Double the Minimum Wage! (A Fanciful Notion)

5 Aug


President Obama’s bully and bullying buddies, the public sector unions, are most recently using fast food restaurant workers of McDonald’s and Wendy’s, etc., as the latest version of Lenin’s useful idiots to go “on strike” to demand doubling the minimum wage.

Well, and to unionize, too (always at least a secondary motive of unions in all that they do), but that’s probably just because public sector unions, recently at only about 13% of their old membership strength, have more recently fallen to about only 11% — and their decline continues — as it should in this modern day of all sorts of government agencies and laws to ensure fairness to workers. Unions, once and historically necessary to get fair pay for workers and to improve working conditions and safety, like my dad’s railroad union back in the day, are actually an unnecessary anachronism today.

And, it’s not exactly doubling the minimum wage anyway, because it seems some of the unionists and protestors may be as math challenged as Obama when he gives almost any speech but especially one on his economy, its anemic “recovery” and the “path forward” but with no plan to get there. You see, one of the chants is, “We can’t survive on $7.25!” And they want the minimum wage increased to $15.00 per hour. So, let’s see, $7.25 times 2, carry the 1 and subtract the zero, and that’s $14.50, not $15.00. But I’m just being picky and precise, one of my more annoying qualities to many of the ideological and liberal Left who like nifty chants more than real facts and figures.

Another picky point, since many of these protests are taking place in right-to-work states and/or states which have “at will” hiring and firing practices (under which you can be fired for cause, or no cause at all), how can non-unionized workers “strike”? Seems to me they’re just asking to be fired for not showing up for work.

Now, let me state right here, as a matter of personal principle, I don’t object to there being some kind of minimum wage, as a kind of safety net to prevent predatory employers from extracting work from unwitting people for sweat shop pay. But also, as an economic principle, I think that the more you increase the minimum wage, the more you interfere with free market determination of what pay there should be for which jobs. And if we’re going to theoretically but logically extend the idea of an ever-increasing minimum wage, we should also conversely support a maximum wage, so, for example, Hollyweird celebs and pro athletes are capped at, say, $5 million per movie or per year. Beyonce? Jay Z? Anyone? Didn’t think so.

However, what’s being lost in all this furor over a minimum wage increase, and what coverage of it there is in the liberal, lapdog media, is that most of the McDonald’s and Wendy’s you see are small businesses operated by franchisees who have already spent thousands of dollars for their franchise rights and who are usually operating on single digit profit margins. That’s nine percent or less, again for those of you who are math challenged, out of which they must pay their franchise fees, operating costs, insurance costs, employee payroll, local, state and federal taxes and then hope there’s enough left to take home to their own families.

And those are some of the same small businesses which even Obama admits are the real energizing engines of our economy. The same small businesses which are already cutting back on hiring or converting positions from full-time to part-tme in droves because of the uncertainty about ObamaCare overall, much less more recently about which parts of it Obama is or is not going to implement, and how, and when, and on whom. The same small businesses which are already struggling just to survive in Obama’s pernicious, protracted and puny economic “recovery.” Yeah, THOSE small businesses.

Besides, the jobs we’re talking about are what are described as “entry level,” “low skill,” or “bottom rung” jobs. They’re not SUPPOSED to be jobs you live off of for any extended period of time or have as a “career.” They’re jobs which teenagers used to refer to as “summer jobs” to earn extra pocket money. Now, they’re jobs which at least get your foot in the door and sustain you for a while, so if you work hard, you can advance to better paying jobs by climbing up the organizational ladder. And, in this anemic Obama economy, with historically record numbers of Americans out of work, record numbers having given up even looking for work and/or record numbers on food stamps, many people are thankful to have ANY job.

And, another besides, in the real world, our dysfunctional, diametrically opposed, gridlocked and grumpy Congress are soon leaving, if not already gone, for their August break (I must say “August break” to distinguish it from all the others they take), so good luck thinking you’re going to get any legislative action on increasing the minimum wage any time soon anyway.

So, do you want to work for that $7.25 per hour and HAVE a job, or do you want to force your already financially stressed boss to FIRE you so the next in the long line of people who are waiting for your job can get your slot — and be glad to have it — and you then only get $0.00 per hour? Hmmm, $7.25 per hour or $0.00 per hour? Think about it. Maybe you should appreciate the position of that small business owner who gave YOU a job, instead of giving it to somebody ELSE, you greedy ingrate.

Oh, and do you want fries with that?

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