Pardon me for getting political today.
This is the day that fast food workers across the nation are striking. I think it’s a beautiful thing about our country that people of a common cause can band together in an effort to try to change things, or at the very least call attention to things that need changed.
Do I agree with their efforts?? That’s a tricky one.
I don’t pretend to have answers here, although I firmly believe that the whole system needs a revamp. Yes, people all need a livable wage. Absolutely. The biggest problem with doubling minimum wage? Everything else gets doubled as well, including your double cheeseburger meal so, guess what? It’s no time at all before you’re right back in the same boat. Yep, you’re making $15 an hour but once again, you’re struggling to be able to afford that $10 cheeseburger meal. You’re now just as poor as you were when you were making $7.25, and that’s sad.
Plus, all of those professionals – like my husband (a PLS) and my mother (an RN) and my father-in-law (a PE) – who worked their asses off to get through school and get their degrees and/or licenses aren’t getting a raise just because everyone else does so, in turn, their standard of living actually goes down. And, as previously mentioned, the cost of living will jump up to make up for the loss of money by, in many cases, money-hungry corporations. Now they are, in essence, being penalized for getting an education. That’s not right either.
Here’s another thing. I screwed around in high school and, even though I went on to college, I screwed around a lot there as well and, by the time I got serious about it, I was stuck at IvyTech – no other school would take me until I proved myself – and then it wasn’t long before my grant money just ran out. That stuff doesn’t just go on forever, apparently. I also wound up with a shit ton of student loans that I basically lived off of for the entire duration of enrollment at IvyTech that I’m responsible for now. I screwed up. Big time. I had so many opportunities that I squandered. Do I deserve $15 an hour to go flip burgers some place? Not really, no. Should I have to start out at the bottom – having zero food industry experience? Yes, most definitely. Should there be a way to work up the ladder should I so desire? Darn right there should be and it should be available to all.
Of course, in order to evaluate this entire subject we must mention those money-grubbing corporation that care nothing of their employees. It’s awful and I wish we could force people to care, but we cannot. I think, instead, what we should do is find out how companies treat their workers and frequent the ones who treat them in a way that coincides with our own ideals and avoid those that do not. I’m purposely not mentioning any names here, but odds are you already know who some of those companies are.
I also firmly believe that a person should be paid what they’re worth. I also believe that they guy scraping roadkill off the side of the road should get a decent wage for doing a shit job that no one else wants to touch. Do I think that just because you take my order at the drive through that you should make $15 an hour? No. Especially not if you roll your eyes – yes, I can hear it in your voice – at my request for no bun or you throw my change at me, etc.
Another issue that no one seems to want to think about is the fact that we’ve become a society of consumers. We have become conditioned to want the next best newest greatest fastest latest whatsit. We’re all guilty of it. That is actually keeping us in debt, keeping us slaves, if you will, because no matter how much we make, as long as we’ve got that mentality, we’ll never not be poor.