December 5, 2013

Why stop at a "living" wage?

Fast Food workers are going on strike (again) for an increase in the minimum wage. Some argue they need $15/hr minimum. Why not $20, $30, or $40 per hour? Why would we want folks to make a paltry amount, barely enough to survive when they could be living large? Why should we pay a brain surgeon hundreds of thousands of dollars when a cashier pushing picture buttons on a cash register only is raking in $13,000 per anum? How much is too much to pay the person making your Locos Doritos at Taco Bell? If you believe in a minimum wage, what is the limit? 

If we doubled the wages of a typical  burger flipper, the restaurant owner will have to either raise prices or reduce expenses. He could reduce the quality of his food, make smaller portion sizes or hire fewer people. The owner must accomplish this while keeping her customer base happy.

An increase in minimum wage affects more than just Billy Burger Flipper. The worker picking the lettuce, the man grinding the meat into patties, the Mom working 3rd shift running the machine that cuts spuds into fries, the truck driver hauling it all to your local burger joint all are getting a raise too. That burger used to cost the restaurant owner $5 to make, now costs him $7 (plus now she has to pay for insurance for all workers under the dictates of ObamaCare -- you did not think that stuff was free did you?).  Instead of selling the burger Combo for $7.35, now the owner has to sell it for $9.00. Duplicate this scenario for clerks at a convenience store, your grocery stock man, a WalMart worker. Costs go up everywhere, so an increase in wages results in higher unemployment and inflation (everything costs more). The increased buying power generated  through the big boost in wages is wiped out by higher prices everywhere.

Who loses their job in this scenario? Who bears a disproportionate share of the higher costs? Who is most affected by inflation and increases in the cost of living? Why the low wage earner!


7 comments:

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Eh. I agree with Insty. This is the future of fast food.

Personally I think it the height of insanity that sliders cost more than 50 cents apiece, but then I'm old and remember when they were a quarter (and a soda was a dime). Getting my crave on is getting kind of expensive these days.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

That second sentence up there is a link. Don't know why it's not showing up as one, but when you hover over it, it's a link.

Must be Obama Administration chicanery or something.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

By the way...how many fast food workers are actually unionized? Seems kind of dumb to go out on "strike" when you're an "at-will" employee. If I ran a burger joint, I'd fire any employee that did this, even if it meant I had to close for a week to hire and train new staff.

Joe said...

I would too. Any worker who walked out "quit" as far as I am concerned.

Unemployment among youth is around 25%. There are plenty who will take that minimum wage job.

I did not even get into the insane notion that there are significant numbers of families trying to live on McDonald's wages.

Anonymous said...

Only a total idiot or a liberal would think doubling minimum wage would not have a deep and very bad impact on the economy. Then again these are the same people that thought young healthy people would flock by the millions to pay for health insurance at an inflated price.
James Old Guy

diamond dave said...

Incredible how many people are totally ignorant of basic economics. They probably think that we can make everybody rich just by printing more money.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Same kind of people who think that because they still have blank checks, they still have money in the bank.

Consider everything here that is of original content copyrighted as of March 2005