I haven’t paid attention to this “news story” where fast food workers in the US are demanding $15/hr for the work they do, but an opinion piece from Matt Walsh (Fast Food Workers: You Don’t Deserve $15 an Hour to Flip Burgers, and That’s OK) caught my eye on Facebook and I proceeded to read through his thought process.
Matt’s thoughtfully crafted article is an excellent rebuttal to the orders of fast food workers. Jobs are paid commensurate with their implicit value and as Matt elegantly puts it:
So, real talk: Your job isn’t worth 15 bucks an hour. Sure, as a human being, you’re priceless. As a child of God, you’re precious, a work of art, a freaking miracle. But your job wrapping hamburgers in foil and putting them in paper bags — that has a price tag, and the price tag ain’t anywhere close to the one our economy and society puts on teachers and mechanics.
A staggering number of highly-qualified and educated workers are earning less than $15/hr. Living comfortably is indeed an aspiration and not a right. It takes years of hard work to earn yourself a decent, well-paying job and Matt’s point about fast-food wages not being comfortable is a good one: it’s not intended to be comfortable. It’s intended to be a stop-gap, or filler work while you’re studying a vocation where you can earn that comfortable wage.
There’s no doubt in my mind that working in fast food isn’t pleasant or enjoyable, but I side with Matt when he suggests that they should use that frustration to aim higher instead of trying to wobble the economy by suddenly ballooning wages for a vast number of people who do a low-value job. By increasing their wages, cost goes up, demand goes down and people lose their jobs. It’s a good of an idea as the Federal Reserve just printing extra money.