MINIMUM WAGE: A TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT
What a wacky world we live in. An issue called the minimum wage fascinates the Pols even more than the price of meatloaf and 3 in the Senate cafeteria. Newspaper headlines hammer home this crisis in remuneration – I mean the minimum wage, not the price of meatloaf.
Forget that only 3% of hourly workers make less than the current $5.25. Only 13% earn less than the projected $7.25.
Forget that these are temporary, step-up jobs that are soon left behind.
Forget the fact that usually there’s a six month salary increase â€“ 2 months at some fast food chains.
Forget that most of these young employees are single and probably live with Mom and Pop.
Forget the fact that entry level jobs in convenience stores in my town pay 8 bucks and more an hour.
And there’s a rumor around the Beltway that the 650 economists whio signed a petition supporting the legislation, all flipped hamburgers in their second job. I don’t believe it. On the other hand it’s hard to believe the proposed legislation has this kind of support.
But most of all, forget the immorality of the government interfering in the private contract between employee and employer. (In fact, you privacy guardians, why does the government even have access to that personal salary data? Must you report to them that you sold your neighbor your old couch in the den?) Does the government have the right – as they do with employers – to tell you the price you set on your home? Why not a minimum price law for the real estate market? I guess that’s next. You say it’s YOUR house? Well, it’s the Walton family and their shareholders’ store, isn’t it? It’s Andy Entrepeneurs’s hamburger stand isn’t it?)
I think of this Tempest in a Teapot every time I drive to my local Fried Chicken establishment where the starting salary is a buck OVER current minimum wage â€“ and there’s a raise in 4 months and then another 2 months later. Down the street a convenience store ad says: help wanted, $10 an hour! Convenience store wages â€“ entry level wages – beat fast food store pay in my town.
On the way to the fried chicken store I pass a large, glass-walled building called a health center. You can see right in there. What you see is hundreds of seemingly normal people literally working off their posteriors. With the aid of curious, nonfunctional machines they’re hiking. They’re skiing. They’re hoisting huge chunks of metal. As I say; they are working their posteriors off. FOR FREE. Nobody pays them anything and if standing at a burger store counter is remunerated at 7-8 bucks an hour – vicariously hiking the Alpine slopes should pay 50 bucks an hour. These seekers of immortality, with their pumping, pushing and pedaling in the glass walled factory, are generating enough electricity to light up Chicago. And they’re doing it for free!! In fact they’re payers, not payees. It is grossly unfair. Shouldn’t our benevolent government forge a law to shield them from themselves? How â€˜bout a minimum wage paid by the Health Center? Like I say, it’s a wacky world.