possible from any sort of help. It plays right into the hands of those who are causing all our misery--- rather than directing our ire at the people in the government and the federal reserve who have set about not only raising but greasing the bottom rung, we pass around emails and facebook posts sneering at the people who wash our clothes, fix our food, scrub our toilets and pick up our trash as "lazy, stupid and greedy..."
And then we wonder why the Occupy Wall Street movement has no trouble getting tens of thousands of young people backing them up, instead of voting Republican like we think they should.