What’s the Job Worth?

The attempt to unionize McDonald’s and fast food workers is something which should draw our attention.  Most of these folks are paid minimum wages, but limited to 39 hours per week so that companies may avoid paying them expensive benefits for health insurance, retirement and other considerations.  However, lost in the picture is that the fast food industry was initially seen as an after school hustle for students trying to fill in an allowance gap.  The fact that the elderly are now camped behind these counters while others trying to make ends meet are our greeters is signaling something is wrong as well as non-productive in the job market.

At lunch my receipt had calculated on the end what an 18% tip and a 20% one would be.  Though the food was okay, the service wasn’t worth 10% let alone compulsory or other numbers.  The fact that waiters, many other restaurant workers and domestics do not make minimum wage but are dependent on tips to bring them to that level is a dirty little jobs secret which should end

Why are these businesses requiring me to pay the wages they should be paying?  If they can’t pay the wage, they may go out of business.  If I cannot afford the tip, the same may still happen.

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The use of unpaid internships is being legally contested for some work hard at these jobs to get a resume leg up while too many are relegated to meaningless grunt work.  As this cheap labor is also being challenged, not only is a crucial career learning opportunity possibly being lost, but a forum to learn job skills disappears.

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Americans don’t want to deal with markets, i.e. the job is worth what someone is willing to pay to have it done.  The concept of a living wage speaks to socialism, unionism and all those other cries to be supported when the skill level doesn’t demand the wage being asked.

Less folks think it is elitist to believe that education should correlate with wage earnings, have you heard what plumbers, electricians and many of the blue collar tradesman can make?  I spent all day trying to find a sign painter or someone who did hedges not just trimmed bushes who would work for less than $25 per hour.   There are jobs out here that go wanting because they don’t fit the image of what too many undertrained and marginally gifted believe they deserve.

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