You ordered a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke. What you received was 4 large milks, a ketchup packet and a blank stare when you complained. And these guys want more pay?
Well, yeah, kinda.
Minimum wage jobs usually aren’t very fun. In the minimum wage world, a worker can look forward to hard work, rude customers, backward bosses and, that’s right, a paltry paycheck. At this point, we know that the minimum wage does not keep up with inflation. We also know that minimum wage is not synonymous with living wage. So, what do we do?
There has been a lot of talk recently about increasing the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour by 2025. At first glance, this sounds great: people will have more money to spend, worker morale will go up, maybe more preventive care appointments will be made. In short, the wolves will be kept at bay and peace and happiness will reign throughout the land, forever and ever.
One quick question regarding this great proposal, though: who, exactly, is holding the big bag of money to finance this? Of course, giant corporations can simply raise the price of their products a few cents and all’s right with the world. However, that’s not going to be feasible for the smaller, Mom and Pop type of store. If the smaller businesses “can no longer compensate the same number of employees at a higher rate” (WhenIwork.com), they’re going to have to lay workers off. The cold, sad truth is that “while some employees may be making slightly more money, others will be left unemployed.” Well. That is not helpful.
Another aspect that I hadn’t thought about was rent and the greed of unscrupulous people. Thebalance.com warns that a higher minimum wage in an area could inspire some landlords to raise rent, “creating inflation.” Again, not helpful.
Jack Kelly, writing for Forbes.com, takes a more psychological approach to the subject. His premise is that low wage jobs “are not designed to provide for a family.” These types of jobs, Kelly maintains, are suitable as a first job or for a “temporary port in the storm.” He believes that, if the minimum wage is raised, more people will become complacent with lower skilled employment and never move on to “bigger and better things.” His idea, which I agree with, is to “allocate money to train people to enter areas in which there are shortages of workers, such as the trades.” In addition, Kelly is a big fan of continuing education to arm employees with the tools to become upwardly mobile.
We deserve a fair wage for a fair day’s work, that’s obvious. At this point, though, I’m not sure how we can accomplish this without creating other troubles that might be worse than the original one. Like most of the social ills in our society, money is the problem, the solution and then maybe the problem again.
Bourke Accounting would like it if you were paid as much as you’re worth. If you aren’t, Bourke Accounting can offer strategies for you to make the most of the dollars you do get. In addition, your Bourke Accounting expert can help you design a workable budget that will definitely improve your future financial outlook. Bourke Accounting is a lot more than just tax preparation, but you knew that!
Written by Sue H.