8/01/2013

Economic Illiteracy: Fast Food Workers Strike to Super-Size their Wages

Posted by Brian

When I was growing up I couldn't wait to get my first job. Like most other teens, I had my sights set on the fast-food and restaurant industry to get my foot in the door of the workforce. I eventually got a job  washing dishes at a restaurant.  The pay was $2.36 an hour. It wasn't a lot, but it gave me a meager income in which to pay for movies, buy record albums, go out for a bite with my friends. It wasn't what people today call a "living wage", but I never expected it to be.  It was a training ground to prove to others that I possessed a good work ethic, could show up on time for my shift, and put in an honest day of work to justify my pay.  It was what we call an "entry level" position. I was being paid commensurate with the skill level required of the position.  I never considered this job a "career" position.  It was simply preparing me for getting a "real job"somewhere down the line.

You apply for the job.
You are aware of what the job pays and the terms of employment.
You accept the job. How is this exploitation?

Fast-forward to some of today's crop of young entry-level job workers. Self-important, brash, and possessing a fully developed entitlement mentality, they not only feel they have a "right" to a job, they are cocksure in the knowledge that, somehow, they "deserve" to be paid a wages exceeding those who work in skilled technical fields make. Enter SEIU, which is more than happy to gin up emotion, provide support and propaganda, and convince these workers and others of how they are getting the shaft.

The workers, confident in their "rights", but blindingly naive and ignorant of economics, see no correlation between their wages, the cost of goods and services, and consumer pricing.  Everything exists in a vacuum, making them oblivious to the effect that doubling their wage would have on them.  From losing their jobs, to having their hours cut, to an increase in the consumer price of the product, they are oblivious.  So many in the country have been dumbed-down in math, science, economics, history, the absolute basics, that too many young people are coming out of high school and colleges with an unrealistic arrogance as to their worth.  I know. I have seen it.  There are a not insignificant number of individuals entering the workforce who are essentially unteachable.  It's not because they are stupid, but because they are supremely, but mistakenly, confident that they already know everything.

We, as a society, have created a coddled class of citizen, nurturing a confidence based on a vapid "Stuart Smalley" model.  We have fed our children the lie that all "smart" people go to college, while poo-pooing the value of trade schools and on-the-job training programs.  Even the idea of "working my way through college" is viewed as a "burden"  by too many college students.  Now it's practically a full-time job to research scholarships, grants, and loans, as young people scramble to afford the ever skyrocketing cost of attending universities. Completely lost on all these young people is how all of these government grants, scholarships, etc., actually contribute to these increases. But that is an article for another day.

The point is, these fast-food workers have been duped into believing that doubling their hourly wage is "sticking it to the man", while in fact, they would be sticking it to themselves in the form of higher unemployment, less hours, and eventually less purchasing power as prices go up to offset the expense of higher wages.

Though this "strike" is merely a publicity stunt to raise awareness for a leftist concept called "the living wage", which like most ideas from the left is a never attainable moving target, meant only to further divide the so-called "haves" from the "have nots".

Like so many other symbolic efforts from liberals, this walk-out had absolutely zero effect other than encouraging a bunch of low-skilled workers to miss out on a days pay while complaining of not making enough money.

Ironic, isn't it?

Where's the beef? Fast-food workers in walkout to protest low wages 
Published July 29, 2013 FoxNews.com

Don’t expect to have it your way today at some fast-food restaurants across the country.

Workers at the nation’s best known fast-food restaurants in seven cities across America are planning to walk off the job Monday to protest what they say are wages that are too low to live on. In a move orchestrated with the help of powerful labor unions and clergy groups, the workers plan to strike for a day to demand their wages be doubled.

The Washington Post reports that the protests will take place in New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Flint, Mich., involving workers at McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and KFC. Some employees at stores including Dollar Tree, Macy's and Victoria's Secret are also expected to join the protesters in several cities.

"A lot of the workers are living in poverty, you know, not being able to afford to put food on the table or take the train to work." - Jonathan Westin, Fast Food Forward The workers are calling for wages of $15 per hour, more than double New York's current minimum wage of $7.25.
Read More at Fox News
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